IGT (formerly GTech) teamed up with the Immortelle Children’s Centre in St Ann’s, Port-of-Spain, to provide the centre with iPads and other IT equipment to ensure high quality education and the best learning environment for the centre’s students, a release said.
The state-of-the-art equipment was presented by Ann-Dawn Young Sang, IGT’s regional vice president for the Caribbean. The After School Advantage Programme is celebrating its tenth anniversary in T&T this year.
“I am extremely proud of the growth in the number of After School Advantage centres in T&T over the past ten years,” said Young Sang. “We opened ten centres in 2005, and, since then we have opened many more centres at non-profit and non-government organisations, and re-equipped computer centres at some of our original partner organisations. It underscores IGT’s long-term commitment to communities we serve through our After School Advantage Programme.”
“The children’s smiles and their eagerness to learn have been the driving force behind the After School Advantage Programme and it pushes us to open more centres to equip these young learners with the requisite skills needed to unleash their potential for the future,” she added.
Founded in 1986 as a playgroup for children with disabilities, the Immortelle Children’s Centre is today one of the most renowned schools catering for young people with various disabilities in T&T.
Since inception, the centre has worked to provide individuals with developmental disabilities an opportunity to gain an education and vocational skills training, while also fostering the development of a more robust network within the disability sector.
“Creating an inclusive society is one of our greatest wishes,” says Jacqui Leotaud, head of the Immortelle Children’s Centre. “We tirelessly work to increase awareness and understanding of the needs and the value of individuals with developmental disabilities in T&T, and that is why we constantly look for support, both nationally and internationally.”
Over the years, the centre has collaborated with several universities and organisations, proving to be a dynamic, forward-thinking, charitable organisation, providing an essential and desperately needed service to individuals and families in Trinidad.
The fruit of one such successful collaboration was a research project, which explored the use of iPads among the children and young adults at the centre. The study showed that the majority of the students enjoyed this new learning method and their participation in the classroom increased tremendously.
“iPads have emerged as a very effective educational tool for individuals with developmental delays, thanks to the many apps that have been developed to aid communication, behavioural issues and develop fine motor skills,” Leotaud commented.
“We are deeply grateful for IGT’s generous donation and are very excited to implement this innovative teaching method in our school. We’ve always wanted our students to be exposed to the latest technology available, in the hope of being part of a national movement that improves the lives of all persons with disabilities. IGT’s contribution has certainly helped fulfill that dream.”