The Workshop Initiative for Support in Education, (WISE) Anguilla, held a celebratory open day on Thursday 29 May at the the Cottage Hospital on Crocus Hill.
The WISE project, as it is known, seeks to support school children who, for one reason or another, do not 'fit in' at mainstream school. Adapted from an Isle of Wight, UK, concept in 2004, the pilot scheme involved a group of 4th Form boys who worked on woodwork, boat building and ceramics projects. In early 2005 a group of 3rd Formers joined WISE.
By September 2005 the project was a full time one with students tackling such diverse areas as carpentry, model boat building, agriculture, jewellery, ceramics and art.
70 children a week were taking part by September 2006 and boat building, bamboo, glass work and a tree nursery were added to the projects, closely followed by literacy and IT.
The project hit 120children in September 2007 and added a culinary workshop sponsored by the Soroptomists in a commercial kitchen. At this time a primary programme and WISE Plus, for children at risk also began. Swimming lessons were added at the start of this year and later in the year an engine repair and go carting workshop will start.
Students with a practical inclination are chosen for the project based on their behavioural problems. Students choose which areas they are interested in and attend between one and five mornings a week. The student attends mainstream school for the rest of the week. The instructors are qualified volunteers who actively support, encourage, assist and praise students to focus on improving attitude, work skills and self-management.
The Open Day was very popular with many people coming to look at the exhibits made by the children. The Governor, His Excellency Mr Andrew George, toured the facility and was impressed by the activities of the group. The Governor's Office has been a financial supporter of the project.
For more information on this project contact: +264 497 7372 or the Albena Lake Comprehensive School.