Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 23rd 2017 Contents private school Christian Primary Academy in Ari-
ma. While the programme is very new to her school,
Grant said the laptops were good quality and very
reasonably priced and would help her students de-
velop into technology-ready, 21st century citizens.
"It's the technological age...our students need to be
able to broaden their awareness of what is happening
in the world around them."
TSTT has partnered with a visionary company
seeking to transform the education system and
a child's learning experience.
Together they are seeking to engage parents in ed-
ucation transformation, providing the technological
tools for their children's educational success, empow-
ering parents and motivating children to do better.
Good Remedies A Parent Should Exercise Socially
(Grapes) is a six-step programme created by Keron
LesPierre, CEO of Grapes For A Good Life Ltd, which
launched the programme in mid-2014. A release said
his goal is to reduce poverty and give children oppor-
tunities for a better life by ensuring their access to
technology, a better education and a fulfilling career.
"I want parents to know that their children can have
a better quality education through affordable tech-
nology," he stressed.
Praising the programme for its vision and ambition,
TSTT's senior manager Brand Public Relations and
External Affairs Graeme Suite encouraged parents to
take advantage of children's seemingly natural interest
in electronic devices and channel that into an engag-
ing study programme. "Having access to technology
and being as comfortable with it as with a pencil, can
help children improve academic and extracurricu-
lar performance and better prepare them for the 21st
The Grapes six-step programme brings together
parents, teachers, educators, education consultants,
psychologists, a savings institution and tertiary edu-
cation counsellors. The programme provides guidance
to parents and guardians on parental involvement
at school and parenting best practices, whilst the
technology provided can be used to facilitate online
parent/teacher conferences for the busy parent, in-
teractive chat rooms for parents to engage with each
other and keep abreast of school activities, and net-
working fora where schools and teachers can form
groups and build networks via online networking.
"Grapes has seen success with individual parents
signing up and witnessing their children's academ-
ic performance improve by 60-70 per cent" said
LesPierre. "The vision that Grapes Ltd and sponsors
like TSTT share is to see all primary school children
benefit. The programme can make a radical differ-
ence in primary school education and we have been
reaching out to school principals and parent-teacher
associations (PTAs) to introduce them to Grapes."
Recognising the financial constraints that many
parents face, in November 2016, LesPierre began a
new initiative aimed at middle to lower income par-
ents in the primary school system engaging them in
Education System Transformation.
Under this programme---for $1 down and $25 a week
for 17 months---Grapes will provide a new, two-in-
one, laptop/tablet combo from Microsoft; one year
unlimited online practice in maths, language arts and
creative writing; and daily monitoring of the student's
work with monthly online reports. It will also provide
one student learning style assessment and one per-
sonality/career assessment by qualified consultants.
Grapes will conduct training sessions with parents,
teachers and students to teach them how to use the
laptop and online learning resources, at home and in
the classroom, to make learning more exciting and
fulfilling. Grapes has also committed to donating ten
to 30 desktop computers to upgrade the computer
laboratory in any school that registers a minimum
of 100 students in the programme.
Excited about the programme's potential to revo-
lutionise primary school education in T&T, LesPierre
noted that, "As of February 2017, just over 250 children
were actively doing the Grapes programme under the
new schools initiative, while four schools have signed
up and 168 laptops have been distributed."
One principal who has embraced the Grapes ini-
tiative at her school is Meluna Grant, who runs the
guardian.co.tt Thursday, March 23, 2017
Getting parents into
Keron LesPierre and principal Meluna Grant with students and parents who use
the Grapes programme. Photo courtesy Picasa
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