The ADA School has two divisions: the Early Childhood School and The Primary/Elementary School.
The Early Childhood School begins with three year olds, as recent studies have shown that a fine education in the early childhood years has the greatest impact, as this is the stage when the brain is developing most rapidly. The brain structures supporting social, emotional and mental development are developed in early childhood; capacity to build these foundations is greatest in early childhood and decreases over time. The brain develops rapidly in early childhood, creating periodic "blooms" of synapses (connections among neurons) that present "windows of opportunity" for brain development; by age six, the brain is about 95% of the size of an adult brain. (Hawley,T. "Starting Smart: How Early Experiences Affect Brain Development" 2nd Edition, 2000)
James Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has shown that investing in early-childhood education can lead to significant economic gains for society - an average of 10 percent per year through increased personal achievement and social productivity (Heckman and Masterov, The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children, October 2004).
The Early Childhood Division, located in a separate Early Childhood Center on the ADA campus, consists of Nursery classes of three-year-olds, Pre-Kindergarten classes of four-year-olds called K-1 and Kindergarten classes of five-year-olds called K-2. Each class has no more than 30 children with a Head teacher and an Assistant teacher.
The early childhood program aims to facilitate cognitive, social, emotional and physical development through a wide variety of learning experiences. Class time is balanced to include teacher-initiated activities designed to assist with specific school readiness skill development and child-initiated exploration of materials and centers designed to stimulate, engage, and foster excitement and enthusiasm for learning. Children have both whole group and small group experiences with an emphasis on successful participation as a classroom community member. A wide variety of construction materials, puzzles, learning materials and books have been sent from the United States. The Zoo-phonics Multisensory Language Arts Program is used to develop literacy. It is a kinesthetic, multi-modal approach to learning all aspects of language arts, including vocabulary development and articulation, based on phonics and phonemic awareness. The principle of Zoo-phonics maximizes understanding, memory, utilization and transference to all areas of the reading, spelling and writing process in a playful and concrete manner. Stern Blocks are used to develop mathematical skills. Through an intuitive, guided system, children develop a concrete understanding of mathematical principles using colorful wooden blocks.
The Elementary School of African Dream Academy, which is located in two main buildings on campus, consists of First through Eighth Grade classes with First through Third Grades each divided into two sections A and B to keep class size under 30 children. The first grade is a self-contained class that begins its daily activities with morning assembly and character-education and proceeds with instruction in the core subjects of language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. The day also includes snack, lunch, recess and specials. These specials include music, physical education, French, art and cultural studies. A teacher and an assistant teacher work together as the grade team to help the students develop their fullest potential in preparation for meeting all the challenges of elementary school.
In Grades Two - Eight, there are core teachers in language arts, math, science, social studies and the special subjects (French, physical education, art, media education and cultural studies). Students change classes going from specialized teacher to teacher and each day is composed of eight periods lasting forty-five minutes each.
The national curriculum prescribed by the Liberian Ministry of Education is followed. It is supported by an additional curriculum from the Georgia State Standard's international learning platform. Materials and textbooks are selected from a wide range of nationally and internationally recognized companies and programs such as Harcourt, Pearson and Scholastic to help the students develop their fullest potential in preparation for meeting all the challenges of the elementary school. This combined curriculum teaches skills that apply to real-world settings employing the collective wisdom of our cultures and upholding the values of disciplinary learning. It also develops our student's ability to reason, be creative and use critical thinking skills and collaborative learning. Our goal is for our students to use their time effectively to gain the knowledge, skills and abilities that will serve them well in the rest of their education and throughout their lives.
There is no better gift than to brighten a child's future.
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Monrovia West Africa