Courts Saint Lucia has refurbished the Life Skills Classroom of the Soufriere Special Education and Rehabilitation Centre to aid in the development of life and social skills for its students.
Established in 2001, the Centre caters to 45 students with various physical and intellectual disabilities including mental retardation, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, physical handicaps and students who score low on the Ministry’s Multiple Disciplinary Team (MDT) Evaluation. Children with these disabilities have certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills such as communication, self-help, and social skills, which cause them to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child.
The Life Skills Classroom helps students of the Centre to develop basic skills aimed at increasing their level of independence or reducing the need for round-the-clock care, as they grow older. During Life Skills, the students learn to make their beds, clean a home, prepare meals and other skills such as conducting bank transactions or requesting service in a hospital. Courts donated a bed, dining set, small appliances and much more, to design a more real life home experience for the students.
Soufriere Mayor, Pius Gangardine, contacted Courts to request assistance with furnishing the Life Skills Classroom.
“Courts visited the school, assessed the needs and jumped to assist within 24 hours of my call. The Company employed contractors from the town of Soufriere to refresh the space, by painting the walls and making small repairs and then supplied new furnishings to give the space the look and feel of a family home. The team completed the renovation on the space within four days. We were very pleased with efficiency of the team and their readiness and willingness to assist,” Gangardine said.
Melissa Marius, Courts Brand Manager stated, “We sometimes take for granted how difficult the completion of basic tasks can be to persons with disabilities and part of our commitment to the development of the communities we serve requires that we pay special attention to the more vulnerable in our society.”
Courts Visual Merchandising Manager, Natiesha Campbell was instrumental in the set-up and design of the space and received support from team members Paula Edward, Allison Niles, Oramaze Emmanuel, Della George, Maria Fostin, Nicole Emmanuel, Georgette Cole and the Team from the Distribution Center.
For Courts however, the work done to date is just the beginning. “We hope to extend this into a long-term partnership and continue to assess the needs of the school – one such opportunity being explored is a partnership with the local council and its work study program to help students transition to employment upon graduation,” said Ms. Marius.