Pilot program helps learning challenged students by focusing on brain function

News 12 This Morning/Monday Dec. 16, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)--Eighth grade student Lindsey Paradise and 5th grade student James Knox both attend Westminster School of Augusta and tell me after struggling in class for years, things are starting to turn around.

"I see changes like sounding out words more fluently and my math." explained Paradise.

"Mental math--I still struggle with it, but it's gotten a lot easier for me," said Knox.

Thanks to the Arrowsmith program, which focuses on exercising the brain.

"The thing that's different about an Arrowsmith classroom is that we do not teach content," Traci Boutwell explained.

Instead, Boutwell, lead Arrowsmith teacher, says after being tested each student works their own personalized program with exercises that strengthen different parts of the brain.

And with a small pilot class, she's also able to give each student more one on one time.

"You really get to know the students," said Boutwell.

"I need a lot of work with the teacher, so I think it's been very beneficial," said Paradise.

Craig Johnson, academic dean of the school, says although the focus is on independent learning, the students still lean on each other.

"The kids really feed off of one another and they really press each other on," he said.

And because of Arrowsmith, both Knox and Paradise tell me they feel more positive about their future.

"I hope that since I'll do it probably for a couple more year --I think that that will help in high school and in college and for the rest of my life," said Knox.

"I know my life is going to change because people have told me that, but I never really thought so, but it's already changing," said Paradise.

For more information on the Arrowsmith program, click the link below.

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