The Daily Observer – Innovation in education

Family and Children’s Service has embarked on an ambitious plan to create an education centre for foster children with difficulty learning in traditional academic settings.

After months of research Ron Groskleg, director of project development with Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County, has invited individuals from child welfare and mental health agencies, as well as educational professionals to a two-day strategic planning session to learn about the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Centre in Colorado.

Two teachers from the school are in Pembroke today and tomorrow to help the agency lay the ground work for a creative and innovative program based on the Colorado model of hands-on, value-driven learning that will work for students in Renfrew County.

The goal is to have the program running by September 2009.

The key is creating a program that allows students to feel a sense of belonging, Mr. Groskleg said.

“We want to work with the education system, parents and families to figure out what we need to be doing differently to help these children,” he added. “We want to give the students the message that we want to help them learn and find their skills and talents.”

The planning session takes place at FCS Winning Kids Centre on Isabella Street.