NAZ Children's Centre
Jamaican children get a new school with Master Spas’ help
How Did This Come About?
Alixann Narcisse-Campbell, founder and principal at NAZ Children's Centre, began her teaching career at another private school on the island, but she became frustrated with how the school detected special needs in its students. She couldn't get enough done in a day. She left the school and started tutoring a child in the evenings while his parents worked. Word of her success with that student spread, and soon she was running an after-school program for a few more children. Before she knew it, Narcisse-Campbell was running a full-day school out of her home for 12 children; an after-school program, and at night she would teach adults to read. By the time Master Spas came into the picture, the NAZ Children's Centre had moved to a small building, which housed 35 students and seven team members.
Sherry Lauter, wife of Master Spas' CEO Bob Lauter and a teacher for 15 years, was there for that first visit and recalls the condition of the school:
"They were on top of each other. These rooms didn't even have walls up to the ceiling. To be heard over another classroom right next door, I thought, 'How do they do that? I used to complain about 26 kids in my classroom.'"
What were Our Goals?
The first goal was for Master Spas to partner with our worldwide dealer network to start a capital campaign to help build a new school building.
Find support in local Jamaican businesses that were as excited about the project as we were.
Develop the school on land donated by Rose Hall Development.
What were the Results?
Master Spas and their dealers, along with generous support from Rose Hall Development and Digicel, contributed to building the new NAZ school, which officially opened September 2013. Our ongoing efforts revolve not only around the maintenance of the school, but in securing scholarships for many of the students to continue to attend and receive the support and education they need. The new building features five classrooms, which each have their own restroom with a shower, an open-air pavilion that will also serve as a fine-arts center; a playground; and (Alixann Narcisse-Campbell and Sherry Lauter's favorite) a library/computer lab.
What makes NAZ stand out among other private schools in Jamaica is its approach to mixed-ability education. Average and above-average learners are taught in the same classrooms as special-needs students and students whose first language isn't English. NAZ is also committed to keeping its tuition low enough that students from all socioeconomic backgrounds can attend. Lauter says Master Spas was sensitive to that as it worked on the project, setting aside funds to help support the upkeep, maintenance and operations so the new building wouldn't become a burden.
"Nine years ago, I had a simple thought, 'All kinds of learners should be able to learn together and should be afforded equal opportunities to do so.' Little did I know that this simple idea would blossom into the amazing NAZ Children’s Centre. I must extend my deepest gratitude to Bob and Sherry Lauter, who have truly guided this institution to where we are today. We can only try to pass on to others the goodness you have passed on to us."
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