May 23, 2013

Looking to a New Horizon at Lund

Posted in Lund Early Childhood Program (LECP), New Horizons Educational Program, Program Spotlight tagged , , , , at 8:39 pm by Lund

Photo by Cat Cutillo

Photo by Cat Cutillo

“We need a map,” says one of the students at New Horizons to Ben Irish, lead teacher at this program, as he walks into the door of the school.  “Well, hello to you too,” he replies before directing the students to where they might find a map.   It seems that one is needed as part of an afternoon health and wellness class taught by Lund’s Human Resources Manager, Jamie Tourangeau.  Later in the class Jamie has the women doing jumping jacks – five minutes to balance out the calories in one tiny piece of chocolate.

New Horizons is in Lund’s new building at 50 Joy Drive.  Before moving here last fall, the school was in a rental location, away from Lund’s other programs.  “It’s great to be in this building,” says Ben.  “We were alone before.  I was teaching in a cafeteria and now we have all sides of the community coming together under one roof to finish their education.”

There are currently 17 students enrolled in the program – both community members and Lund students living in the residential program.  New Horizons is an accredited educational program that specifically serves pregnant or parenting young women.  They can bring their babies to class with them until the babies are six months old.  Also in the same building is Lund’s 5 Star Early Childhood Education program allowing students to be near their children while going to school. Students are aged between 14 and 21 and pursue individual courses of study based on where they are in their education.  They will be issued diplomas from their sending high schools and have the opportunity to graduate sooner than they would at a traditional school as the program at New Horizons runs all year.   Nationwide only 3 out of 10 pregnant or parenting young women graduate from high school.  Lund’s New Horizons program firmly intends to battle this statistic.  There is a high proportion of New Americans in the program and so an ELL program has been implemented to help these students.

“We are the community for these women,” says Ben speaking about the importance of the school in the lives of the students.  “This is what they have to look forward to.”

Judging by the laughter that can be heard coming from the classroom during the day and the friendly relationship that the students have with their teacher, there is much to look forward to here.

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