I’m Jennifer, parent of a student at Hampton Academy in Freeport, Grand Bahama. We are celebrating the 100th day of school and fundraising to support inclusive education and therapies for specialized learning needs with Hampton Academy, a small school with a big heart!
I’m asking friends, family and those who care about supporting Grand Bahama to donate towards educational funding for programs like: art, technology devices, improved playground, classroom upgrades and other items for Hampton Academy to continue it’s excellent work in local education.
Established in 2008, Hampton Academy is one of the ONLY resources on the island for special needs families and provides an inclusive, therapeutic, happy and safe environment for students with Autism, Down’s Syndrome and other neurological disorders.
Grand Bahama is special, devastated by Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the island experienced severe damage including flooded schools, playgrounds and bankrupting community programs like theaters, sports teams, Jr. Junkanoo, camps and other cultural programs. Nothing was spared the wrath of the storm and rebuilding has been slowly progressing. Since the COVID pandemic began in 2020, surviving organizations and schools were closed again and again.
Students have been learning from home with limited and inconsistent access to technology. This is a model that simply doesn’t work for students who require specialized, intensive and peer-related education. Students like my son Ravi have been left out in the cold, essentially missing 2+ years of education, socialization and personal development typically provided by going to school. There is very little extra-curricular entertainment for families besides church, nature and school on Grand Bahama. Given the priorities of rebuilding a community already in an economic recession, your support is vital to the future of Bahamian students of all ages.
There are no other resources available outside of school for families with special needs in Grand Bahama. Hampton Academy has been instrumental in providing structure, experiences (sports lessons, field trips, parties) and a technology-driven education to learning hungry students. All with very little resources and affordable tuition, making it even more accessible to the community. Fortunately, Hampton Academy was able to rebuild and open it’s doors in the fall of 2021 with fresh paint and a roster of excited to learn students Pre-K-12th Grade.
The teaching staff at Hampton Academy works with little resources to provide big results.
Founded by Ms. Janure Culmer BA MS VE - Ms. Janure Culmer is a native of Freeport, Grand Bahama. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Management from the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minnesota. Ms. Culmer continued her studies at Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and earned a Master’s Degree in Varying Exceptionalities –Exceptional Student Education. Ms. Culmer is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology - Cognition and Instruction. Besides being well educated, Ms. Culmer is also a veteran teacher. She has worked with students of all ages (pre-kindergarten through post high school), disabilities and backgrounds. Ms. Culmer firmly believes that each student is unique in his/her own way therefore, the way they learn will vary. It is her intention, via Hampton Academy, to tailor a learning environment that will cater to the needs of each student in order for them to reach their maximum potential.
As a parent of a teen with a range of neurological disorders, the closures of schools, camps and therapy programs was especially difficult for families like mine. Coming from the incredibly supported and well-funded Autism community in South Florida, the shock of losing our structure of educational and community programs created a mental crisis that could only be solved by finding a safe space to learn, develop and play in a socially inclusive environment. His mental wellbeing and personal success depends on schools and programs like Hampton Academy.
Please help support their continued progress and join us in celebrating first 100 days towards the future of students like Ravi.