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Rotary Happenings: De LaSalle Academy featured at San-Cap Rotary meeting

By Staff | Mar 23, 2016

All parents want a good education for their children. All parents want their children to succeed in life. All parents want their children to go to school and love the experience of learning.

They want them to make friends and just enjoy growing up and feeling good about themselves. So, when the reality presents itself that your child is struggling in school and feels out of place at school, you know you’re parental responsibilities include becoming more involved in their educational and socialization experience.

You are your child’s advocate and exploring all the available options to provide the best education for your child is on your shoulders.

Well, at our last San-Cap Rotary club meeting, we were delighted to have as our guest speaker – Lori Riti, Principal of De LaSalle Academy in Fort Myers come and speak to us about a fairly new school, founded in 2012, that is an educational option for children with special needs. De LaSalle is a private, non-profit elementary through high school serving students with ASD, learning disabilities, processing disorders, anxiety and mild mood disorders.

The academic program is highly individualized and supported by therapies, including speech and language, occupational, and counseling.

Now before, you get a little nervous about it being a private school and the cost involved in that type of schooling. Riti did make it known that many of the students at De LaSalle are on scholarship.

When Riti said “many”, that number is about 60-percent of their student-body. Currently enrolled in De LaSalle are 144 students coming from Lee, Charlotte, and Collier counties including 3 students from Sanibel.

Testing for disabilities and clinical observations help the school identify the area of need for each child. De LaSalle is dedicated to creating individual educational programming for each child and this is driven by their specific needs and goals for learning and socialization.

Educators and parents work together in formulating a pathway to success for each student. The academic environment at the school allows learning in small individual groups, as well as social interaction and learning in larger groups.

The goals allow each student time to concentrate until they master the building blocks of their individualized learning program. The school helps the students understand their disabilities and how to work at overcoming these obstacles.

They learn alternative and creative ways to tackle their learning challenges. In this atmosphere each child knows they will and can be successful.

They will be successful and with success comes confidence. Confidence can open the doors to socialization. “Socialization is the process by which humans beings acquire the skills necessary to perform as functioning members of society, and is the most influential learning process one can experience.”

Of course, we all remember the old Chinese proverb, “One picture is worth a thousand words.”

So, Riti did that one better; she brought a De LaSalle video providing a visual overview of the school and the children working on their studies in small groups with some wonderful new learning tools and larger projects with hands being raised to answer questions put to them by the teacher.

However, what really showed in this video was the joy on the faces of the students, eager to learn, unabashedly grasping the joy of succeeding in their studies.

Parents gave testimony to their feelings of joy as well. There is no better feeling for a parent then knowing they are helping their child find a pathway to a successful future.

Information regarding DeLaSalle Academy can be found at WWW.DELASALLEFM.ORG or just call Lori at 239 245-8212 to arrange a personal tour.

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary meets at 7 a.m., on Friday mornings at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, Sanibel. Guests are always welcomed.