Pathway to Success

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Pathway to Success

Pathway to Success

Students at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy are taking advantage of a groundbreaking program to overcome their individual learning challenges and find success in high school, college, and beyond.

The Arrowsmith program was created in the 1970s but was installed at ELCA in 2011. It serves students in grades 3-9 (eight students are in the program now). Arrowsmith is only offered in 25 states, and ELCA is the only school in Georgia offering it.

The three-year program addresses specific learning difficulties by identifying and strengthening cognitive capacities. It helps students with ADHD, dyslexia, auditory processing, and other types of learning disabilities.

“Rather than have compensations, the program addresses the root causes of the disability. Through neuroplasticity, we are able to change the pathways of the brain to correct the problem,” said Misty Weber, who helped get the ELCA program started and oversaw it for several years. “Each program is unique to the individual.”

Dr. Wanda Cowan is the founder of Able Christian School in McDonough and also serves as a consultant at ELCA with the Arrowsmith program. Her research several years ago led her to see the positive aspects.

“I was looking for a program that supports the way the brain learns and helps the brain find new neuropathways to learning and overcome struggles and challenges faced academically due to deficits in the brain,” she said. “I looked at [Arrowsmith] and was very impressed with what I saw.”

Students at Cowan’s school, specializing in different ways for students to learn, have access to Arrowsmith through a partnership with ELCA.

The ELCA students in the program utilize it for three class periods a day, giving them a normal overall school experience.

“The avenues it opens up for these kids are absolutely astounding,” said Lisa Schuerman, one of the current Arrowsmith teachers at ELCA. “It doesn’t just put a Band-Aid on it like accommodations do. It’s fixing it for life so they can go on to the next level in school or wherever they want to go, and they’re better suited to deal with some of their deficiencies.”

Now that it has served students for over a decade, there are plenty of real-life examples of how well it works. Weber cited one student about to graduate from college while making the dean’s list every year with zero accommodations. Others are already successfully in the workforce; Weber mentioned that one former student is an aviation mechanic, and another is a preschool teacher.

Here is what one parent had to say:

“My son graduated from the Arrowsmith program two years ago. When he entered the program in the sixth grade, he lacked confidence and faced many academic challenges. Arrowsmith has been an answer to prayer for our son. He is now a very confident 11th-grader and is maintaining an A average. … We will forever be grateful for the Arrowsmith program.”

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