BSMART Foundation is a Bermudian Registered Charity #911
We provide financial assistance to qualified applicants to ensure that our programming is accessible to all. Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for relevant financial assistance information and application forms.
BSMART is committed to providing a solid foundation of learning through innovative brain-centered educational programs and services that enables all children to acquire social, emotional, and cognitive skills that are the foundation for future learning.
BSMART believes in creating a community that maximizes the development of young people to achieve their physical, intellectual, and social potential, particularly those challenged by physiological and neurological deficits that later impede academic success. That commitment is based on a principle of meeting each student where they are and guiding them to maximize their potential. Ways in which BSMART addresses those developmental deficits include increased motor skills, neurophysiological brain development, speech and language, artistic abilities, and cultural development all of which are integral to a child’s lifelong love of learning.
Empowerment: we provide opportunities and resources for children to foster and recognize their own ability to achieve educational milestones and academic success.
Collaboration: We believe in the value of collaboration with children, families, and professionals to build skills needed to engage in effective and authentic collaborative relationships.
Innovation: We are dedicated to providing meaningful and successful experimentation and effective interventions based on the latest brain research.
Allison Figureido is the founder and executive director of BSMART DevelopmentFoundation, Bermuda’s first and onlyneurodevelopmental facility offering programming that incorporates brain centered maturation techniques in order to increase learning readiness and academic success.
After spending 16 years as an award winning educator within Bermuda’s public education system, Allison’s passion for “leveling the playing field” led her to undergo extensive training in neurodevelopmental education in order to meet the needs of her students.
Having successfully implemented Bermuda’s first and only S.M.A.R.T. program in 2009, and with the support and encouragement of her husband, Tim and their two sons, Allison eventually left the public education system in order to bring the S.M.A.R.T. programming to more of Bermuda’s children.
Since its inception in 2011, BSMART Foundation has helped change the trajectories of many of the island’s children. Currently, BSMART offers infant and toddler development programs, for children from zero to three years, S.M.A.R.T. programming for four - eight year olds, S.M.A.R.T holiday camps, as well as workshops and professional development opportunities for parents, educators, and other professionals working with children.
Allison creative talents have also led her to create and choreograph Bermuda’s only Bollywood performance dance team, as a way of strengthening cultural understanding and appreciation of other cultures. Over the past eight years the girls have perform at many venues and private functions around the island.
BSMART is the only facility on the island that incorporates brain centered maturation techniques in order to increase academic success. It has been shown to increase school readiness and mastery of basic skills in both general and at-risk populations of economically disadvantaged and racial minorities (especially males). Data collected by BSMART indicates that the program has already made a difference in the community, especially to those most in need and at risk. BSMART addresses the need of why so many preschoolers, especially those from high-risk backgrounds, turn up on their first day of school lacking the fundamental readiness skills, which spirals into a range of additional problems for the child as they grow older. Without early identification of cognitive and developmental deficits, students are on a path that makes success remarkably more difficult from their peers. S.M.A.R.T. (Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training) addresses these types of issues, or deficiencies, by targeting their foundational source – the brain.
A heartfelt "thank you" to our donors and supporters who have made a tremendous impact in the lives and trajectories of so many of Bermuda's young people!
Major Sponsor Donors
Partner Re Renaissance Re
Montpelier Re Validus Re
Clarien Hamilton Re
Argo Foundation FIL
Mr. Tim Calveley Chair
Ms. Lesley White Vice Chair
Ms. Algene Maybury Secretary
Dr. Terry-Lynn Emery Director
Ms. Nancy Farnham Director
Ms. Ronette Burchall Treasurer
Ms. Deborah Hoyte Ex-Officio
BSMART is Bermuda's dissemination site of A Chance To Grow (ACTG) Foundation's Learning Resource Center for educators, developmental professionals, and therapists. Our relationship is in its sixth year and we are extremely grateful to be guided and encouraged by the amazing professionals that also believe in BSMART and the future of Bermuda's children.
ABOUT A Chance To Grow
A Chance To Grow is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded on the drive to help every person succeed.
ACTG offers nine integrated brain-centered programs and services all under one roof. Our holistic approach to developing individual programs for each client ensures a comprehensive experience at A Chance To Grow for you and your family. Trained in the areas of speech pathology, occupational therapy, traditional and developmental vision interventions, auditory therapy, neurotechnology, elementary and early childhood education, the variety of specialists bring a tremendous amount of knowledge and care to every client's experience. Each and every day, ACTG is driven by an agency-wide passion for helping every person reach his or her highest possible potential.
A Chance To Grow's (ACTG), centerpiece intervention is the S.M.A.R.T. (Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training) program, a multi-sensory approach to learning that stimulates the brain and body in a way that traditional classroom instruction does not.
The agency co-founders and co-directors, Bob and Kathy DeBoer, along with Art Sandler, a Philadelphia Physical Therapist, utilized current brain research to develop the program to help stimulate the brain and produce functional gains.
They eventually joined with Dr. Lyelle Palmer, a Special Education professor from the University of Minnesota - Winona to establish S.M.A.R.T., to assist children who struggle to learn for any reason and make it compatible with all academic curriculums.
A Chance To Grow first offered S.M.A.R.T. in the mid- 1980s as a summer program. In 1987, it expanded to collaborate with the Minneapolis Public Schools on a four-year project to compare the impact of S.M.A.R.T. with that of a traditional transitional kindergarten. Students in this program could not meet the district’s first grade readiness requirements; even though they had already completed a full year of regular kindergarten.
During the project, one set of classes spent 93 hours per year in S.M.A.R.T.; the other set received only the regular curriculum. At the end of each year of the project, the S.M.A.R.T. students were reading at the 82nd to 89th percentile of Minneapolis
students entering first grade and most of the students in the control classrooms were meeting district’s criteria for entering first grade.
Significantly, however, the children who received S.M.A.R.T. maintained their reading gains through second grade, while more than half of the control students were failing again in reading by second grade.
The success of S.M.A.R.T. with teachers and students in a few settings, led to the founding of the Minnesota Learning Resource Center in 1999, through financial support by the state legislature. Today, ACTG’s teacher-training institute, the MLRC, hosts workshops and mentors educators in all three of the agency’s interventions. More than 5,000 educators across the state and nation have been attended trained to date.
A special thank you to the ACTG and MLRC. BSMART would not be providing the vital programs for our children without the help, support, inspiration and guidance of these truly amazing professionals.