Fun Fundaciones

Featured in B3: Baby Bump & Beyond’s 10th Issue – February 2015

Fun Fundaciones

Fun what?!
This is the reaction by most when introduced to the name of a relatively young company that offers a variety of programmes, services and activities for children 18 months through to 18 years.

Fundaciones, Spanish for ‘foundations’ is a very non-traditional organization. Not limited to neither a specific programme nor to a particular clientele; this company’s philosophy that learning the fundamentals ought to be fun remains its mantra, slogan and even hashtag. #LEARNTHEFUN is gaining popularity in households across Jamaica and the Caribbean and is finding a niche in various social media platforms.

Who doesn’t agree that learning should be fun? Who wouldn’t support memorable experiences? Which parent would oppose this? Let’s face the fact; experiences that are meaningful tend to be those that are remembered. Who doesn’t want her child to remember the what, how or even why of a process? It is, in fact, through answering those questions that we can establish the ‘therefore,’ ‘also’ and ‘in conclusion.’

In 2008, director Rachael McDonald realized that many of the children she taught were not curious. They lacked passion; had no interest in learning and as such were weak critical thinkers. Her attempt to develop and foster a genuine love for learning in and among her children encouraged the start of the company’s first location, El Centro, as a physical arena through which programmes and activities could platform to address the issues that plagued her brood. In a short time, children were reading classics and showcasing their comprehension skills; describing the process behind an exploding pumpkin using scientific terminology; singing songs en español with good pronunciation and zeal; and even brainstorming and creating art from trashables in Kingston, Montego Bay and Basseterre, St. Kitts. Her dream of engaging children in hands-on and non-traditional ways was manifesting and parents were happy to see their children enjoying learning the fundamentals in hands-on ways.

Today, this is exactly what continues to take place.

When children enjoy a process, not only do they recall it better, but also they become more likely to talk about it and to engage in another similar activity. They begin a love affair with a practice that has often been considered tedious, drab and even scary. The reality is that the means of learning really is an exciting one and this is exactly what the Fundaciones team seeks to create and recreate daily. If you’ve ever struggled to find an answer or to make sense of a phrase and finally understood it, you’ll know how invigorating that “Eureka” moment is. It is that “Oooooh, I get it” realization that our children feel and end up being fascinated with, that helps to mould their confidence, maintain their interest and drive their curiosity.

To #LEARNTHEFUN is synonymous with feeling good, feeling positive, feeling energized and feeling worthy of knowledge. It’s about time our children really FEEL the range of emotions associated with this exciting progression of discovery.

Today, McDonald is happy with the development and expansion of the programmes and is challenged with finding ways to reach more children who do not have access to our team in face-to-face settings. She argues that “passion and interest are felt and not seen” and is excited about promoting programmes through technology in the upcoming months. “Our goal is for children of all ages to be inspired to learn and keep learning.”

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