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  • Writer's pictureMaia Monell

The Island School Semester Program

The Island School Semester Program offers a transformative educational semester and summer term in Eleuthera, The Bahamas founded by Chris and Pam Maxey in 1999. It is the cornerstone program of the Cape Eleuthera Island School (CEIS) organization. High school sophomores and juniors from around the world join our community to learn outside the walls of a classroom. With the campus and surrounding ocean as our laboratory and with help from our partners at the Cape Eleuthera Institute and Center for Sustainable Design, we teach students how to live sustainably in the twentyfirst century. All while earning high school credit. Together, we engage in the process of inquiry in order to discover solutions to real world problems. We explore the framework of Eleuthera’s cultural and environmental landscape through student-centered academics, outdoor programs supporting personal growth and leadership development, and community programs that practice a project-based approach to local collaboration. The Island School experience culminates in the beginning of a lifelong educational journey, with more self-confident students leaving as engaged global citizens, empowered to be active leaders of their generation. Over 30% of our Island School students are able to embark on this special journey because of philanthropic support. With generous donors we are able to commit over $600,000 annually to scholarships, thus furthering our belief that when given the right tools, young people can accomplish anything.

Deep Creek Middle School and Outreach

Founded in 2001, with the goal of increasing access to an alternative education program for families in South Eleuthera, Deep Creek Middle School (DCMS) offers a hands-on, experiential approach to The Bahamian National Curriculum as inspired by The Island School. As an independent school subsidiary of the Cape Eleuthera Island School (CEIS), it is fully endorsed and recognized by the Bahamian Ministry of Education. The mission of DCMS is to educate the future leaders of The Bahamas and provide frequent opportunities for growth, positive community impact and leadership. The cost to educate is well over $12,000 per student but majority of the 45 students can only afford a fraction of the cost. Given this limitation, we fundraise over $350,000 annually to ensure our students receive the best education possible and can attend DCMS.

As DCMS was inspired by The Island School, our newest division, Island School Outreach, was inspired by DCMS. Outreach has always been an important aspect of CEIS’s mission with DCMS being our most significant outreach initiative. In addition to DCMS, organizational outreach efforts were embedded in all of our work and, last year, we formed a formal Outreach division to unify, enhance and grow our collective efforts. Outreach encompasses all of the organization’s ventures to support conversations with local schools, youth, families, community leaders and local partners to build lasting relationships on the island and beyond. This new division reaches into local schools, runs a Young Men’s Leadership Program, champions an extensive after school program in Deep Creek, helps recruit for the Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholars (BESS) program, and supports professional development for island educators. It works within CEIS to build connections within the island, create collaborations and involve employees and students in the important work of giving back. Between our work with DCMS and Outreach we are touching more lives on Eleuthera and throughout The Bahamas than ever before. To support this important work, we raise over $700,000 annually from generous donors who make it all possible.

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