Founded in 2008, Village Community Schools is building a new model for sustainable education and development. Teaching children to question, to think, and to learn about the world around them is the bedrock of our philosophy. Our success comes from leveraging our founders’ lifelong experience as educators, while employing local professionals to implement our programs.
We aim to provide a classroom environment to help children develop in all areas: academically, socially, physically and artistically. The medium of our schools is English, opening many doors to a modern India that is connected to the world. Tamil is the second language taught.
Classes began in our first school, Global Pathways, in the village of Chettipalayam, in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. Our doors opened to 50 students in Lower and Upper Kindergarten and Standard One, in a renovated leased building made into a vibrant classroom.
Now, we are pleased to have 252 children from Lower Kindergarten to Standard Eight.
In 2007, Barbara Galbraith and Barbara Goodwin-Zeibots initiated a progressive school project in India at FFC orphanage in Podanur, near Coimbatore, India. There, they created two combined classrooms catering to four to eight-year old learners.
These classrooms were not just any classrooms, and certainly not like any classrooms that this region had ever seen. The school centered on an inquiry-based approach to learning with a focus on the child as a whole . The environment they established allowed for disabled children, who are otherwise not accepted at the local school, to work with other students in a combined classroom setting. As the project developed, monies were raised in Canada to build new classrooms at FCC in order to accommodate a curriculum that called for larger classrooms than those used for typical rote learning.
Inspired by the positive impact that this project had on the community as a whole, Theresa and Seth Mersky, the prime benefactors of Village Community Schools, and ”the Barbaras” (as they are so affectionately named), decided to initiate another, much larger, educational development project effort in Coimbatore. They established Village Community Schools, and Global Pathways was born to grow to an integrated school from kindergarten to grade twelve.
The end goal? To graduate students with all of the tools and resources they need to become successful, productive and empowered members of their community.
The road is long, but we are on our way!
Our Future Plans
Our new campus, currently under construction, will be equipped with science labs, multiple classrooms, a library, areas for programs in art, dance, music, physical education and a large multi-purpose facility to accommodate all children. It will also include a canteen providing free meals and snacks for the students. This new space will make it possible for Global Pathways to have classes starting from Kindergarten to higher secondary. The school is in the process of seeking affiliation with the ICSE Board.
Village Community Schools has active and involved boards in both India and Canada.