DragonFly® develops critical skills needed by learners with Down syndrome. Based on international research and best practices, the DragonFly® programmes instill confidence and independence in movement, reading, math and social interactions.
We believe that young people with Down syndrome can be independent, thoughtful contributors to society, capable of setting and achieving their own goals.
In this programme, children 18 months to 5 years prepare for school. Using curriculum based on international research, students focus on early reading, language and counting. Movement enhances strength, balance and flexibility.
The DragonFly® Primary Programme is designed for students with Down syndrome ages 7-12 years. Based on international best practices, the DragonFly curriculum focuses on reading, math, and social skills that lead to independent learning.
The DragonFly® Junior Programme is designed for students with Down syndrome ages 11-19 years. Based on international best practices, the DragonFly curriculum focuses on the reading, math, and social skills that lead to independent learning. DragonFly provides the practice, repetition and continuity essential for scholastic success.
The DragonFly® Senior Programme is designed to meet the needs of young adults. We provide programming to develop language and math skills and we encourage learning through social interactions, providing our students with the framework they need to be self-reliant and independent.
This programme helps young adults identify what they want to do with their lives and creates a step by step plan that helps them successfully transition into the labour market. Participants continue to build employment skills in math and literacy while also working on communication, organization and social interaction. DragonFly creates a personalized approach that supports each young adult to gain the skills, abilities and experiences that lead to good quality jobs.
The DragonFly® supports learners at home and school through our Binder Programme of individualized work. The binder ensures continuity of practice and provides personalized materials. The content is monitored and adapted as the learner develops their understanding of key academic skills in language, reading and mathematics.
The DragonFly® One to One offers academic support for learners with Down syndrome. This programme is designed to meet the specific learning needs of the individual, with a curriculum based on global best practices. Weekly sessions are one hour in length, and will be provided by DragonFly staff certified by Down Syndrome Education online courses.
DragonFly® offers consultations for parents, teachers and other professionals. Barbara Roblin, our Director of Education, works with parents to resolve educational or behavioural concerns and she supports teachers in using the DragonFly® method. Reaching out into the community as an advocate, Barbara also consults with speech and occupational therapists and physicians who work with people with Down syndrome to share DragonFly’s knowledge and expertise.
Barbara Roblin B.A., ECE, Diploma Child Study, Ontario Teacher Certificate
Director of Education, DragonFly®
Barbara Roblin is the Director of Education for DragonFly®, our programme for learners with Down syndrome. She is a certified Primary/Junior teacher in Ontario with diplomas in Child Study and Early Childhood Education. Ms. Roblin has over 10 years of experience working with learners with Down syndrome and has developed the Trio Foundation Program, which creates individualized learning plans in literacy and math for Down syndrome students.
Merrilee Hodgins, A.R.A.D.
Artistic Director of The School of Dance
Merrilee Hodgins directs the DragonFly® dance programmes. Miss Hodgins studied in Canada, England, Denmark and the United States. In 1971, she was awarded the prestigious Solo Seal of the Royal Academy of Dancing. In 1973 she became principal dancer with the Alberta Ballet Company, later working in Denmark, Germany and the U.S. as a freelance artist. Miss Hodgins, a recipient of the YM-YWCA's 1997 Women of Distinction Award, was the 1997 Chair of the City of Ottawa's Cultural Leadership Committee, was a member of the board of directors for Dance Ontario, is a Director of the Celia Franca Foundation, and has been awarded Canada Council grants to research and develop projects to introduce children to dance. Committed throughout her career to accessibility and collaboration, Miss Hodgins developed The School's portfolio of community programmes including Dance is BEST for Seniors and Dancing in the Street. Recent projects include choreographic commissions from the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, collaboration with Canadian poet Susan McMaster, and a commission to produce a concert version of Stravinsky's Firebird for the Brott Music Festival in Hamilton, Ontario. In January 2013, Senator Jim Munson nominated and then presented Merrilee with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in arts education in Canada. In 2017, Merrilee was presented with the Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medal in recognition of her valuable service to the nation.
Funding provided by the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Arts Council.
Thank you for your support of our magical programme.