Affiliate Brings Smart Start Home To Tennessee Families
The Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee attended a session hosted by the DSG of Greater Kansas City at the 2011 DSAIA conference where they shared information on the Smart Start Pre-K Program developed and rolled out in 2010. "I brought the information back and presented it to the Executive Committee," explained Sheila Moore, DSAMT Executive Director. "They took immediate action to get it started including adding it to the current year's budget."
Board member Meghan Burke, a Special Education instructor and sister of an individual with Down syndrome, began the job of organizing the program. The program has met with great response from families and is already at full capacity. DSAMT was able to access all the materials DSG uploaded to the repository and launch the program immediately to help their members. "Having the materials to begin the program made it easy to go from an idea in February to a program implemented by September," said Moore. DSAMT is adept at utilizing ideas from DSAIA's conference. The group implemented Kansas City's DS Specialist Program last year and hosted 200 educators at a recent training.
Watch DSAMT's Sheila Moore promoting their Smart Start program during a My Special Child segment on WSMV. You can review the Smart Start powerpoint slides and supporting materials in the DSAIA Repository.
Back To School Tools
This can be a stressful time of year for families as they cope with new teachers, new campuses or even school for the first time. Here are a few resources you can share with your families as they head back to the classroom:
More resources can be found in the DSAIA Repository including the Back To School Tools webinar.
Affiliate Group Creates Their Own Educator's Manual
The Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County Education Committee has worked for over a year to compile a guide that contains information about Down syndrome, curriculum modification, inclusion, behavior strategies, Universal Design for Learning, and useful reading, writing and math programs. The goal of creating the guide was to streamline individual resources into a product that would be provided on a district-wide level on behalf of the group. This directly aligned with their goal to become the school district's "go to" resource for Down syndrome.
DSNMC board member Heather Sachs explains that DSAIA played a large role in the creation of the guide. "Aside from providing the inspiration to develop this guide, we reproduced some content and obtained ideas from specific groups' websites," explained Sachs. "In particular, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas' educator manual was extremely useful. We were blown away by the helpful attitudes of DSACT members and other participants who we met at the past few AIA conferences. Everyone with whom we spoke about this project at AIA encouraged us and offered to provide material."
DSNMC plans to give one printed and bound guide to every elementary school in their local school district. They have also made this guide available as a PDF for download on their website and have placed a copy in the DSAIA Repository to provide DSAIA members with an opportunity to share it with educators in their area or to create their own.
V.I.P. Offer: Wild Apricot Discounts
Website/Member Management/Event Registration
DSAIA has partnered with Wild Apricot to give our affiliates a 20% discount off annual subscriptions to their services. Wild Apricot provides easy-to-use website software, membership/donor management and online event registration modules. The web-based software can be used as a stand-alone website or integrated into an existing website.
For more details on the Wild Apricot VIP Offer, please download the flyer. An Wild Apricot Software Overview webinar is scheduled for September 14th at 3 pm EDT for those interested in learning more about the product. A complete listing of VIP Offers can be found on the DSAIA website.
Louisville Celebrates Its New Facility
DSAIA Member, Down Syndrome of Louisville (DSL) will hold the Grand Opening of its new facility on September 18, 2011 at 2 pm. The 18,000+ sq. ft. Lifelong Learning Center is the culmination of DSL's $3.8 million capital campaign. DSL's capital campaign was presented at this year's conference, and the presentation is available in the DSAIA Repository. All are welcome to attend the Grand Opening and to stop by for a visit when your travels bring you to Louisville.
I want to tell you what WONDERFUL time I had at the conference. I learned so much and came away with lots of ideas for our organization. -Barb Waddle, The Upside of Downs of Northeast Ohio
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