Thank you for your following and support this year. This is our last newsletter for this school year; we will resume in August.
A huge thank you to all involved in our Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Fundraiser. We not only met our financial goals, but also had lots of fun! A big shout out to our SEED Award Winners for this year: Alissa Levenberg, IST from Burton Valley Elementary, who received our Special Education Advocacy Award, and to Brian Wentzel, from the East Bay Sea Serpents, for his Outstanding Support of the Special Education Community. Their impact in our community is tremendous. To see a list of individual and organizational donors that helped make our event such a success, click here.
Lafayette School District News
- After a strong presentation from Pat Gargiulo at the April School Board Meeting on the State of SpEd in the district, the School Board has finally approved the immediate hiring of a BCBA, "Board Certified Behavior Analyst". This is something that has been discussed for years, and we are thrilled about this step.
- Tomorrow, Monday, June 5, is the last day to complete the District Parent Survey. It includes a Special Ed section. Please click here to complete this survey. This is your opportunity to "provide feedback regarding the special education support your child is receiving."
- Last but not least, thanks to the wonderful Springhill PFC, we are on point to jointly pilot a Diverse Ability Awareness Program at Springhill in October during Red Ribbon. If you are interested in volunteering in the prep stages or on the day of, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEED Community News
- SEED recently helped Sienna Ranch train their staff on how to best work with special needs children. Sienna Ranch is a gem in our community and many local children with special and diverse learning needs participate in their programs from homeschooling, to after-school activities, to camps. They are now better prepared to effectively support them in all their programming.
- Kristen O'Meara is now offering monthly free healing sessions for SEED parents. For more details, click here.
- The SEED Resource Fair at the end of April was a huge success. We had a room full of wonderful organizations and providers with a very broad range of services or offerings for our children and families. Information about the vendors who participated in our Resource Fair can be found on our website by clicking here.
- Do not miss our school year kick off at the SEED Back-to-School Brunch on Friday, September 1, at 9:00 AM. Register for this event by clicking here.
Have a wonderful summer!
Welcome back from Spring break!
We are very grateful to Parents Helping Parents and Temple Isaiah for a very successful Learning Disability Simulation Workshop in March. Once again this unique program drew a full house and everyone left with a new level of understanding of how it feels to live with various learning disabilities. (Be sure to check out the article the East Bay Times wrote about the Simulation by clicking here.)
Though we make our programs available to the public at no charge, there is a cost to SEED, and none of it would be possible without the generous support of our community. We hope many of you will come to our Cinco de Mayo Fundraiser, SEED's major fundraising event. One of the many highlights of our annual fundraiser is our pay-to-play parties, especially the ones for the children. They are an opportunity to sign up your children of all ages to some super fun parties while supporting SEED.
On April 26, do not miss our free Resource Fair. You will find out about and meet many wonderful organizations, services and providers in our area, some well established and some new. For instance, we are quite excited to announce that the amazing Fiddleheads after-school and camp program is opening a new location in Lamorinda/Walnut Creek area and SEED members are the first to know and meet them at our fair.
Now onto some Lafayette School District news:
- SEED recently provided funding to the Early Intervention Program at Burton Valley to acquire equipment and content to incorporate musical activities into their curriculum. Sam Sheldon, EI Coordinator for the District, beautifully acknowledged the impact: "We see our students' faces light up; sparkly eyes and big smiles, when their favorite songs come on, music gains their attention and captures their interest immediately and fully. We love the quote, 'Art and music have the role in education of helping children become more themselves instead of more like anyone else.'"
- At the April 19 School Board Meeting, Pat Gargiulo, Director of Students Services, will present his annual review of the Special Ed program. This is the most critical School Board Meeting for Special Ed parents to attend every year. We hope to see many of you there. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM at the Stanley Middle School Library. The agenda will be published 72 hours in advance here.
Finally, please note that Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church (LOPC) will hold a Respite Night on April 28. Their Respite Nights are free and open to children with disabilities and their siblings in the community at large. My children all love these respite nights. They are the highlight of their week when they happen. The wonderful staff and volunteers who organize them set up a wide range of activities to make them accessible to all. I am very moved and grateful by the passion of the people behind this and other respites in our area. Another Respite Night will be held at Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church for the SEED Fundraiser on May 5.
Have a wonderful month!
SEED (Special Education Enrichment Development Foundation) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization run by parent and community volunteers to benefit diverse learners in Lafayette, California.