The Thomas Reynolds Center for Special Education and After-School Programs at Daemen College received a grant to prepare elementary school students with learning disabilities for middle school.
The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation gave the organization $49,802 in funds. The grant will help the center create a pilot workshop for 25 select elementary school students to learn organizational skillsl.
An advisory team for the program was already created with the funds. The team includes staff at the Reynolds Center, 5 teachers, and a counselor from the Amherst Central School District. Education majors at Daemen College will also be able to work with the initiative.
The advisory team will receive assistance from a technology expert, an organizational expert, and a stress management consultant.
Director of the Reynolds Center Lisa Waterose says applications for the workshop that will kick off this summer will be sent out in the Amherst district this spring.
“We notice in a lot of our students that lack of confidence, that lack of self-esteem, and we’re hoping that this will be able to help them build their confidence knowing that they’re already given these tools prior to walking in the door for the first time into sixth grade, and to have that confidence that I can do this,” said Waterose.
Students that participate will receive iPads equipped with various organizational apps to help keep them organized.
“We are going to provide them with an organizational tool kit, that will have the necessary supplies and materials that they’ll need such as highlighters, post-its, but along with that we’ll be teaching them how to do these things,” said Waterose.
The advisory team also plans to check in with students involved in the workshop throughout the school year. Waterose says she hopes the summer program will be so successful that other districts will decide to participate.
“Prior to the students attending the summer workshop parents will come in and receive training on everything that the students will be learning, so this way they can be a resource for their child at home,” said Waterose.
The Thomas Reynolds Center for Special Education received the grant due to the success of its after-school programs already offered.