Please see below for a list of community resources and events:
- There are still spots available in preschool classrooms at Randolph, Goochland, and Byrd Elementary! There are eligibility criteria for the programs (mostly involving income restrictions) but if you’re interested in seeing if your child qualifies for the program, please email me. Click here for the preschool flyer and here for the preschool application. Applications can be returned to me.
- Goochland ParentNet is sponsoring an Addiction Uncuffed event at the Goochland Library on 6/16/18 at 1:00 p.m. The presenter, Courtney Nunnally, will be speaking about her personal struggle with substance abuse and her recovery experience. Other guest speakers will include members of the Chesterfield County jail’s Heroin Addict Recovery program and local law enforcement officers. The event is free. Please see flyer for more information. For those who are unfamiliar with Goochland ParentNet, Goochland ParentNet is run by a Goochland resident, Renee Sottong, who has a vested interest in advocating for youth mental health. Please see Goochland ParentNet’s website if you would like more information about this resource.
- The Byrd Theatre, in partnership with the Autism Society of Central Virginia, is hosting a sensory friendly viewing of Peter Rabbit on Saturday, May 19th at 2:00. The sensory friendly movie experience provides an accepting and safe environment for families to enjoy a movie. (The lights are turned up and the sound is turned down.) Tickets are $3 each. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Goochland-Powhatan Community Services Board and Rural Substance Abuse Awareness Coalition are also hosting another Revive Training on 6/5/18 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Goochland Library. During this training, participants will learn how to use a nasal spray, Naloxone, which has been shown to save lives for people who have overdosed on opioids. See flyer for more details.
- GCPS is hosting a summer STEM camp June 18-22 at Goochland Middle School. This opportunity is available for all students in kindergarten through fifth grade. For additional information, please see attached flyer.
- The Autism Society of Central VA is hosting a Special Needs Trust and Future Planning workshop on 5/4. See flyer for more details and to sign up.
- The Future Farmers of America (FFA) are hosting a plant sale on 5/5/18 at 9:00 a.m. at Goochland High School. Hanging plants are $15 each or two for $25. Plan to get there early as the flowers sell out quickly!
- A parent shared this inspirational video of a Les Brown speech. Les Brown is a motivational speaker who overcame struggles with academics and self-confidence. The video highlights the importance of high expectations, perseverance, and self-determination. “Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality”—Les Brown.
- I really like this article from Child Mind Institute that’s geared towards parents and is about helping children with social skills weaknesses to improve their interactions with other children. Check it out if time permits!
While it doesn’t necessarily fit within the template of the weekly blog, I just need to share some photos of one of my favorite spring time events- a Champions Together track meet. Today, Goochland High School students (and some of our middle school students) competed in a Champions Together meet. Champions Together is a unified sports track and field event that allows students with disabilities to compete and play alongside students without disabilities. Today, Goochland High School students competed against Monocan High School students. The camaraderie, sportsmanship, and genuine care that all athletes showed during this event was truly heartwarming. I super proud of our students and thankful to all of the staff, students, and administrators who helped to make the event a huge success!
- Goochland is also hosting our annual Goochland Transition fair on tomorrow from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Goochland High School. If you’re available, please consider attending. Bridget Parker (our transition specialist) has arranged for various organizations to talk with parents and students about services and supports that may be available to students after high school. For more information, please see this flyer.
- There will be a Youth Mental Health First Aid class at Longwood University on May 9th and May 10th. Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to young people showing signs of mental illness or in a crisis, and connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social, or self-help care. For more information, please see this flyer.
- Caron’s Student Assistance Program, an advocacy group for substance abuse prevention, is hosting two workshops that may be of interest to you on May 8th from 9:30 to noon at the Tuckahoe library:
- Peak Performance for the Student Athlete: Substance Use Prevention and Healthy Habits in a Competitive Environment
- Clearing the Air About Vaping
See flyer for more details
- The Parent Playbook is an online, self-paced course through VCU’s Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE). This course is designed to introduce families to information about Autism Spectrum Disorder, including tips specifically for caregivers, information about the DSM-5, characteristics, interventions, and recommended programs and services. The course is free and was created for parents and caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder.
Finally, staff members and students at all of our schools wore blue on Friday to raise awareness and understanding of students with autism. Some of our students in Beth Ferguson’s and Suzanne Taylor’s fourth grade class created videos with inspiring messages of inclusion and acceptance. The links to view some of these videos are below. I’m so proud of our students and staff!
The events and resources below are sent out weekly to staff and families of students with disabilities via email. If you would like to be added to the email list, please send me an email (email@example.com) and I’ll add you to this list!
- The Autism Society of Central Virginia is hosting a “Say What You Need To Say: Helping Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Use Scripts Effectively” workshop for parents and educators. For those of you who have children with autism or teach children with autism, you know that many students with autism have a tendency to repeat phrases over and over and/or “get stuck” on repeating certain information in which they may have restricted interests. This workshop will inform parents and educators of strategies to help students with ASD communicate with others more effectively. The event will be held on 4/13/18 at 7:00 p.m. and River Road United Methodist Church. The event is free!
- Michelle Garcia Winner is coming to Richmond! For those of you who are unfamiliar with her, she’s an expert when it comes to teaching social skills to children with autism.
- If you are a parent, she’ll be presenting on 4/26/18 at 7:00 p.m. See the Autism Society of Central Virginia’s newsletter for more details.
- If you are a teacher, she’ll be presenting on 4/27 from 7:30-3:45 on the Social Thinking curriculum and the Informal Dynamic Assessment. Teachers can register for the event here.
- Both events are free!
- The Greater Richmond Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) network will be hosting a screening of the documentary Resilience at the Byrd Theatre on 4/10/18 at 6:00 p.m. This documentary focuses on the impact of trauma on children and how trauma can lead to greater risks for disease as well as other negative outcomes in adulthood. The documentary focuses on building resilience in children to hopefully offset some of these potentially negative outcomes. Our division leadership team has viewed this documentary. I can personally attest to its powerful message. It’s a must see!
- The Center on Transition Innovations at VCU has a wealth of resources on their website! Some of the highlights:
- There’s a work-based learning course that is meant for students with disabilities as they transition to the working world. Parents and teachers can also sign up to take this course. Information and resources included in the course are applicable to teachers and parents as well.
- There are also TONS of archived webinars that you all may find interested, including webinars focused on accessing accommodations in community college, promoting internet safety for children with disabilities, summer employment for children with disabilities, and transitioning to independent living for young adults with disabilities.
- Autism Speaks has put together a Financial Planning Tool Kit for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. Click here to download it for free.
Foster parents provide safe and stable environments for children who are in crisis. These children have often been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. In 2015, 25 children residing in Goochland entered foster care. Due to the scarcity of foster parents in Goochland, the majority of these children had to be placed in homes outside of our locality.
As you can imagine, removing children from their parents is traumatic. Children react in different ways, but many are left feeling confused, overwhelmed, scared, and powerless. Not only do these children lose the support from their parents, but oftentimes they lose touch with friends and familiar teachers when they have to be placed in foster homes outside of Goochland.
If you are willing and able, please consider becoming a foster parent. You can make a difference in these children’s lives by providing them with a sense of calm and reassurance in the midst of their crisis. For more information, please contact Goochland’s Family Service Specialist, Paige Corpe, at 804.556.5880.
Department of Social Services- Foster Parent Recruitment Flyer
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