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Positive Vibes Spring 2018

girl scoutGirl Scout Troop Success

The goal of the Easterseals Academy Girl Scout Troop is to build courage, confidence and character. The Girl Scouts meet once a month and have learned the Girl Scout promise and handshake. One of the legendary tasks of being a Girl Scout is of course selling Girl Scout cookies. 

“Cookie sales were a huge success this year! The troop sold just over 400 boxes of cookies in 3 weeks” said troop leader & Easterseals Academy social worker, Carrie Browne. The money the troop raised will help cover the costs for the upcoming field trips the troop plans to take.

Although the troop’s cookie sales are over for this year they are onto their next venture which is working on their “Home Scientist” badge. Just another one of the many fun and educational projects they will work on this year.

abreus

Abreu’s Amigos an Easterseals partnership with the Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox and Jose Abreu will be celebrating their 4th season of Abreu’s Amigos with Easterseals. Chicago White Sox hitter Jose Abreu developed “Abreu’s Amigos”, to share his passion for students with special needs by providing opportunities to develop social skills.

The partnership has been one that is mutually beneficial for both Easterseals and the Chicago White Sox. It resulted from Jose Abreu’s affinity for working with children with special needs and the Chicago White Sox desire to give back to the local community.

 "Chicago White Sox Charities has long been a supporter of Easterseals and their mission," said Christine O'Reilly, executive director of Chicago White Sox Charities and vice president of community relations for the White Sox. "We are very proud that Jose is building upon the White Sox legacy of support through the Abreu's Amigos program."

The program has allowed some Easterseals Academy students the opportunity to attend a White Sox game, connect with Jose Abreu during his visits to Easterseals and more.

We are excited to continue to work with Jose Abreu and the White Sox for yet another season!

ginoStudents Get Involved with Their IEP      

Every student at Easterseals has two case managers. One at their home district and one here at Easterseals Academy. It is typical for the case managers and parents/guardians of each student to meet at least twice a year to discuss the student’s IEP (Individual Education Program). It was not until recently however that students were involved in these meetings.

Kristin Carrarini, Case Manager explains that students in her building have begun to regularly take part in their IEP meetings. 

“Students typically create a presentation using PowerPoint. They detail information about themselves from their teachers, favorite subjects in school, favorite color, and what they would like to work on in the upcoming year. The student can present at the meeting and listen to some of the great things being said about their progress."

Student involvement in these IEP meetings has allowed them to take part in an instrumental element of their learning path. Easterseals Academy has received positive feedback from home districts who enjoy seeing the students present at these meetings. The academies will continue to look for new ways for students to be involved in these meetings as they have found it to be a success!

before sebastian

Bittersweet Goodbyes

Easterseals Academy offers therapeutic day school options for students, whose home districts recommend alternative day school placement. Each time Easterseals enrolls a new student, we are eager to see the student learn and grow in the areas on their IEPs. It is our hope to help students work towards reaching their academic, social and emotional goals.

Occasionally, when these goals are met at Easterseals Academy students reintegrate back into their home school districts. While this is an exciting transition for both the student and our staff, it can also be a bittersweet goodbye. Below you will find a story about a student who recently reintegrated.

sebastian

Sebastian’s Story 

Sebastian enrolled at Easterseals Academy in 2014 based on a recommendation from his home school district, Lockport 91. Sebastian found it challenging to control his emotions and frustrations while at school. The frustrations typically stemmed from classwork that was either too easy or too difficult. Easterseals Academy was asked to come along side Sebastian to help find alternative techniques that would best fit his learning style. As Sebastian worked on his academic goals, Easterseals began to notice that innovative techniques helped him focus and resulted in many successes in the classroom. Sebastian was able to better control his behavior and found tremendous growth academically. “This was a huge accomplishment for him to overcome and Sebastian has done a great job using Easterseals’ tools in everyday life” says Jamison, Sebastian’s father. 

In 2017 Easterseals noticed Sebastian reached his academic and emotional goals and initiated the discussion with Lockport 91 about the reintegration back into his home school building. Sebastian began the process by attending his home district’s school building one day a week while still attending Easterseals Academy on the other days. This allowed for a gradual reintegration, which assisted in making the process a success.  During this timeframe, Easterseals stayed in constant communication with Lockport 91 in order to determine when the full reintegration was ready to take place. “Sebastian was excited about the change and was extremely confident that he was ready to move on”, says his father. “Easterseals was the key to getting Sebastian to understand his autism and use the proper tools to manage his day to day life.  We can’t thank them enough for all their hard work.”

Read more top news from Easterseals by clicking previous editions below

Read the top news stories in Positive Vibes Fall 2017

Read the top news stories in Positive Vibes Winter 2018

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