Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Miscellany

Writing Opportunity for New Jersey 5th and 6th Graders

Teachers 4 Student Success, a non-profit organization, will be hold a writing camp for 5th and 6th grade students in New Jersey this summer. The camp is designed for students who have either been diagnosed with a learning disability or who simply find writing difficult. Instruction will take place over 10 sessions from July to August, and will be based on research-tested methods for teaching expository writing. Because the program will be subsidized by a grant, the cost for the entire summer is only $20.00, though students must be willing to attend all sessions in Fort Lee, NJ or Ridgefield, NJ. Eligibility restrictions may apply. 
For further information, please contact Pooja Patel at or (201) 310-1348. Space is limited.


A New Post-Secondary Program

Last week we had the chance to visit Giant Step Services, a two year vocational and independent living program for young adults with significant learning challenges. What brought us out to Hauppauge, in Suffolk County, New York, was the fact that this program is run by the same folks who created the Vocational Independence Program (VIP) at the New York Institute of Technology. VIP is a highly regarded post-secondary option for students whose learning difficulties would make college very difficult, but who can benefit from vocational education and life skills and social experiences. VIP students can also take courses at NYIT.

The team at Giant Step follows a similar model to VIP, but is not affiliated with a college, although students may take classes at Suffolk County Community College or elsewhere. The program is located in an apartment complex where the participants live together in two- or three-bedroom apartments. They receive significant levels of services and support to work in the community. The Giant Step program is still new, but given the background of the folks who are running it, we are hopeful that it will be an important resource for young people with significant learning challenges. For more information, contact Giant Step at (631) 631-5550.


ARISE Coalition

New York City parents, teachers, and others who are concerned about the state of special education in the city should be aware of the ARISE Coalition (Action for Reform in Special Education), whose membership is a "Who's Who" of nonprofit organizations, educators, unions, and political leaders "seeking to connect and bring meaningful and positive reform to New York's schools. Their email alerts are a good way to keep abreast of NYC Special Education news.

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