By Charlotte Smith
This time of year lends the perfect opportunity to celebrate the year’s successes. One small group, Bladen County Innovative Approaches Steering Committee, has a long list of accomplishments from this year. They gathered at the public library in Elizabethtown to share their victories and make new goals.
The steering committee is a group of volunteers working together with families of children with special needs. This year the group was able to accomplish 11 system changes with assistance from parents and community partners according to April L. Oxendine, Innovative Approaches Initiative Coordinator.
Some of the items on the list of changes made this year were as follows:
- A special connections curriculum was adopted by Bladen County Smart Start
- 2,597 Learn the Signs Act Early materials were distributed
- A partnership with Bladen County Commissioners was formed to support the children and their families with special needs and to have at least one county park fenced in
- Bladen County Autism Chapter developed a Life Skill Camp and the first camp was held the July 2018
- A sensory area at the Bladen County Library completed.
- Bladen County’s Sheirff’s Office started the Find Lost Child Program
- A partnership was made with Eastpointe to provide more assistance for people with intellectual delays.
- Partnerships with local media outlets were developed to increase awareness of the strengths and weaknesses in the area for children and families with special needs.
Some new goals mentioned at the meeting in November are to have more support for special needs students in the local school system, to have more public parks fenced in and to have surveys collected to assist the area more appropriately. The group is now collecting the surveys. Individuals 18 years or older are asked to take a couple of minutes to fill out this anonymous survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Bladen_IA_ACEs2018
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