Exceptional Educators Program
In summer 2012, Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization was awarded a Global Down Syndrome Foundation grant of $15,000 to continue our work on the Exceptional Educators project. To date, Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization has held ten Exceptional Educator trainings (September 2011, February 2012, and Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014 and Fall 2015) and trained almost 400 teachers. Attendees represent a wide range of educators: General Education Teachers, Exceptional Student Education Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Area Staff and Administrators.
We appreciate our teachers so we hold the trainings at a hotel venue in Palm Beach County. We provide a continental breakfast, hot lunch, beverages and snacks so that teachers are comfortable while they learn best practices for teaching students with Down syndrome in general education classrooms. This is a great opportunity to interact with peers both for sharing and in presentation exercises. Thank you to the School District of Palm Beach County for graciously providing classroom substitutes so that teachers can attend.
The topics presented are Down Syndrome 101: Practical Solutions for Educating Students with Down Syndrome, Accessing the General Education Curriculum, Curriculum Modifications for your student with Down Syndrome and Getting the Behaviors you want from your student with Down Syndrome. Audience participants are encouraged to ask questions and share real-life experiences. A theme running throughout the day-long presentation is the engagement of parents. We believe that partnerships between school and home add to quality outcomes for all students, including those who have Down syndrome.
Participants also have the chance to learn about the work of Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization. They are often surprised to learn all that we do: from music therapy for newborns to facilitating book clubs for adults. That is why we also encourage Exceptional Educator participants to help us in our fundraising efforts by holding a Dress Down for Down Syndrome Day at their school or organizing a team for our Buddy Walk each October.
Want to learn more about this program or get involved with our organization? Are you a teacher in need of some assistance with a student with Down syndrome? Please feel free to contact us at 561-752-3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.