THE LEARNING PROGRAM
GET A LIFE!
The goal of the Learning Program, Social Groups and Get a Life! is to create parents who have high expectations for their children and to give them tools to help their children achieve their greatest potential.
The Learning Program consists of nine 90 minute classes a year held during the school year. Both parents and children attend classes. Initially the program focusses on developing literacy and math skills, then moves to independent life skills and transitioning into adulthood. The staff includes teachers, an early childhood development specialist, an occupational therapist and a speech and language pathologist. Instruction for parents of younger children includes research-based materials to engage children in learning.
Registration for the Learning Program is from May to August. After August, placement depends on availability. To find out more information, please contact 561.752.3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization began our local Learning Program model in September, 2008 with a group of 15 families. Today we serve over 70 families with children between the ages of 3 to 18 years old in LP (elementary school), Social Groups (middle school), and Get A Life! (high school).
We are an affiliate partner of The Learning Program, developed by the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County, California in 2004. The Learning Program (LP) complements formal instruction in literacy and math. It also has occupational and speech therapy components. The Down Syndrome Foundation has partnered with educators, researchers, therapists and administrators to develop a program that uses effective teaching strategies and customized materials to support parents, teachers and children in the educational process. Click The Learning Program to learn more about the national program and materials.
I learned of the Learning Program (LP) from two other moms who had been attending the program for two years. They were enthusiastic about the program and the materials which prompted me to find out more. The moms brought materials look at and I checked out LP website and order even ordered online, several of their books. We enrolled and started the LP this academic year. I was amazed. The materials provided were excellent. They appeared to be based on the current literature pertaining to literacy development for children with Down Syndrome. I also enjoyed meeting with the other parents on Saturday mornings and going through the materials for the month ahead. I picked up good tips and useful information from other parents as well. I liked that while I was learning to use the materials, that my five-year-old son was also learning with professionals who understood his needs. We use to materials several times a week. We are working towards daily use, but we haven’t gotten there yet. My son enjoys the counting manipulatives (i.e., the little bears). He likes to read the large Sight Word Acquisition Books with me or with his older sister. We have also shared the materials with the student therapist who works with him on language, to further extend his opportunities to learn the materials. We will continue attending the LP and making good use of the materials. The Learning Program has been a useful part of our literacy diet!
A. McKenzie , Parent, 5 year old boy with Down Syndrome