Dear P.A.W.S. Family,
Happy Spring and Happy Long Weekend! As you know, there is No School – Friday, March 30, 2018.
I’ve just learned about an event for children with special needs called the Caring Bunny. It is hosted at the Burlington Mall. LINK
Caring Bunny™ offers families that have children with special needs a subdued environment to participate in the Bunny Photo Experience. Caring Bunny, the largest program of its kind, has been developed by Simon and is guided by AbilityPath.org, a national online resource hub and special needs community. Over 90 Simon® properties will host Caring Bunny this season. Promotional assistance for Caring Bunny has been provided by Autism Speaks.
Many steps will be taken to reduce sensory triggers, creating a more comforting environment for children’s cherished visit with the Bunny. The subdued environment is likely to include (specific elements or aesthetics may vary):
· Turning off in-mall music, stopping escalators located near the photo set, dimming the lights, and shutting down fountains for the duration of the event.
· Eliminating queue lines through the use of a numbering system whereby guests approach the set when their number is called.
· Hosting special activities geared toward the needs of the child during the “wait” period to help the child understand what activities will occur during the visit.
Here are some of the important dates during April at P.A.W.S.!
Tuesday, April 3 – Early Dismissal Day at 11:45am – for Parent/Teacher Conference Day. This is an early release day for all full and extended day P.A.W.S. classrooms. All full-day and extended-day classes will dismiss at 11:45am. The AM session of preschool will dismiss at their regular time of 11:15am.
Wednesday, April 4- Parent/Teacher Conferences – Be sure to make an appointment to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss your child’s progress and growth in school so far this year.
P.A.W.S. PTO Auction: Keys to the Future
Saturday, April 7 – at the Natick Center for Arts, 6:00pm-9:00pm Get your tickets to the event at the PTO website, or contact your room parents for more information.
Online auction bidding begins on Friday, March 30 at www.32auctions.com/PAWS2018
There are fabulous items to bid on, and all funds support programing and projects to benefit the children at P.A.W.S.!
Raising A Reader Workshop
Wednesdays, April 4, 11, 25 and May 1 – 11:50am-12:50pm This “Mommy and Me” style playgroup, welcomes P.A.W.S. preschoolers and their caregiver (It does not have to be Mom! Dads, grandparents, nannies, babysitters, aunts, uncles, etc. are all welcome!) to stay and play for an hour of fun while learning special skills as to how to read and enjoy books together – and to raise a child who has a love of reading! Sign-up with Isabel in the school office.
P.A.W.S. RAFFLE WINNERS – Special Event – Wednesday, April 11 – 1:00-1:30 – the PTO will announce the winners soon!
Security Q&A – Parent Discussion
Dates – TBD – Join Director Rebecca Zieminski and the Wellesley Police Department for an information sharing session about the PAWS security program. We welcome parents to join us, but respectfully ask that children not attend. This will be a meeting just for adult conversation. One of the topics we will discuss is how to (or not to) talk to your child about school safety. We will send another email with dates and times for this meeting.
April Vacation Week
Monday, April 16 – Friday, April 20 – School Vacation Week – No School
Monday, April 23 – School Reopens
As the snow melts away, and you begin the Spring Clean-up in your yard, if you have any logs or branches down that you would like to cut up, we would love some “Nature Blocks”at the preschool! We welcome any size cylinder, in the form of a stump, log, biscuit, coaster, half-cut small planks, or arches, etc. Please see the photo below which includes pictures of different size circles, logs, planks, arches, and wood pieces with or without bark, that we would use as “nature blocks” for the children to use for building and play. You can find DIY instructions for Nature Blocks with a quick search online. If you would like to look into making some Nature Blocks for the preschool, we would love to have lots of these blocks available to our students! LINK Thank you!
Below are some resources families may find helpful:
A News-brief about the Massachusetts Network of Information Providers for People with Disabilities
Brought to you by: DisabilityInfo.org
March 29, 2018
Support for Siblings of People with Disabilities
Here are some resources for siblings of people with disabilities.
Comprised of adult siblings, parents of young siblings, sibling service providers, and mental health professionals. The goals of MSSN are threefold: to educate the community about issues faced by siblings of people with disabilities; to create welcoming communities for siblings of all ages within Massachusetts; and to improve the range and availability of services for siblings across the lifespan. Those interested in sibling issues are welcome to join MSSN. The MSSN has a resource page online that lists sibling support groups across the state.
Supporting Siblings of Children with Mental Health Needs (PDF)This informational parent guide was written by Emily Rubin, and published by the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Network. For additional information contact Emily Rubin, Director of Sibling Support, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center.
Sibling Support Project – National effort dedicated to the lifelong concerns of brothers and sisters of people with have special health and developmental needs by increasing the availability of peer support and education programs. This is accomplished by training local service providers on how to create community-based peer support programs for young siblings; hosting workshops, listservs, and websites for young and adult siblings; and increasing parents’ and providers’ awareness of sibling’s unique, lifelong, and ever-changing concerns though workshops, websites, and written materials.
SibShops – Offers recreational support groups called SibShops for children and adolescents.
Local Chapters of The Arc – Local chapters of The Arc offer programming for siblings across the lifespan. Contact your local chapter to find out if they offer sibling support groups.
For more resources for sibling support see our Support for Siblings of People with Disabilities Fact Sheet.
INDEX and the MNIP are funded by: Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, and Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
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