“Relationships really matter (maybe most of all). Friendships are at the heart of what makes school so enjoyable, and their absence at the core of what makes school so lonely for too many students with disabilities.” – Dr. Erik Carter
The Kentucky Peer Support Network Project is pleased to announce our latest round of Regional Trainings – in July through October 2016 – available to schools across the state. School teams will learn about setting up Peer Support Arrangements (in inclusive, general education classrooms) and Peer Networks (outside the classroom) for students with significant disabilities. The project aims to expand learning and participation in inclusive activities — across classroom and extracurricular settings — for students with significant disabilities, while laying the foundation for genuine friendships between students with and without disabilities.
The Kentucky Peer Support Network Project is entering its fourth and final operational year. Trainings were held throughout the state in 2014 and 2015, and have been attended by over 400 people from 128 school teams. We invite you (and a team from your school) to attend our 2016 regional trainings and see the benefits of our program firsthand. Our trainings are generally scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., are FREE, and include lunch! Administrators qualify for five hours of EILA credit.
All students in Kentucky deserve opportunities for relationships, participation, and true inclusion in both school and extracurricular activities. To help meet this goal, we are once again offering trainings this summer and fall, in conjunction with area Special Education Cooperatives and Pilot Site schools, at sites around the state as follows (we may be adding one or two more):
- Thursday, July 21 – Shelbyville (Ohio Valley Coop)
- Thursday, September 15 – Lexington (Central KY Coop)
- Wednesday, September 28 – Maysville (Northern KY and Big East/KEDC Coops)
- Friday, September 30 – Bowling Green (Green River Coop)
- Tuesday, October 25 – Eddyville (West KY Coop)
We currently have 11 Pilot Site schools, where we are witnessing great things! Pilot Site schools have seen many benefits during their first two years of implementation. Some comments from participating schools:
- “The students are enjoying class more and picking up more information.” (teacher)
- “Students are identifying each other as ‘friends’ more frequently.” (teacher)
- “She is happy to go to school and says that she now feels like she has a lot of friends.” (parent)
- “She is non-verbal but when we look at the pictures from school and talk about it, she smiles and laughs heartily!” (parent)
- “I have enjoyed making new friends! Also to have friends with people who aren’t usually my friend.” (student)
- “We know each other and we play games and other stuff.” (student)
- “I enjoyed quality time and memorable moments with the group.” (student)
- “I LOVED peer support.” (student)
For more information, please visit www.kypeersupport.org. To receive a registration form for your school, please email Patti Logsdon at firstname.lastname@example.org.