POMEROY — March is Developmental Disabilities Month with the theme of “What’s Your Story?” to encourage people to get to know someone with a disability.
Across the nation and the state, organizations devoted to serving individuals with developmental disabilities planned special events in March to raise public awareness of the many abilities people have, regardless of disability.
Kayla George, director of education at Carleton School, was guest speaker at a recent Middleport-Pomeroy Rotary Club meeting at the Mulberry Community Center. She encouraged everyone to learn more about the people living in this community who have a developmental disability.
“We want to focus on abilities rather than disabilities,” she said. “We want people to recognize that everyone has talents and strengths to offer, everyone has a story.”
Carleton School in Syracuse is part of Meigs County Board of Developmental Disabilities and provides services for students ages 3-21. George shared some of the many programs available at the school, including their pre-school. The school partners with “Help Me Grow” and many community organizations to help their students have the best possible outcomes.
George stressed the necessity of peer interaction and said it is vital for people with developmental disabilities to get out into the community.
“It is important for our students to have community outings to interact with people and participate in activities,” she said.
An inclusive playground at the school is open to the community and provides a therapeutic advantage to play time. George said the next step is to add activity boards to the playground.
She also discussed ongoing projects and asked for the community’s support in their book drive. A Literacy Night is planned for May 3 and will be the culmination of their goal to send 20 books home with each student the school serves. The evening is an opportunity to educate families on how to engage with their children through literacy and is open to the public. Children’s books for preschool through third grade level readers are needed and book drops have been placed around the area.
George ended by saying she hoped everyone would take some time to get to know some of the children and adults.
Carleton School is currently conducting pre-school registration. For information, call 740-992-6681.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551.