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Kandace Bugg Service Learning Project November 22, 2011 Gainesville State College


Easter Seals North Georgia, INC Oconee County I had the best opportunity to complete my volunteer service learning project through the Easter Seals North Georgia Program in Oconee County. The program is federally funded through the state of Georgia receiving roughly $14.5 million from the federal government to support early intervention services. Through Make the First Five Count, Easter Seals is calling on Congress to protect and grow funding by $100 million, for a total of $539 million in the years to come. Easter Seals focuses on kids who are diagnosed with learning disabilities and families who are low income based. In 1934 the organization launched its first Easter “Seals” campaign to raise money. Donors placed money in envelopes and sealed it tightly creating the name of the program. The mission of the program is to enhance the quality of the lives of people with disabilities or other special needs and their families through high-quality individualized education, therapy and care services (www.northgeorgia.easterseals.com).Cite correctly. Their commitment is to provide the best and highest education for children under the age of five, provide meals, adequate medical attention, to have children learn and succeed in school in the future. In 1998 Easter Seals was awarded a Head Start Grant. It was able to provide a comprehensive early childhood program to low-income children ages three to five years. In an annual report in 2008 data showed that there were more than 162,241 children under the age of five years old living in poverty in the state of Georgia (www.swhd.org).citing issues. In Georgia there are at least 58,815 children who are under the age of three that are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities that will set them back when they start school. Yet only 5,632 are only currently receiving early intervention services (www.makethefirstfivecount). More than 22,000 of these children have not received the appropriate medical care and for some not able to eat three meals a day. Children who are considered living in poverty are more high risk at being malnourished and having inadequate healthcare. As for the parents of the children they may not be educated very well. Some parents are addicted to drugs, alcohol, and are violent (www.eastersealsnorthgeorgia.com). In 2010, Easter Seals directly served over 1.6 million children and adults with disabilities or do away with special needs word special needs and their families. Services address the needs of children and adults who are disabled at birth, through injury or illness, and by the functional limitations experienced in the aging process. Each Easter Seals affiliate provides services tailored to its community’s needs. As a teacher in the program, one must uphold do away with uphold and use hold a Bachelor’s degree in Education. There are many extra credentials one must obtain to be able to assist children in the classroom environment. While volunteering, I felt like I knew verb agreement everybody there. Everybody was so nice and willing to share any information and to answer any questions that I may have had. The lady that I spent my volunteer time with was Sonja Armour who is the Family Service Advocate. She has been with Easter Seals since 2008. She is very knowledgeable in her area of expertise and pleasurable to work with. At first I thought I was going to be overwhelmed but since I have an interest in this line of work it came natural to me. I was able to visit the classrooms and see all the students. They were so precious and the teachers were so engaged with all the activities they were doing. Once a month the parents at the Oconee center have meetings held and focus on topics which help parents for appropriate parenting skills along with educational topics such as stress management, budgeting, and many more delete many more words and use and


beforebudgeting I was able to attend one of those meetings. I was so excited in the meeting and was introduced to all the parents and staff who attended. When the meeting took place a worker from Prevent Child Abuse came to talk to parents on how to prevent abuse and what teachers look for in abuse. The discussions describe the discussions were very interesting for me and the parents. Another thing that I had a personal experience with is the charting systems and what the system is compiled of. Sonja’s job as a social worker, she is to make sure all her charts are up to date. Things that the Laws of the state will look for in a chart include updated dental and health forms, all consent forms from parents, and any special documentation for children that requires them to get extra help with their education (S, Armour, personal communication). I was able to compile some resources for parents to help them look for jobs, and one family a house for them to rent. Sonja was impressed on my skills and abilities to do the task she had asked me to do. All in all, my experience was great and she offered for more students to come and volunteer because it’s worth the experience. She did mention that the program welcomes any volunteers in the classrooms under the teacher’s supervision, of course. She explained that the Easter Seals program is dependent in parent involvement and community helpers. Who is she?

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