Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sinergia's Back to School Open House

Sinergia held a Back to School Open House on September 1, 2011 and it's hard to capture with words how exceptional the families that attended were. We put together this special event for parents of children with disabilities to help them prepare for the fall semester, and over 100 showed up, some of them from as far as Brooklyn and Queens. Several parents brought their severely disabled children in wheelchairs along with their other children in tow. One mother who lives in a shelter came with a severely disabled child who was on a feeding tube. It was very moving to see how committed these parents are to giving their children a better life, to learning and to connecting with other families. It also speaks to the trust they have to Sinergia.

We screened a video on the 35th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) followed by a presentation on education advocacy by Cassandra Archie, co-director of the Metropolitan Parent Center (above, front left). There were also presentations by representatives of the many programs found at Sinergia, including housing assistance, residential services, respite, reimbursement services, We Are Parents Too (a program that offers parenting and other skills for parents with developmental disabilities) and the Day Habilitation and family support services. The parents had the opportunity to meet the different coordinators of programs, ask questions and receive information not only about our programs and services but education in general.

We held a raffle and seven lucky parents won backpacks fully loaded with school supplies and gift certificates to Footlocker, which will come in handy at the start of the school year. Pizza and refreshments rounded out the day. Children delighted in playing with computers in the special activity areas while the parents acquired valuable information.

Our Metropolitan Parent Center worked together with various other departments to make this a resounding success. To view the full album visit our Facebook page.

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