Families of students with disabilities benefit from programs, resources
Parent workshops, special events, phone calls/emails and consults with parents – all of these comprise the services CCSD’s two Special Education Parent Mentors provide to Cobb’s parents of students with disabilities.
The 2018-19 school year saw a large variety of programming offered to parents, including monthly morning VIP workshops on topics like communication, behavior, parent advocacy, and independence. Mentors also hosted quarterly programs like “Understanding the IEP Process” and a special event at the Cobb County Safety Village.
The ever-popular Community Connections Resource Fair: Extracurricular Opportunities for Students with Disabilities included more than 40 vendors who shared their ongoing programming, camps, classes and special events featuring accessibility options with the 200-plus Cobb families who attended. Rounding out the year was an engaging presentation by Emily Rubin of the Marcus Autism Center.
Special Education Parent Mentors Antoinette Nichols and Stacy Greene are parents of students with disabilities who work on behalf of Cobb’s families to help them navigate the special education process and connect them to resources within the district and the community. “We are here to lend a listening ear to parents,” said Greene. “Our goal is to support parents, whether they just need someone to talk with or are in need of resources.”
Nichols adds: “Our assistance goes beyond what we can offer to parents from our own experience. We maintain a website that is full of resources and highlights not only our own programming but also community events.” The duo also manage a Facebook page (Cobb Special Education Parent Mentors) where they post programming information and share community resources.
Plans are underway for the 2019-20 school year, which will bring an increased number of parent workshops for the evenings and an initiative to host small group meetings – titled PEP Talks (Parents Engaging Parents) – at various times throughout the year and across the district.
Stay updated with future programming offered to parents by following the Facebook page and keeping an eye out for email blasts that will provide the yearlong program schedule and monthly promotional flyers for programs that include registration information.
Stacy Greene & Antoinette Nichols
CCSD Special Education Parent Mentors
Authors: Stacy Greene and Antoinette Nichols, Special Education Parent Mentors