Annual resource fair connects parents, students with special needs to community opportunities
Parents looking for extracurricular activities and family fun for their students with special needs could find opportunities galore at the recent Community Connections Resource Fair hosted by CCSD’s Special Education Parent Mentors.
“Thanks to this event, I won’t have to surf online to find activities for my kids,” said Gigi Garcia, who has two teens on the autism spectrum and attended the January 27 fair at Wheeler High School. “There’s a lot of value in having all of these resources under one roof. I was like a kid in a candy store gathering information on things like horseback riding, dance, sports, and tech classes.”
Garcia was joined by hundreds of others who attended the fourth annual event that brought out representatives from nearly 60 organizations, attractions and businesses across Cobb County and the Atlanta area to share their accessibility and sensory-friendly options for students. Parents could learn not only about classes, summer camps and events for their children with special needs but also ways to plug their entire family into fun options offering special accommodations.
Museums, movie theaters, sports organizations, performing and visual arts organizations, along with some of Atlanta’s major attractions, were represented, making it the largest fair to date. “We have grown this fair from just 22 vendors four years ago to almost 60 this year – it’s amazing how much more inclusive our community has become in this short time,” said Stacy Greene, parent mentor and mother of a 21-year-old son with ASD.
Garcia pointed out that the fair was “tailored for a broad spectrum of kids.” Parent mentor Antoinette Nichols noted that this was by design. “This is my favorite event because it truly offers something for every one of the families we serve,” she said. “I was very excited to discover new opportunities for my own 13-year-old son with autism.”
Community Connections is just one of the special events hosted by the CCSD mentors. Next up is the “Evening of Inspiration,” the fourth annual showcase of students with special needs who will share their talents, interests and successes on stage at McEachern High School on March 17. Look for more details on this event in early March.
CCSD Video can be found here: https://youtu.be/N_p_3-UnXp8
Stacy Greene and Antoinette Nichols
Special Education Parent Mentors