Sharla’s proposal was awarded up to $6,000 for a full weekend Family Learning Program for parents and students to receive training, problem solve, learn new skills.
In the past (8-10 years ago), the Family Learning Program was an event that brought families of deaf and hearing impaired students to the School for a week during the summer. The costs were included in the School’s budget, and it was one of the most successful and anticipated activities of the year. When budgets were cut, some tough decisions had to be made, and the Family Learning Program was eliminated. Since that time it has been the hope of school administrators that other funds could be found to re-establish the Program. During 2012, Board members successfully acquired private foundation grants and income from fundraising activities to re-establish a more modest weekend Family Learning Program that was held on November 10-11. A number of families attended (a total of 54 participants), with children of all ages. OSD’s dietary staff prepared delicious meals for families who were housed in OSD’s dormitories. Moms really enjoyed being able to relax, to eat without doing all the chores, and to get to know other parents.
Workshops for parents included: “Reading with your Deaf Child;”“Love and Logic: Behavior and your Deaf Child.” (led by a parent of deaf children); “Hands and Voices: Resources for your Deaf Child in Oregon;” A Sign Language Clinic to help parents improve their signing skills; A sharing of resources available in the community. During the workshops, the children were divided into age groups for supervised activities including swimming, captioned movies, and a bouncy house.
Before leaving, families participated in team-building activities, a family photo opportunity, an art contest, and a thrilling scavenger hunt. The families commented on how grateful they were to be able to take part in this weekend–there was bonding time, and moments of reflection and appreciation for the deaf children in their lives.
Thanks to funding from THE SALEM FOUNDATION, the OCF JOSEPH E. WESTON PUBLIC FOUNDATION, and Friends of OSD fundraising activities.