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Imagine a world without books. Now imagine a world filled with books that you can’t read or understand. This is a circumstance that many adults—with and without disabilities—experience to some degree.
Scott is a case in point. He was good at connecting letters into words and words into sentences, but he knew that he wasn’t fully understanding the meaning of words or extracting useful content from the text. This impacted his ability to gather information, learn new skills, achieve important life goals, and pleasantly while away an afternoon with a good book.
To change these circumstances, Scott participates in a variety of activities to improve his reading comprehension.
The Computer Life Skills program provides lots of opportunity for reading improvement through exploration of special-interest topics on the Internet; interactions with others through email, Facebook, and chat rooms; word processing projects; and data entry tasks.
Scott’s reading comprehension improved a big boost through his work with a therapist and a rehabilitation engineer last year. Several technology-based treatment programs were trialed before they discovered BLIO, a software program that uses a multisensory approach by presenting reading material in both auditory and visual formats. When Scott ran into a word he didn’t know, he highlighted it and the software said it for him. When Scott didn’t know a word’s meaning, he accessed a dictionary definition. To remember key content matter, Scott highlighted words in the text.
One of Scott’s favorite activities is the Redwood Book Club. Scott takes a leadership role in the club by reading to other adults each week. An enlarged copy of the text helps him better see the words. At the end of each chapter, Scott participates with the other adults in a discussion prompted by comprehension questions. As the meeting closes, members try to foretell what will happen next in the story.
Reading instructor, Rachel Otte says, “Scott is great at foretelling. He uses good critical thinking skills to guess upcoming content based on the chapter’s title and his comprehension of the chapter just finished.”
The Book Club is currently reading White Fang by Jack London. Scott looks forward to reading more mystery novels. “I like the book club because it helps me practice and improve my reading skills. This will help me reach my future goals,” explained Scott.
As Scott continues his quest to improve his life through the power of the written word, we believe he will reach his long-term goal of attending Gateway College.
When I decided to volunteer this year as part of my personal Lenten experience, I thought of it as a great gift, but little did I know that I would be gifted far more in return. Redwood has left an indelible mark on my heart and I am most grateful for the lessons learned and memories I will always treasure.
To be honest, I entered the process with a little fear and trepidation, but the Volunteer Orientation soon put me at ease. The Community Outreach & Training Coordinator oozes enthusiasm. Her love for Redwood is contagious, especially on the tour as she kindly interacted with each group along the way. I found her cheerful and welcoming with her open office door a constant reminder that an answer to any question was always near.
On Mondays, I volunteered in the Work Activity Center. As I entered, I was met with the staff’s constant battle cry for their workers: “You can do it! You did it! You’re awesome!” The staff is so supportive of the participants and the faces of the clients show their pride in the achievements set before them. Some of the adults proudly showed me their hard work and were eager to explain the steps involved in their particular tasks. Faces beamed as each job was completed and tallies recorded of work well done! The Work Activity Center is a beautiful example of the dignity and value of every person! John was most gracious in welcoming me and involving me in ways that matched my skill set as a teacher. I was thankful for the opportunity to teach the States class on several occasions. John and the staff were so supportive as I took up the challenge of the virtual “road trip.” The clients were eager to learn and bubbling with excitement as each state was introduced. If only all students approached learning with such openness — a teacher’s dream! It was such a fun experience.
On Wednesday, I volunteered in the Nursery. The “superwomen” of the Nursery left me in awe. They lovingly care for the babies with such tenderness and aptitude that I was left humbled in their presence. The physicality and patience with which they approach the demands of caring for eight babies is remarkable. The babies are loved and nurtured with such depth that these ladies must truly recognize their role at Redwood not just as a job but a calling — a calling to bring up this next generation on a firm foundation of security, attachment, and love. It is a beautiful reflection of love incarnate!
On Fridays, I was welcomed into the world of “Toddler B.” Each Friday I left with the hugest smile on my face and giggle in my heart. Tammy and Ann have built such a fun wonderful learning experience firmly grounded in structure, loving guidance, and wide-eyed wonder. In the midst of comforting boo-boos and modeling peaceful, respectful interaction, these teachers lead the children through and exploration in the wonder and beauty of this world that helped kindle in me an appreciation of the often unnoticed miracles that quietly surround me.
I leave Redwood after this experience as one of your biggest fans. Your hard work for and steadfast dedication to the preservation of the dignity and value of each person matter age or circumstance is heroic. I applaud your effort and thank you for the opportunity to witness the fruit of your labor. May God bless you all abundantly in future endeavors.
It’s been nearly 2 years since I transitioned into the role as Community Outreach Coordinator. One of many reasons I enjoy this position so much is that I have the opportunity to introduce incredibly dedicated and creative volunteers to some of my “favorite people on the planet,” building activities and experiences that benefit everyone.
A few of my favorite highlights of the year include birthday parties in our cafeteria with Bilz Insurance; classroom holiday parties with Tri-Beta volunteers; Kentucky Derby Day with P&G volunteers; and, the nearly 150 volunteers who made the Redwood Express such a phenomenal success. Branching Out 5K Walk/Run was a stellar volunteer-organized fundraiser, as was Night at the Races and a Bang Bang Night for Redwood. Redwood’s adult divisions competed in our own version of Summer Olympics, thanks to volunteer support from the Church of Latter Day Saints. It’s been a blessing to receive the support and kindness from 21 mission groups with Franciscan’s for the Poor, as it was to have groups like Ethicon Endo Surgery, Western Southern Financial, OPW a Dover Company, and Deliotte. Thanks to groups like these and others, Redwood’s campus maintained its colorful and “home-like” setting, welcoming hundreds of children and adults with special needs each day.
Volunteers create social, learning and service experiences that enhance the quality of life for hundreds of children and adults. I’m proud to say that Redwood has some of the best volunteers. We are so thankful for each and every one of you.
If you want to learn more about volunteering at Redwood, give me a call at (859) 331-0880, ext. 215 or send me an email at email@example.com.
Redwood is excited to announce its newest program: Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC). PPEC is a day treatment program managed and staffed by skilled nursing and healthcare professionals trained to care for children with chronic medical conditions in a safe, caring, and developmentally stimulating environment.
The program, being piloted now as required by the Office of Inspector General, expects to serve up to 30 children. “For many parents in our community,” states CEO Barbara Howard, “a PPEC program at Redwood is long overdue. Families have been waiting for a service provider to meet their child’s healthcare needs in an environment that provides exceptional opportunities for socialization, education, and therapeutic intervention.”
Two area pediatricians—Barry Brokaw of Pediatric Associates and Chuck Kelly of Pediatric Care—will serve as Medical Directors for the new program. Registered nurses and child care professionals, led by Director of Nursing Jaime McLaughlin, will staff the program. A team of child development experts will coordinate educational and therapeutic services. Children enrolled in PPEC may be eligible to have program costs funded through Kentucky Medicaid. In order to qualify, services must be prescribed by the child’s primary care physician and authorized through Medicaid.
Howard explains that Redwood was already in a natural position to provide PPEC due to national accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a three-star rating by KY STARS for KIDS NOW, and use of the nationally recognized High Scope curriculum.
Association for the Education of Young Children, a three-star rating by KY STARS for Kids Now, and use of the nationally recognized High Scope curriculum. “Redwood can also offer an unmatched opportunity for continuum of care,” adds Howard, “to meet a child’s needs now and in the future.” Children in PPEC, for example, may access other services, such as therapy, behavior supports, and assistive technology, and transition into other programs as they age, such as Adults NOW or Adult Independence.
Another benefit is that Redwood can and does serve children without special needs. “In this day and age, we are all very busy. For a parent to be able to enroll all their children at one location is a tremendous convenience,” states Katrina Murphy, Director of Child Development.
To enroll your child or to learn more about PPEC, contact Jaime McLaughlin at (859) 331-0880 or firstname.lastname@example.org.