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February 2015

PACER e-news: Resources and information for children with disabilities and their families

HAVE FUN WITH ART AT PACER’S CREATIVE KIDS CONTEST FEB. 28

It’s not too late to register children with disabilities (ages 4 to 17) for PACER’s 10th Annual Creative Kids Contest on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 from 10 a.m. to noon at PACER Center. Children can let their imaginations run wild and get their fingers messy at this fun family event. The winning design will be made into the 2015 PACER greeting card, which will be sold online and at PACER’s Annual Benefit. To register or donate art supplies, e-mail danna.mirviss@PACER.org or call (952) 838-9000. The event is free but space is limited.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: TRAIN TO BE A PACER PUPPETEER MARCH 3

Would you like to be part of the fun, creative team of PACER puppeteers? Attend the training session on March 3, 2015 to learn how PACER’s puppet programs – KIDS AGAINST BULLYING and COUNT ME IN® – use child-size puppets to help children learn about bullying prevention and disability awareness. No experience is required – just a car and some free time during the school day. Individual training is also available. To learn more, visit PACER.org/puppets, call PACER at (952) 838-9000, or e-mail puppets@PACER.org.

PACER DAY AT THE MINNESOTA STATE CAPITOL IS MARCH 19

Parents of children with disabilities will have their voices heard in St. Paul, Minn., on ‘PACER Day at the Capitol’ Thursday, March 19, 2015. Participants will attend a dynamic workshop led by advocacy and education leaders and legislators to hear about potential legislation affecting special education, education funding, school discipline, mental health, and more. Parents will learn how to effectively share their stories before meeting with their state legislators. Space is limited. Register online or call (952) 838-9000.

AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION HONORS CHILDREN’S BOOKS FOR OUTSTANDING PORTRAYAL OF THE ‘DISABILITY EXPERIENCE’

Each year, the American Library Association presents the Schneider Family Book Awards to authors or illustrators of children’s books for outstanding portrayal of the ‘disability experience’ in their work. Awards are presented in three age categories: children up to age 8, ages 9 to 13, and teens. The 2015 winners include tales of a boy who stutters, a girl with autism, and young adults with intellectual disabilities who are in transition. Many of the previous winning books are available through Bookshare at no cost for readers with print disabilities.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR CROSBY, STILLS & NASH AT PACER’S 33RD ANNUAL BENEFIT

More than four decades since Crosby, Stills & Nash first harmonized together in Southern California, its members continue a creative partnership that is one of the most influential and enduring in music. David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash have each been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. See them live at PACER’s 33rd Annual Benefit on Saturday, May 2 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Visit PACER.org/benefit or call (952) 838-9000 to reserve tickets, donate to the silent auction, or learn about corporate sponsorship opportunities.

NATIONAL CAMPAIGN AIMS TO IMPROVE EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative national effort to encourage employers and others to recognize the value and talent that people with disabilities bring to the workplace. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the initiative is using powerful public service announcements and a variety of web-based tools and resources to help improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Learn more at whatcanyoudo.org 

PACER’S FUN TIMES PROGRAM BRINGS YOUTH WITH AND WITHOUT DISABILITIES TOGETHER FOR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Since 2003, PACER’s Fun Times program has been connecting youth (ages 15 to 25) with and without disabilities to share fun activities in the community in an inclusive setting. Participants do popular teen activities – bowling, movies, sporting events, and more. In January, 25 students enjoyed a pizza party and game night, and there are more activities planned this spring. Visit PACER.org/funtimes to learn more about the program, or contact Andrea Moore (andrea.moore@PACER.org or 952-838-9000).

WORKSHOPS

Understanding Depression and How to Develop Skills Needed to Help Your Child
Parenting a child with mental health challenges can be incredibly difficult at times, but there are skills parents can learn to help their child heal, recover, and prevent recurrences of depression. Psychiatrist Dr. Read Sulik, who speaks nationally about children’s mental health, will lead this interactive workshop for parents and professionals on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at PACER Center. Register online or call (952) 838-9000.

PACER RESOURCES

AT in Action video series offers real-world examples of how assistive technology (AT) helps children and young adults with disabilities
The ‘AT in Action’ video series offers great examples of how Assistive Technology (AT) helps children and young adults with disabilities participate fully in school, at home, and in the community. In the latest video, viewers meet Joseph, an 11th grade student with dyslexia and dysgraphia, who uses the audio book apps Read2Go and Learning Ally. This fully captioned video series, funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), is produced by PACER in conjunction with the Center on Technology and Disability (CTD). Watch the video

New! Don’t miss the latest edition of the Pacesetter
“Pacesetter” is a free newsletter published three times a year for parents and professionals. Don’t miss the Winter 2015 edition, which includes articles on a family that found success working with PACER’s multicultural advocates; PACER’s Grandparent to Grandparent program; and the story of a 12-year-old girl who attended PACER’s EX.I.T.E. Camp virtually with a VGo Robot. Call (952) 838-9000 to be added to the mailing list or read it online at PACER.org/newsletters.

GREAT OPPORTUNITIES

Support PACER by joining SurveyMonkey Contribute
Showing your support for PACER is as easy as taking the occasional survey. More than 26,000 people have signed up with SurveyMonkey Contribute in support of PACER. Participants receive periodic e-mail surveys on a variety of subjects. The web-based questionnaires are quick, easy, and confidential, and SurveyMonkey makes a donation to PACER for each survey completed. Thank you for participating! Sign up today

CONTACT PACER FOR ASSISTANCE AND INFORMATION

PACER Center is a Minnesota nonprofit organization that provides services to families of children and young adults with any disability, as well as resources to prevent bullying through PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. For assistance and information, please contact us via e-mail at PACER@PACER.org or call (952) 838-9000. Learn more

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PACER Center, Inc. 8161 Normandale Boulevard Minneapolis, MN 55437-1044
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