PEATC -- "Building Better Futures for Virginia's Children"Suzanne Bowers, Executive Director
Since 1978, the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center, PEATC, has been involved in essential educational training, advocacy and program development needed to ensure excellence in education for our children with disabilities. PEATC is also developing new outreach programs, reading and online literacy initiatives designed specifically to help parents and families, teachers, school officials, system professionals, service providers and community organizations come together successfully to build better futures for children with disabilities.
Online Reading & Literacy Initiatives
PEATC is committed to developing opportunities to help children with disabilities, and indeed, all children, learn how to read and improve their literacy skills so that they can achieve success in life.
PEATC is also developing ways to enable parents and professionals to teach reading skills that incorporate strategies and ‘how-to’ information. In the area of assessment, we are looking to offer critically needed information. PEATC continues to seek business and technology partners interested in expanding opportunities for literacy training using state-of-the-art technology and research-based training strategies.
LiteracyAccess Online - LAO
LiteracyAccess Online is an innovative Internet-based, hands-on, interactive instructional tool designed to teach parents, teachers, volunteers, teaching assistants and others literacy skills necessary to teach children having reading difficulties in grades 4 through 8. This innovative program guides parents, teachers, volunteers and paraprofessionals through creative strategies, training and student-involved exercises necessary to reach and teach students who need and want to learn to read, but who have often experienced frustration and failure at trailing behind their peers. Areas of literacy skills training currently include: language arts, science, social studies, math and the general curriculum, which, in reality, comprises every part of life in and out of school.
Development of Phase I and II of LAO has been accomplished through the successful partnership between PEATC and George Mason University’s Kellar Institute for Human disabilities. Graduate level students in Instructional Design, as well as parents and teachers contributed to the design through onsite participation and online pilots.
Juvenile Justice Initiative
A disproportionate number of students in the juvenile justice system have difficulty reading as a result of undiagnosed learning disabilities. PEATC is committed to improving outcomes for children with disabilities involved in the juvenile justice system through increased awareness, improved intervention and rehabilitative strategies that include building effective partnerships with professionals in the judicial, public defender’s office, law enforcement, corrections and probation areas. In the Fall of 2001, PEATC collaborated with other interested leadership organizations to complete a Juvenile Justice Summit to forward recommendations for improvement. PEATC subsequently co-sponsored a follow-up Juvenile Justice Summit II to share results of the executive summary and discuss ways to improve the Juvenile Justice System in Virginia, especially as it relates to minority youth and children with disabilities. During JJS III we will focus on educational and school-based strategies for prevention and school retention, as well as collaborate with professionals from social services, corrections and community and school-based law enforcement.
Outreach to African-American and Latino Communities
As Virginia’s families continue to diversify, language barriers and cultural differences create additional challenges to children with disabilities and their families. To meet the growing diversity of needs of Virginia’s families and professionals PEATC is investing in cultural competency research, developing community-based strategies and exploring funding resources in order to better serve the specific needs of the African-American and Latino communities.
Multicultural Early Childhood Team Training (MECCT)
Multicultural Early Childhood Team Training (MECTT) is a model for preparing parent and professional teams to improve services to diverse families of young children with special needs by infusing cultural competency into early childhood programs. Since 1993, the project has provided resources and training for individual programs for community and statewide initiatives. MECCT’s newest project involves training multicultural state leadership teams to develop tools, strategies and resources necessary to promote culturally competent practices in early childhood programs.
Training for Foster Care & Managed Healthcare Professionals
PEATC has developed training curriculum to help professionals in foster care, social services and juvenile justice understand how to help children in need of special education resources. In collaboration with Fairfax County, VA, Child Welfare Agencies, the Caring Communities project developed strategies and identified "best practices" to increase comprehensive health care services for children in foster care. Research shows that children in foster care have the poorest physical and mental health in the nation, while twice as likely to drop out of school than children not in foster care. The Caring Communities for Children in Foster Care is a project PEATC directed with the Maternal Child Health Bureau Integrated Services Initiative with the American Academy of Pediatrics.
NEXT STEPS: The Transition Series
This popular series of eight workshops is designed to help families prepare their high school graduates for transition from student life in school to adult life in the community. Newly revised materials and training programs are used by NEXT STEPS training teams in communities throughout the country. The training is geared for parents, educators, adult service professionals and students with disabilities. The NEXT STEPS Transition Series includes: 1) Transition: Making It in the Real World, 2) Transition Plans: Roadmaps to the Future 3) Self-Advocacy and Supports: Keys to Independence, 4) Moving On: Life in the Community, 5) Getting Ready: Preparing for Work while in School, 6) Planning Ahead: Future Finances and Supports, 7) Adult Life: Effective Partnerships and 8) Adult Life: Accessing Services. There are currently over 100 NEXT STEPS Teams in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Illinois. In total, NEXT STEPS materials have been purchased by training teams in 13 states. Please check our website at www.peatc.org for additional transition planning resources, including the “Guide” and other related NEXT STEPS products.
100 N Washington Street, Suite 234
Falls Church, VA 22046
800-869-6782 (toll free)
Copyright © 2013 PEATC - Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center. All rights reserved.
Content on this site was produced, in part, with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, under CFDA # 84.328M, #84.310A, and #84.235F. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education, any other agency of the U.S. government, or any other source.
PEATC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to building positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. You can reach PEATC by calling 703-923-0010 (Voice/TTY), or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrating 30 Years of Building Better Futures for Virginia's Children
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