The parent coffee social meets on the first Thursday of every month, immediately following the Board meeting and speaker presentation. The group is facilitated by a peer parent. It allows a confidential yet informal safe space for parents to share their experiences, struggles and concerns. The group also offers parents a “think tank” atmosphere in which they can network and brainstorm with other fellow parents. In this supportive environment, parents can plan and strategize together to identify the most effective ways by which they can best advocate for the needs of their children.
As parents, it is oftentimes difficult to find the time to research and locate the kinds of professionals and related services our family needs. Valley Kids Matter Foundation, Inc understands those struggles. We are parents, too.
In order to best advocate for the needs of our children, we must first educate ourselves. Part of this educational process includes the identification of professional resources available to us in our local areas.
The foundation provides educational speakers at every monthly board meeting. The educational speakers conduct presentations for parents on relevant topics in the areas of special needs services as well as general advocacy for families and children. The speakers are also available following their presentations to take questions from the families. Scheduled educational speakers and related topics for the 2020 year include the following: special education advocates; special education attorneys; health insurance advocates; pediatric neuropsychologists; special education camps; funding sources for special education camps; IEP retaliation and institutional abuse; Department of Recreation in advocating for the rights of children with special needs to include in town recreation sports; pediatric psychologists; financial planning for your child with special needs; and occupational, speech and physical therapy options for your child.
We have all heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The Valley Kids Matter Foundation, Inc alternatively proposes that, “It takes a valley to raise a child.” Community events that foster the positive integration of our children and families with other local children and families bolster community sharing in a healthy and positive way.
Valley Kids Matter! Foundation nurtures community bonds among local families by sponsoring and conducting a variety of community events. All events are inclusive in nature and promote the betterment of the family life through connecting special needs families with all community families.
Some of the planned community events for the upcoming 2020 year include the following: 5K walk/runs for all children, adults and families; child fingerprinting and DNA collection of records for parent retention purposes in the case of an emergent event; and sports events with siblings to kindle increased family, friend and community bonds through sportsmanship and life lessons.
Valley Kids Matter Foundation, Inc serves local families. Oftentimes service comes in unconventional forms. We are parents. We understand. Sometimes service comes in the form of respite. Respite does not have to be traditional by definition. The foundation offers various different forms of supportive services to families. Some of these services include, but are not limited to, the following: financial assistance towards canine and equine therapies for children; assistance in the identification and location of resources for families in the community to foster healthy family function; and networking with other families and local businesses for community outreach and awareness purposes. Service is participation. Service is involvement. Service is contribution. Valley Kids Matter Foundation, Inc serves its families and community.