Evergreen Learning Center has had an inclusion program on our sight since September 1997. Our staff of teachers, along with the teachers from the Santa Barbara County Education Office and the support staff provided by the county (assistants, speech therapists, occupational therapist, adaptive P.E. teacher) have created an inclusion program that is a model in our community. This is truly a collaborative effort that all children and their families benefit from. The inclusion children in our program have the opportunity to participate in a program that is of the highest standards and quality. Modeling by typically developing children is evident in all aspects of our program. Peer relationships are encouraged and enhanced through teacher interactions and intervention. Evergreen offers both free choice and structured times where children can make independent choices or practice skills that will prepare them for kindergarten. The typically developing children in our program benefit greatly from the children in our inclusion program. The children have opportunities to experience relationships that may have various communication styles as well as the exposure to observe how children function with a physical disability or limitations. The parents at Evergreen Learning Center of both typically developing children and children with special needs have communicated strongly their support and appreciation of our collaborative efforts. Because of the expertise of the county teachers and the sensitivity of our staff, we have identified children with a variety of needs that may have gone overlooked in a regular pre-school. In all, this is obviously a “win/win” situation for many families in our community.
Copyright (c)2005 by Evergreen, all rights reserved