DEAR EDITOR:

Since 2001, there has been a significant increase in children receiving special education services due to Autism Spectrum Disorder. I wanted to take a moment to let you know how excited I am about the work some Georgia schools are doing with Marcus Autism Center. Emily Rubin and various teachers across the state are implementing strategies to increase engagement in all students, not just those with ASD.

The program teachers are being trained on is called Social Emotional Engagement-Knowledge and Skills. Using the Universal Design for Learning approach allows a variety of diverse learners to be successful in the classroom. Teachers work to increase student’s opportunity for independence, investment and initiation within the classroom.

Selfishly, my favorite part of SEE-KS is the peer coaching model using Appreciative Inquiry. It gives voice to the individual teacher and focuses on what is going right in the classroom, not what is going wrong. There are no administrators involved and it gives teachers of all experiences a chance to see what their colleagues are doing to make a difference with engagement in the classroom.

This program has changed my teaching! It is sustainable, positive, and student focused. If Paulding County has not started this yet, they definitely should.

Morgan Atcheson Dallas

Editor’s note: A school district spokesman said Paulding County school teachers do not use the SEE-KS model but have attended training sessions.

CEO thanks volunteers for helping nonprofit that helps others

DEAR EDITOR:

Mission on the Move would like to thank Eddie and Lashandria Andrews, Edward and Taneshia Prater, Roderick and Teisha Andrews, and Angela Prater for all the volunteering and giving of their time and efforts for helping those in need. Their giving of themselves and their resources is just awesome and it deserves recognition. They heighten our plight to serve those in need in our community. Thank you so much!

Mission on the Move is a nonprofit organization based in Douglasville. We serve homeless and low income families with food, clothing and basic needs for living life self sufficient.

We offer these services at no cost to the recipients. Our volunteers make sure we can do what we do. Our slogan is, “A hand up, not a hand out.”

Cynthia Andrews Overseer, executive director and C.E.O., Mission on the Move Douglasville

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