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Our Students Now Have Big Brothers and Big Sisters on Their Side!

From the beginning, Enabling Minds’ students with intellectual and other developmental disabilities have been accepted by their peers at school. Our students have also helped to change perceptions of persons with disabilities, and are a source of pride for their school and amongst their fellow students. Now many of our 45 students have the support of “big brothers” and “big sisters!”

Our Big Brother, Big Sister Program. . .

In the fall of 2015, an effort to maximize the growth of and opportunities for our students with developmental disabilities led to the launch of our Big Brother, Big Sister program. This program matches up local high school students and our students with disabilities. These high school students first attend sensitivity training so they can learn about students with disabilities. Then, they are then paired with their little brother or little sister.

Once matched, the big brother/big sister spends approximately two hours a week with their partner to do an activity or to play a game. Each high school student will also organize a game for their younger “sibling,” taking into account their physical and intellectual limitations. These may include reading activities, puzzles, music, sports, painting, or other creative activities. The big brother/ big sisters are also invited to one or more field trips with their little brother/sister so they can bond and help build a genuine relationship together.

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Our big sisters/brothers placed their hand painting print next to their little sisters/brothers to symbolically mark their collaboration together this year.

At the conclusion of the school year, high school students in this program will complete an assignment in both written and spoken French about their experiences. They will articulate what this program has meant to them and their little brother/sister and how this program has changed their perceptions of people with disabilities.

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Christelle and Herold (pictured right) in class

Objectives of the Big Brother, Big Sister Program:

• Establish thoughts, dialogues, debates, and discussion around the theme of ability/disability
• Establish role models for the younger students as they attempt to build their autonomy and practice good behavior
• To sensitize the older students to disability awareness and learn how to relate to student peers and other persons with disabilities
• To create lasting bonds between each big brother/sister and little brother/sister sibling

Click here to read our interactive report!

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How You Can Help. . .

Enabling Minds’ students at St. Charles Borromeo School are completely funded through donations. A donation of $25 will sponsor a student’s education for one month, and $300 will sponsor the education of a student for the entire year. All donations are 100% tax deductible and any amount is greatly appreciated. Help us give the gift of an education to a student in need!

Kindly visit: www.enablingminds.com/donate
Enabling Minds Tax ID: 46-5226427

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Enabling Minds has achieved the “Gold Participation Level” for non-profit organizational transparency from GuideStar®

 

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Trip to Kalico Beach Club

On January 24th , 2014 the students in our program at the St. Charles Borromeo school in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti took a class trip to the Kalico Beach Club in Arcade, Haiti. Robert Amir Berry made a phone call and arranged to have our children visit the pool at the beach club free of charge and after some planning from Sister Gloria and funding from Enabling Minds, we chartered a bus and went!

At 7:30AM we loaded up the bulky white bus with food, drinks and snacks, and 21 animated students, many of whom brought along a parent as a chaperone. Amanda, Amir and Tarik from Enabling Minds joined the students, most of whom had never to a pool or had gone swimming before.

During the bus ride to the resort we sang some of the songs the students learned in their class, ate snacks, and enjoyed the sights of the countryside and the warm fresh air that gently drifted in through the open windows. When we arrived at the beach club, our students curiously descended down the long driveway that lead to the retreat. The bright blue pool that awaited us was framed with comfortable lounge chairs, and was partially shaded by tall palm trees. In the background, cheerful contemporary Haitian music played.

The students enjoyed their day off by wading in the pool, playing in the water, catching horseback rides on the shoulders of the volunteers and staff, and lounging in the shade. In the afternoon our group enjoyed a picnic lunch which including rice, stewed chicken, and orange Tang. As the day came to a close, we headed back to Croix-des-Bouquets. Patrick, the music/dance teacher, played his drum

and lead us in song, while Gerline displayed her musical prowess on the whistle. It was a

great day filled with smiles, laughter, and happiness!

 

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Our Thriving Students: January 2014

From January 19-25th 2014 Enabling Minds visited our students with developmental disabilities at the St. Charles Borromeo school in Croix-des-Bouquets. Tarik, Amanda, and Amir saw first-hand how well the children in our program were doing, most of whom were going to school for the very first time in their lives. Our team spoke with parents, administration and staff, and even the one of the local directors from the Food from the Poor orphanage where four of the students in our program live. From the stories we heard, the children’s lives have been transformed for the better: many have had a decrease in problematic behaviors and anxiety at home, and they are becoming more independent and self-confident in their personal lives. To our team the children seemed happy, relaxed, and to be very much enjoying the experience of going to school. Another significant finding was that the children accept and are being accepted by their schoolmates. Sister Gloria reports that they are excited to have this project and that these children have been a blessing to the St. Charles Borromeo School.

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A Desire To Help

“Special Olympics Haiti is really thankful to Tarik Khan, a nurse practitioner who used to coach Special Olympics athletes in The U.S.A. . With the desire to help the many children that live with intellectual disabilities, he will start a class for teaching them. Special Olympics Haiti retains this from Tarik: “My passion for people with intellectual disabilities began in high school with the Special Olympics Spring Games in Philadelphia. I worked with the athletes who were involved in the motor activity training program (MATP). When I was in nursing school, I continued with Special Olympics Philadelphia, and I became an assistant swimming coach for several years in Montgomery County, PA. In graduate school at La Salle University, I focused my studies on the health care needs of populations with intellectual disabilities. When I was handed my degree on the day I graduated La Salle University, I told Dr. Tim Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics that I was a coach, and how much I appreciated all of his work with the intellectually disabled community around the world.”

by Georges Bony, National Sport Director for Special Olympics Haiti. Originally published by Special Olympics International, May 28, 2013.

 

Read The Original Article:
http://specialolympics.org/Stories/General/A_Desire_To_Help.aspx