By Patti Parsons, Project Coordinator
The Kentucky Peer Support/Network Project announces a revised training schedule at locations throughout the state in July through September, as listed below. School teams will learn about setting up Peer Support (in inclusive classrooms) and Peer Networks (outside the classroom) for students with significant disabilities. The intent of the project is to expand learning and participation in inclusive activities — across classroom and extracurricular settings — for students with significant disabilities, while laying the foundation for genuine friendships between students with and without disabilities.
The Kentucky Peer Support/Network Project is entering its third year. We held trainings throughout the state in 2014 and trained approximately 80 school teams. From those teams, 10 Pilot Site schools were chosen, and we are following their implementation in order to support them and find out what strategies work best. We have seen great things in our Pilot Site schools! Since we want more students in Kentucky to have opportunities for relationships, participation, and true inclusion in both school and extracurricular activities, we are offering trainings this summer and fall, in conjunction with area Special Education Cooperatives and Pilot Site schools, at sites around the state as follows:
- Wednesday, July 29 – Louisville (Jefferson County Coop)
- Thursday, August 27 – Eddyville (West KY Coop)
- Wednesday, September 2 – Lexington (Central KY and Ohio Valley Coops)
- Friday, September 4 – Corbin (KY Valley and Southeast/Southcentral Coops)
- Thursday, September 17 – Bowling Green (Green River Coop)
- Friday, September 25 – Maysville (Northern KY and Big East Coops)
Pilot Site schools have seen positive benefits during their first year of implementation. Some comments from participating schools: “The students are enjoying class more and picking up more information” (teacher); “Students are identifying each other as ‘friends’ more frequently” (teacher); “She is happy to go to school and says that she now feels like she has a lot of friends” (parent); “We know each other and we play games and other stuff” (student); “I LOVED peer support” (student); and “I like having fun and hanging out” (student).
For more information, please visit www.kypeersupport.org. To receive a registration form for your school, please email Katie Hastings at firstname.lastname@example.org.