BSE Director Carole L. Clancy has released a PennLink memo titled 2019-2020 Inclusive Programming Opportunities through Mikayla’s Voice, which announces inclusive programming opportunities for schools for the 2019-2020 school year. Mikayla’s Voice offers three types of inclusion programs. Free programs are available for schools and will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis.
Mikayla’s Voice Inclusion Assemblies introduce valuable dialogue for schools and demonstrate children’s capacity for understanding, acceptance and compassion. Led by a child or young adult with a disability and their parent, these one-hour assemblies begin by sharing the book Our Friend Mikayla (written and illustrated by Mikayla’s former third-grade class) to provide background knowledge regarding what it is like to have a disability. Two assemblies are typically held at each school to limit the size and age range of the audience and increase student participation.
The Wheels of Friendship program has children paint not with brushes, but with the wheels of a wheelchair (or walker) and the paws (and tail) of a service dog. Working with an inclusive class over four one-hour sessions, the first session is used to brainstorm, and the final three are utilized for art production. The finished paintings are unveiled at school-wide presentations and remain on permanent display in the schools where they were created.
The Book Donation program provides two books each, which are Our Friend Mikayla, High Fives and A Big Heart, and Super Brady: Always on the Move!
Participating schools are asked to help with pre and post data collections to measure the global quality of the programs and their ability to improve school culture. Mikayla’s Voice has partnered with researchers at Lehigh University to design develop plans for improvement and replication.
Interested schools can contact Rita Cheskiewicz, Executive Director at 570-690-7113 or email@example.com or Kimberly Resh, Program Director, at 610-746-2324 or firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in Mikayla’s Voice programming. The Mikayla’s Voice website can be found at www.mikaylasvoice.org.