The SPARC Annual Newsletter is provided to the community in December of each year. Each newsletter highlights staff and family, director updates and previous years financial supporters along with upcoming news and events.
A Message from Pat – The Director
Over the 30+ years at SPARC, the community collaboration that happens in Skagit County has been amazing. The agencies in our county serving young children work together to provide quality services to families. SPARC collaborates closely with Skagit/Islands Head Start to provide special education services in general education classrooms. We provide staff to support our children in the classroom and our children and fami-lies benefit from the services Head Start provides. It is a win/win set up for all children involved.
The importance of Early Childhood education has been all over the news recently. The first five years in a child’s life are most impor-tant. Supporting parents and caregiv-ers to enhance interactions and en-gagement with their children ulti-mately improves outcomes for these children in school.
An important part of SPARC’s mission has always been working with the parents to help them understand and enhance their child’s early development. Support we receive from the community allows us to provide these services.
As parents of a young boy with special needs, we are so grateful for the services SPARC provides. Our son Jacob James “JJ” Poolman is a bright, funny, and loving three year old with cerebral palsy. The spasticity in his legs prevents him from walking on his own and the world presents many barriers to his inclusion in the normal activities of childhood. SPARC has removed many of those barriers. SPARC has been a godsend in so many ways. JJ began receiving occupational therapy from Shaun Wesen and physical therapy from Nancy a year ago. Their therapeutic skills were matched by their warm and friendly personalities and JJ formed a close trusting connection with them almost immediately.
From the moment JJ saw SPARC preschool last June he wanted to go there and he talked about it all summer. The morning we woke him up and told him he was going to school he said “Oh boy!” At the end of the day he said preschool was “Awesome.” Every day he says school is “Great” and “Awesome.” JJ has the most amazing team of teachers, therapists, bus drivers and helpers to work with him through the SPARC
We want to acknowledge our wonderful case manager Vanessa Hagerty and thank Teacher’s Rae and Sandra , his Therapists Shaun, Nancy and Kathy, as well as his one-on-one aide Patrick. The above team has allowed JJ to blossom and thrive. They have recognized and nurtured his many strengths. He is proud of his “School” and loves his many friends there.
Our positive experience with SPARC will also be of great comfort and support in planning for spinal surgery that JJ will be having at Seattle Children’s Hospital in January. The surgery will eliminate some the tightness in his leg muscles and allow him eventually to walk with time and therapy. After the surgery and lengthy hospital stay the physical and occupational therapy provided by SPARC will be a key component in his recovery and progress.
Spotlight on SPARC Staff
Rachel Harris is a certified Special Education Teacher who has worked for SPARC since 2010. When Rachel first started with SPARC she worked as a B-3 Special Education Assistant. As the B-3 assistant Rachel would attend the Early Head Start/SPARC Inclusion classroom and support the teaching team in regards to children who were on an Individualized Family Service Plan. Rachel’s love for kids was obvious in how she worked with them. She was caring, the kids enjoyed having her in class, and the staff liked the support she offered. Rachel was then offered a full-time teaching position in a pre-school classroom working mainly with children on the Autism Spectrum. Rachel embraced this challenge with open arms. Rachel has now taught this model for the past 4 years and has really made it a warm and welcoming classroom where all kids are taught on an individual basis. Rachel was given the opportunity in 2012 to work with Portland State University on learning how to implement a curriculum called CAPSTAR. This curriculum is a comprehensive behavioral program designed to use one-to-one instruction that uses logical sequencing to build on previously learned skills. Rachel has taken this head on and uses this curriculum everyday with each student. Rachel also collaborates with our inclusion classroom located at the Child and Family Learning Center. Here, Rachel attends the pre-school classroom 2 days per week and works with children placed in those classrooms who are on an Individual Education Plan. She works closely with the teaching staff to implement necessary modification and support the kids in meeting their goals. Rachel is a wife and mother to a little 8 month old boy. She juggles teaching full-time, being a “mommy” and recently went back to school for her Master’s Degree at the University of Washington. SPARC wanted to highlight Rachel so teachers, staff, and parents could see one of our amazing Special Education Teacher’s that work at our SPARC Rosewood Preschool Center.
Welcome to Rosewood
This summer the SPARC preschool classrooms moved from portables at LaVenture Middle School to the Rosewood School. The staff has spent many hours making it our new home. We are excited to all be under one roof in a building meant for preschoolers. We are in the process of raising funds to complete our playground and make improvements to the building to meet our needs.
Fred Meyer Community Rewards
Just by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card you can help SPARC earn donations. Link your card to SPARC by name or number (88913) at www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards. You will still earn your Rewards Points and Rebates, just as you do now.
During our 2013-2014 school year :
Birth To Three
70 children age birth to three were provided services
17 children reached age three and services continued
3 children no longer needed services at age three
4 children no longer needed services before age three
39 additional children evaluated during this year were
found to not need services
109 children age three to six were provided services
2 children were exited from program because they no
longer needed services
SPARC Financial Report
School Districts 637,392
State Contract Services 219,784
Medicaid and Insurance 33,028
Grants and Donations 80,338
Other Income 5,861
Fundraising Expenses 15,621
Program Expenses 47,220
Occupancy Expense 29,210