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
This is the season for reflecting on who and what we are thankful for. My SPARC thankful board would be full of the many wonderful things that happen every year. For starters it would be filled with the talented and caring staff I work with everyday. They have a passion for what they do and it shows in the growth our children make each day and the support they give every family. Next it would be, the SPARC Board, the commitment they make to support SPARC and the countless hours they donate to make our annual auction a great success. Then, our community partners and the hard work we collectively do to improve services for all young children in Skagit county. Of course, it would not be complete without all the support we receive from the Skagit County community. You can see from our list supporters, it includes service groups, businesses, foundations and many individuals. Without the combined effort of all, we would not be able to provide the quality program and needed services of our children and families. I have been blessed to be part of this wonderful organization for over 35 years and cannot express enough my appreciation to all.
Ryder began services in the SPARC birth to 3 program last April and now attends our Preschool classroom 4 days per week. His mother Stephanie had these words to say: Our adventure into Autism with Ryder began in April 2015. It also started a beautiful partnership with SPARC. With the swirling, scary thoughts of the many facets of Autism becoming a reality for me, I felt so sad and full of anguish and powerless; I had never felt so much grief before. At first, fears of Ryder’s future, Ryder’s physical/mental/emotional safety, fears in all shapes like being stared at and scrutinized in public etc. These were things I was thinking about. It was the fear of the unknown. My first appointment with Vanessa from SPARC changed EVERYTHING, she shared her personal experience and I didn’t feel so alone anymore. Vanessa has an extraordinary ability to look into your eyes and with her empathy and understanding as she listens to your struggles she lets you know what you are going through is all normal human responses. I never felt alone or sad again. From there the sky was the limit for Ryder. Vanessa suggested some tips on our first appointment which I will never forget. Simplify things: word statements, directions etc. Amazingly, he responded wonderfully and successfully beyond what I thought possible just from 1 simple suggestion. From that first day SPARC and more specifically Vanessa had earned my trust in her knowledge and experience. My second exposure to SPARC came from Ryder’s 1st speech therapy appointment with Megan. Her kind, soft and loving nature radiates onto you from the start and more importantly onto Ryder. Megan makes therapy fun and contagious. She offered so much to us with her creative ideas that made developing the skill set Ryder needs to be successful within reach, such as, picking up on social cues, R.I.T.(Reciprocal Imitation Therapy), turn taking & more. From that day on, I have implemented Megan and Vanessa’s creative, supportive ideas in my home and beyond. Ryder’s gone from 4 words up to 20 words and more, picture cues reduced his meltdowns, no more self biting/head banging on floors now that he is learning to express himself in more productive ways. SPARC has built a village of safety for families like mine hosting community functions, support groups, lending you books, toys, sensory items and DVD’s, and are always willing to listen without judgment. I can’t say life is going to be easy with this adventure in autism, but with the right support I feel Ryder can conquer anything .
#CultivateLove #CreateBuildIndependence #ItTakesAVillageToRaiseAChild #TeamSPARC
Spotlight on SPARC Staff
Megan Nash began working for SPARC as a speech language pathologist intern and then as an employee in 2009. She has been an incredible hire and each day we are grateful for her presence. Megan has pursued a variety of interests and focused on many projects through SPARC. Amongst these projects has been the sharing of her knowledge through in-services to both SPARC employees and Head Start staff of all things speech and language. She has suggested and implemented technology into the classroom through different assistive devices as well as dynamically using the iPad with students. She seeks out continuing education to address interests and provide evidence based practice. On top of these pursuits, Megan is a busy and focused speech and language pathologist. On any given day, she is doing therapy in family’s home followed by seeing a child at Head Start, then meeting with a teacher to plan specific vocabulary use with a student, in addition to making phone calls, planning therapy and doing necessary paperwork. Megan does this all with a happy demeanor and a cheerful, “How are you?” SPARC and our children and families are so thankful that she is part of our team.
Annual Kids Charity Fundraiser
Each summer two special people, Buster Brewer and Les Birchet honor the children of SPARC by helping organize two great fundraising events. One is a guitar raffle at the “Mount Baker Rhythm & Blues Festival” and the other is a celebration with good music and food. We appreciate their continued support.
SPARC is now a participant in AmazonSmile! When you shop at AmazonSmile it’s like shopping at the Amazon you know and love. The difference is, when shopping through AmazonSmile you can chose SPARC as the charity you wish to support. When you do this .5% of your qualifying purchases will be donated to SPARC. For more information on AmazonSmile or to sign up today visit www.amazonsmile.com
During our 2014-2015 school year :
Birth To Three
71 children age birth to three were provided services
19 children reached age three and services continued
3 children no longer needed services at age three
2 children no longer needed services before age three
35 additional children evaluated during this year were
found to not need services
122 children age three to six were provided services
19 were children that rolled up from Birth to Three
SPARC Financial Report
School Districts 731,917
State Contract Services 216,695
Medicaid and Insurance 23,047
Grants and Donations 79,825
Other Income 7,537
Fundraising Expenses 16,902
Program Expenses 59,507
Occupancy Expense 33,034