POSTED: Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 8:04am
Livingston Parish, LA — The Louisiana Department of Education recently announced it has awarded Livingston Parish Public Schools a “Believe and Include” grant valued at $150,000 to implement a writing program that will help increase academic performance for students with disabilities and better prepare them for inclusive settings.
Dr. Jeanne Ebey, Ed.D., director of Livingston Parish’s Special Education Department, said three partner schools – North Corbin Junior High, Doyle Elementary and Albany Upper Elementary – will implement a “Writing to Thrive” project that creates site-specific writing labs at each of the three schools to give students with significant disabilities immediate access to various writing tools and technologies.
“The writing labs will support partner school teams in assessing and instructing students who have a range of low-incidence disabilities and sensory level skills, giving them appropriate and effective ‘alternate pencils’ that allow them to successfully write and communicate,” Ebey said.
Ebey noted that Livingston Parish is one of only 16 district or charter programs to be named a 2012 recipient of the grant. The grant program is managed through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that provides funding to schools to develop innovative programs to increase academic performance for students with disabilities. The state department funded proposals at a maximum rate of $50,000 per partner school.
Jackie Abington, an IEP facilitator for students with significant disabilities, will oversee the implementation of the grant in Livingston Parish. Participating teachers include LaVerne Rushing at Doyle Elementary, Linda Mahfouz at North Corbin Junior High, and Jo Jeanna Saucier at Albany Middle School. Dr. Vicky Roy, a speech pathologist consultant, will also work with the group on the implementation of the grant.
Other 2012 recipients of the grant include KIPP New Orleans, Inc., Lafayette Parish, Ascension Parish, Zachary Community Schools, Rapides Parish, Red River Parish, Lincoln Parish, Bossier Parish, Richland Parish, Ouachita Parish, Morris Jeff Community School, Algiers Charter School Association, Inc., DeSoto Parish, Choice Foundation, and FirstLine Schools, Inc.