Second Annual Community Partners Appreciation Event

Image of Casey Locey, Christine Berg and Alleta FendlerThe Program in Occupational Therapy held its second annual Community Partners Appreciation Event on October 17. The event, which is sponsored by the Program’s Community Engagement Council, brings together and recognizes organizations that provide research, educational and clinical experiences to our students. This year, two organizations were honored for developing and sustaining a collaborative relationship with us: Collective Impact Network and United 4 Children. They were nominated by Christine Berg, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, who has worked extensively with each organization.

The Collective Impact Network (The Network) is a nonprofit foundation working with organizations serving the Normandy Schools Collaborative. The Network aims to strengthen nonprofits that provide social services through strategic partnerships, coalitions and targeted investments. The Network facilitates 5byAge5, a coalition of service providers supporting children aged 0-5 years with the goal that children in Normandy Schools Collaborative show up to kindergarten ready to learn.

The mission of United 4 Children is to improve the social, emotional, physical and cognitive well-being of children by enriching the knowledge of families, teachers and caregivers. They envision a future where all children achieve educational and life success. Their programs begin in the early years when nurturing development is critical, as a majority of young children spend their days in daycare or early childhood centers. They recognize the impact that early environments have on development and are dedicated to providing training to educators for the sake of the children.

The Collective Impact Network’s 5byAge5 Initiative, United 4 Children and the Program in Occupational Therapy partner to deliver the Move2Learn program to early childhood centers on a weekly basis. The organizations assist in supervising our students, providing monthly activity kits for classrooms and offering an annual training workshop. Twice a year, they hold a check-in meeting with our students to ensure that the partnership is truly collaborative.

“This is our fourth year of the Move2Learn program. This partnership benefits both the children and their early educators. Additionally, it’s an opportunity for our occupational therapy students to be immersed in the community and learn real, practical skills,” says Berg. “Move2Learn provides teachers with ideas for classroom physical activities for children aged 3-24 months. This has been a terrific experience for everyone involved.”

Casey Locey, early childhood resource manager at The Network, and Alleta Fendler, director of Programs Achieving Quality Services at United 4 Children, accepted the awards on behalf of their organizations.

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