Volunteer program supports families enrolled in special education

Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood and Cleveland Transformation Alliance are providing free training for people interested in volunteering to help Central neighborhood parents and families navigate the special education process. Provided by the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD) the volunteer training will consist of four sessions and volunteers that complete the training will be designated as education partners.

The paperwork, jargon and overall process of having a student enrolled in special education can be overwhelming for many families. That’s why it’s essential for families and schools to work together to help special education students succeed. The volunteer education partners will act as a support system for Central families that may not be aware of their role in the special education process and the responsibilities of schools.

Volunteer education partners will support families as they navigate the special education process.
Volunteer education partners will support families as they navigate the special education process.

Research shows that parent involvement in education can predict a child’s academic success. The benefits of parent involvement increase dramatically if a student has learning differences or is on an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).Volunteer education partners will assist families with preparation for IEP meetings and may even attend IEP meetings or parent-teacher conferences with families to provide support. By partnering families with education partners, Promise Neighborhood and Cleveland Transformation Alliance hope to increase the involvement of parents’ involvement in children’s education, to strengthen relationships between school educators and families and increase understanding and awareness of roles and responsibilities throughout the educational journey.

OCECD training sessions with inform volunteer education partners on topics such as:

  • Understanding and writing the Individualized Educational Plan – Tuesday, Oct. 24, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Section 504 – Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities – Thursday, Oct. 26, 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Parent/Professional communication – Thursday, Nov. 16, 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Parent’s rights in the special education process – Tuesday, Nov. 21, 12:30 – 3 p.m.

All trainings will be held at the Sisters of Charity Health System, 2475 East 22nd Street, 6th Floor, Cleveland, Ohio 44115.

If you are interested in attending the OCECD trainings and becoming a volunteer education partner, click on this link to complete registration: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QHBFRT8.

If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact Richaun Bunton, Promise Neighborhood education performance manager, at rbunton@socfcleveland.org.