February 2019

          A LABBB Collaborative        Newsletter
   Sharing best practices for promoting inclusive opportunities         for  students with special needs 
LABBB Ski Trip 2019  
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri
Recreation, Recreation, Recreation!

LABBB has partnered with many recreational programs over the years. Paula Rizzo, LABBB Recreation and Integration Coordinator, has coordinated the LABBB Recreational program for the past 30+ years and she has collaborated with other agencies, giving our students many different options for socialization. We have also heard from our alumni about programs that they have been attending, and our goal is to try to get as many LABBB alumni participating in the same activities as possible. 

It is the collaboration of recreation programs in our communities that will give our students an array of activities to keep them busy. We emphasize participation in our recreational programs because we emphatically hear what our current students and alumni are asking for. Recreational opportunities will be the single most important activity our students will need when they graduate. 

Our goal is to expand the continuity of social opportunities with LABBB into the post 22 world. LABBB has started to organize alumni dances and evening social groups. Typically, this is not something a school gets involved in, as services end at 22. We see it differently, we are a community responsible for keeping our mission alive post 22. If you speak with alumni parents and graduates you are going to hear the same message over and over, "They loved going to the LABBB dances. Is it possible to do anything more for our alumni?" 

LABBB will expand its services and embark on other post 22 adult services as well. You will be hearing more about this soon. We look forward to a future when every family knows that when they come to LABBB they can now be connected for life. 

P atric
Humza's Story
By: Tim Callahan

"Humza is a refined young man with a pure heart and soul. He is amazingly        caring, pleasant, and zealous. He is never afraid to make new friends and he is always ready to help others. He is a natural born artist and is able to show others how he sees the world around him." Spoken like a truly proud father, but within a short time it was clear how accurate he was!
Humza started at LABBB in September 2017, at which time he began an internship one day per week at Whole Foods Cambridge. He did well facing shelves, collecting baskets, packaging products, and building pizza boxes.
He continued to work hard, then had an opportunity to apply for a paid position at Market Basket in his hometown of Wilmington with the help of LABBB. He was hired and quickly became a well liked and valued employee. During a recent shift, Brianna, a front end manager explained, "We love working with Humza, he is always in a good mood! Always smiling!"
In addition, Humza's school schedule now also includes our new paid assembly position at Harvard University's IT Department. The group is responsible for testing, assembling, and packaging computers and computer parts.
Humza's family also described his recent enrollment into LABBB's ICEI program at Middlesex Community College as "a dream come true". He has always loved drawing and the drawing course at MCC helped him polish this talent for artistic expression. In fact, at the MCC holiday craft fair, Humza decided to start making holiday greeting cards to participate in LABBB's craft fair. This was his first try and he sold 40 cards! This opened another opportunity for him, being an entrepreneur. His cards are now for sale everyday at Omar's World of Comics in downtown Lexington.
Ask any employer to explain what qualities they are looking for in an employee. They certainly will describe someone who is honest, hardworking, dependable, enthusiastic, and a great team player. This perfectly describes Humza's performance at each internship, class, or paid job that he has had. It has been a pleasure to watch Humza continue to grow as a worker, college student, entrepreneur, and positive example to other students.
Humza also loves to travel. He has visited Italy, Belgium, England, Dubai, Pakistan, and Canada. He enjoys talking about travel and his many adventures. In fact, his favorite television program is "Rick Steves' Europe". Being a part of Team Humza has been a blast so far and we are glad that he is also visiting us on his journey!
Inclusion Opportunities @ Burlington High
By: Becky Niman
C arolyn and Ella, both juniors in the DECA (marketing/business) Club at Burlington High School, approached LABBB teachers asking if our students would be interested in being a part of their business project related to sales at the school store. Their ultimate goal is to increase sales of the Burlington High apparel that is sold there.

In order to showcase the new clothes being sold, a fashion show was organized with a few of the club members, incorporating the LABBB program into this fun experience. The show was held on January 8th in the school library. Many of our students were happy to volunteer and were excited for the opportunity to be included. The DECA students will present their project at the upcoming State 
DECA Competition.
Clinical Corner: Supporting Student Mental Health During the Winter Months
By:  Amanda Penn, LMHC & Kerry Joachim, LMHC

Many people love the variety of seasons in New England, however, the winter can present challenges for some.  The cold, snow, and short days make it easy for us to just stay inside and be a homebody, but that can have a negative impact on our mental health.  Students may also find that the winter impacts their mood and energy level.

Here are a few ideas to encourage your students to improve and maintain good mental health during the long winter:
  • Getting outside in the sunlight. Vitamin D is known to help improve your mood and sleep.
  • Recommend your student to move as much as they can.  Stretches or yoga inside or even a short walk can be helpful.
  • Find ways to get fresh air and enjoy the cold weather.  Skiing, skating, sledding, building snow forts or outdoor science experiments such as blowing bubbles outside to watch them freeze are just a few ideas.
  • Support your student in making an effort to be social.  Help your student make plans to reach out and connect with others.  
  • Engage your student in brainstorming ways to keep busy.  Consider visiting libraries, museums, playing board games, reading, watching movies, volunteering, or participating in programs at your local recreation center.
  • Give your students friendly reminders that eating healthy and staying hydrated are essential to feeling your best both physically and emotionally.
Groundhog Day Predicting and Cooking Group at Francis Wyman
By: Amanda Scheriff & Sarah Bennett

On February 1, the students at Francis Wyman had a blast predicting the outcome of Groundhog Day and making pudding cups that matched their guesses during their speech/ cooking group! The students first learned about and explored shadows using their core words (can, see, not) to learn about how the groundhog can or cannot see his shadow based on the sun. Then they made their best guess to answer the question, "Will the groundhog see his shadow?" During the cooking part of the activity, the students loved crushing Oreos and tasting the pudding that they mixed. They took time to think about what we see in the winter and what we see in the spring to select some decorations. Then, each cup was decorated with spring items (if they guessed the groundhog would not see his shadow) or winter items (if they guessed he would see his shadow). Our classroom vote was a tied result; guess we will have to wait and see w ho wa s righ t!

Book Buddies at Fox Hill
By: Jill Bishop and Beth Veguilla

Every Friday morning, the 4th grade students at Fox Hill Elementary School have the opportunity to be "Book Buddies" to the Kindergarten classrooms.  Each week the 4th graders select books of their choice to read to their buddy.  This activity allows the students to practice their read aloud skills and serve as a peer model to the younger students!  
An Important Lesson in History
By: Alyssa Penney & John Vlachos
The students in the new K-2 classroom at Memorial School learned about an important person in history: Martin Luther King, Jr.  They watched BrainPop videos, checked out books from the library, and worked on a writing journal.  They learned the importance of treating people fairly, no matter who they are or what they look like.  They learned about MLK Jr's dream: to live in a world where who we are on the inside is more important than what we look like on the outside. We have our own dreams too!  Some of the students' dreams in Room 186 include: "more Christmas," "becoming the President, " and "for or all kids to be nice to me."  Our students also thought about ways they can show kindness, which includes "using kind words," "helping other people," and "sharing toys with my sister."  One day at a time, we can make the world a kinder place and accomplish our dreams.
2019 LABBB Transition Fair

Recreation News and Events
By:  Paula Rizzo, Integration and Recreation Coordinator

Upcoming Recreation Trip Due Dates:

  • Tuesday & Thursday Bowling - Due February 13
  • Wednesday Recreation - Due February 13

*Please make sure to submit separate checks for each activity you are signing your student up for.

LABBB 2019 Ski Trip Pictures!



A LABBB Podcast

In this episode, we were joined by Amanda Scheriff, LABBB Speech Pathologist. Amanda recently completed a workshop series with LABBB parents from our Fox Hill, Butler, Memorial and Wellington elementary programs; teaching them skills about modeling for successful communication using AAC. Educators, parents, and anyone in the special education field will find this podcast extremely valuable. Ultimately, our goal is to help our students become independent communicators and using a consistent modeling system in school and at home will give our students the best opportunity in meeting this goal. Amanda talks about the Model as a MASTER Pal program and how she is developing this in the LABBB programs.

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