January 2018

          A LABBB Collaborative  Newsletter

   Sharing best practices for promoting inclusive opportunities       for  students with special needs 
A Time For Giving!
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri
Building A Frame For The Future      
The Thursday before vacation we had a parent group discussion with guest Michael Weiner. This was an incredibly informative discussion about planning for your son or daughter's future. The more I think about this, the more I am convinced that this is the information we all need to be learning when our children are in elementary school. Most parents who attend these workshops are parents who have children in high school. The time is getting close to graduation and the amount of information they need to learn about in a short time is overwhelming. In LABBB, we want to help you start this process earlier. 

It is safe to say that planning for anyone's future can be complicated and stressful, but planning for a child with special needs is extremely complicated, as we need to think about so many topics including: Guardianship, SSI, SSDI, IEP's, Special Needs Trusts, 688's, MASShealth, Housing, ABLE Accounts, Job Opportunities, Supports, Adult Agencies, and much, much more. I have been in special education for 29 years and I am now a guardian for a person with special needs and my head is spinning. I feel fortunate though, because I am in a place where I have the resources to make informed decisions. Every parent in LABBB also has access to these resources, and we are learning more and more. 

I am imploring everyone to begin getting involved now. Start learning now. You will be much better prepared. Your IEP is a platform to talk about what is going on now and in the future. Discussions about planning should be part of the IEP. We need to look beyond 22. 

Building a future for your son or daughter is like building a frame to a house. All of the items that I mention above will be the supports that connect each part of the frame for your child with special needs. If you don't know what you are building, you will never have a solid frame to complete the rest of your house. You will be missing out on so many resources you could be providing for your son or daughter. This house can't be built in 6 months; it will take many years. 

Every time I attend a workshop, I am thinking, how do we get this information to our parents? How to we help them understand how important it is to know. Think about how many years your child will be living past age 22. What will their independent life be like? 

LABBB is a place you can get all this information. Our parents are incredible resources as many of them are learning the system. I can assure you that the ones that are planning are feeling good about it and are awakened to the fact that they need help. We all need this help. 

We will continue to offer these workshops and discussion groups to share our information. We will continue to help parents build a frame. 

Magnificent Musicians at Fox Hill
By: Beth Veguilla
The fourth and fifth graders at Fox Hill Elementary School participated in the holiday chorus concert. They have been attending inclusion classes for chorus twice a week to prepare for this event.  They memorized five different songs and some even had speaking parts in between songs. They performed a morning show for the parents and an afternoon show for the rest of the students and teachers at Fox Hill.  Each performance lasted over an hour.  In addition, our third graders are excited to be starting the recorder in their music classes this month. We are so proud of all of them!

Shooting and Editing for TV
Annmarie Linehan
On November 28th, eight LABBB students began a four-week class offered by Bedford TV Community Access Television.  This hands-on, fun class teaches first-time students the basics of video production.  Classes are usually held in the Bedford TV studio located in the Old Town Hall, 16 South Road in Bedford, but Greg Dolan, the Director, offered to hold these classes at the TV studio at Bedford High School. Six students from the Bedford LABBB Program and two from the Lexington campus participated in these sessions.  Greg, Nick, and Julie, also from Bedford TV, did a great job working with our students, making the sessions entertaining and educational, and provided them opportunities to explore each task involved in video production.

The class was called SHOOTING AND EDITING FOR TV. It introduced students to the use of the equipment and to some important shooting techniques.  Students learned to use hand-held video cameras, operate cameras on tripods, and learned the mechanics of the control room.  They filmed each other interviewing other students, as well as learned to play the role of the person being interviewed. These activities taught them the importance of good communication skills when you are on camera. They were also taught how to film outside of the studio (field shooting). 

Students received a certificate of completion at the end of the four-week session. Greg offered to give the students a tour of the South Road TV station after the Holiday break. More advanced classes, such as Introduction to Post Production, Introduction to Studio Production, and Introduction to Field Production, are offered as follow-up classes to the Shooting and Editing class in which LABBB participated.  Greg often works with both Bedford Middle School and Bedford High School students who take classes, do internships, or volunteer at the studio or in the field. He can be reached at staff@bedford.tv for class dates/times or further information.
Clinical Corner: New Year, New You!
By: Kaitlin Taylor
Happy New Year! Over the course of a year, we all ebb and flow with our ability to work towards our goals. This is true for teachers, students, and families-and it's okay! The start of the new calendar year is a great time to recommit to existing goals or set new goals.
Here are some helpful steps to creating and reaching your goals:
  1. Think about something that is important for you to change. This varies from person to person.
  2. Be reasonable about your goal. Make sure it is something you can actually achieve in the amount of time you have designated.
  3. Break it down into manageable steps. Set a daily, weekly, or monthly goal to meet to help you achieve your year-long goal.
  4. Choose the reward you will receive for achieving your goal. It can be anything from putting stickers on the calendar each time you get to the gym, taking a picture for each family game night you have, or treating your student to a special treat after a month of progress!
  5. Actually give yourself the reward as you as you achieve it!
  6. Don't let setbacks completely derail you. Let's face it, setbacks happen and that's okay. Just try again as soon as you can.
Now that you have the steps, get started!
Best Buddies Happenings at Chenery Middle School
By: Maggie Keen
During the last week of school in 2017, Chenery Middle School had a Best Buddies event making gingerbread houses.  Best Buddies is a program where our LABBB students are matched up with volunteer students from Chenery for the school year.  The buddies have a great time getting to know each other throughout the school year, helping each other during the events and saying hi in the hallways and cafeteria during the school days.  Each month we do a Best Buddies event where the buddies complete different activities and games together.  For our December event, the buddies had a blast building and decorating gingerbread houses in our large community room, before watching a holiday movie. 

Bedford LABBB in the Season for Gift Giving!
By: William Brincklow & Krissy Shannon

Once again this year, the Bedford LABBB students  participated in the student Santa program which benefited the St. Vincent De Paul charity.  Our students and staff raised over $300 to give gifts to two students this year.
The Bedford LABBB students went on several shopping trips to places such as Target and Marshalls.  We carefully selected gifts for a ten year old girl and a nine month old baby boy.
All of the students enjoyed wrapping presents and supporting the community during this important gesture.  Mrs. Carver and five of the Bedford LABBB students had the opportunity to drive over to Waltham high School to participate in the wonderful gift giving ceremony on December 21, 2017.

Secret Santa Charity
By: Becky Niman
Every year, LABBB is asked to participate in a Secret Santa charity event run by St. Vincent DePaul Society. Classes are asked to sponsor families in need during the holiday season. This year, Burlington High students generously donated and shopped for two children, a 3 year old boy and 7 year old girl. Thanks to the money donated, we were able to purchase gifts for these children to help make the holidays more special.

Our students planned the shopping trips during class and participated in discussions about wants and needs and what is important at this time of year. Both classes traveled to Target and had the opportunity to practice budgeting, purchasing, and general social/community skills. The next day we reflected on this experience while wrapping the gifts, listening to holiday music in the kitchen, and enjoying some treats.

On Thursday, Dec. 21st, we attended the annual assembly at Waltham High School to present the gifts and were treated to a concert put on by the chorus and band of Waltham High.

We are so proud of all the students and how well they handled this experience, and we look forward to participating in this event again next year! From all of us, thank you to all of our families for your generous donations.  
Recreation News and Events
By:  Paula Rizzo, Integration and Recreation Coordinator

Recreation Updates

Happy New Year!

T his year, based on parent recommendations, we added an on-line LABBB Gear Store. 
Due to the great success during it's initial opening, we will be opening the store again from January 29 through February 12, 2018. This time, we will be selling the "Say No to the R Word" long and short sleeve t-
shirts & hoodies. Keep an eye out for the announcement with the link. Additionally, we will sell the short sleeve t-shirts from February 26 to March 7, 2018 in our LABBB High School programs. Be sure to purchase your gear early so you don't miss out on this year's new design.

We are actively preparing for our February trips as well  as the Tuesday and Thursday bowling and Wednesday Recreation.   

Tuesday bowling starts on March 27th, Thursday bowling will start on  March 8th, and Wednesday Recreation programs will start on March 28th. Check your mailboxes (and our LABBB website) for the registration forms.

This month, the LABBB Basketball teams are getting ready for their season.  We had 36 students at try outs, enough to build three teams. Good luck to the 2017/2018 teams.  


A LABBB Podcast

In this episode we are joined by 'Omar's World of Comics & Hobbies' Manager, Sally Hoops. Omar Masood has been a student in LABBB since middle school and he is graduating this April from the LABBB Lexington High Program. Omar's parents had a vision of creating a business for him when he graduates to keep him connected to the LABBB community. Omar has had an interest in comics since he was a young boy and this sparked an idea! 

This vision is now a reality. Omar's World of Comics & Hobbies will be opening in Lexington Center at 30 Waltham Street in the next month. LABBB will be partnering with the Masoods and Sally Hoops to run this business. The store is a short walk from the Lexington High School program, and many LABBB students will be involved in the day to day responsibilities of running the store. Kristin Dailey, LABBB Transition Department Supervisor who has been working with Sally, also joins us for this episode. This is an exciting opportunity, and we are looking forward to making this a huge success!

More Episodes:

Gazebo Skating 
By: John Marchand, Middlesex School
Our 32nd year of Gazebo Skating begins on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at the Middlesex School rink in Concord.  As usual, we'll skate from MA at 11:40 am - 12:40pm every Saturday until the end of February, thanks to Middlesex's support.  There may be one Saturday when we skate a bit later due to a youth hockey tournament. We'll let you know.

As most of you know, Middlesex School volunteer students, faculty and staff work to help special needs students and non-special needs skaters to learn the basics and joy of gliding on a near-friction-less surface.  Volunteers have no special training beyond skating basics and an appreciation of the fun of helping another experience ice skating, but it's seems to work.

As most of you know this is a very informal, free program. Siblings, family members and friends are welcome.  Middlesex asks only that you sign a waiver (I'll have the first week) and ensure that skaters have safe helmets and appropriate clothing (gloves, etc).  At the end of the season directly following the last skate, we plan to celebrate our progress and give participants a small token marking their achievement.

Best regards 
John Marchand
Parent Resources
  • LABBB School Cancellation Policy: 
    All LABBB programs follow the school cancellations in their respective towns.
Recreation Links  

(FNFC) Friday Night Fun Club, Bedford, Ann Seamans: AnnSeamans@aol.com or 781-275-8381
(MMArc) Minute Man Arc Afternoon Recreation Afternoon Recreation & Friday Nights (16+yrs), Darcie Heller: dheller@minutemanarc.org or C:978-201-2481/W: 978-287-7936 

(TILL) Toward Independent Living & Learning Travel:  Springboard Club, Dedham, high independence, Dale Belcher: Dale.Belcher@tillinc.org or 781-302-4619 (RARA) Recreational Adult Resource Association, Lowell Contact: Office@RARAagency.org or 978-453-5598 
Riverside Community Care: DDS Family Support Center, Woburn Kaley Stoner: kstoner@riversidecc.org or 781-686-6073  Lifelinks - DDS Family Support Center, Chelmsford, Rachel Ward Sullivan: wardsullivan@lifelinksinc.net or 978-349-3040  *verify current + open to public 

Greater Marlborough Programs Inc - Social & Recreation (DDS Family Support), Marlborough Jim Karami: Jim@gmpinc.org or 508-485-4227 ext. 1006 
Echo Enrichment, Burlington, Mary Ann Perreira,echonews@echoenrichment.com or 781-640-9351 
Trips R Us, Framingham, Mike Graham: mike@tripsrus.org or 508-405-0999 

Alternative Leisure (ALCS), Bedford, Drew Bilillies: alctrips@aol.com or 781-275-0023 
Music Makes Me Happy Chorus, Lexington, Marsha Martin: Marsha@mmmh-singers.org 
Concord Recreation, Anna Wood: awood@concordma.

Sudbury Therapeutic Recreation, Amber Forbes: ForbesA@sudbury.ma.us or 978-639-3257 

Belmont (SPORT) Special Programs Heidi Barbiero:  recreation@belmont-ma.gov  or 617-993-2760 

(SNAP) Special Needs Arts Program Chorus & Art, Lexington Contact: info@snaparts.org or 781-325-8025

(GWArc) Greater Waltham Arc Recreation/Plus: Mike Mullins: Recreation@gwarc.org or 781-899-1344 x4120  Newton Therapeutic Recreation w/ Newton Athletes Unlimited, NewtonMark Kelly: mkelly@newtonma.gov or 617-796-1527 
Kids in Disability Sports (K.I.D.S.), Lowell, Info: info@kidsinc.us or 866-712-7799 
Access Sport America, Acton, BettyMiller: Betty@accessportamerica.org
Burlington Therapeutic Recreation, Burlington, Laurel Rossiter:
CTRS@burlington.org, 781-270-1937

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