CIU 20 to Host Sensory Friendly COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 will be hosting a Sensory Friendly COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for everyone 5 years and older on December 16, 2021 from 3 pm to 8 pm. The clinic location is Colonial Academy, 1353 Jacobsburg Road, Wind Gap, PA 18091. Registration is required. Interested individuals can fill out this quick and easy registration form so the proper dosage can be reserved.
First dose and / or booster shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine will be administered. For those eligible, the date to receive the second dose will be January 6, 2022 at the same location.
A Sensory Friendly Experience
Colonial IU 20 is committed to creating a calming experience for children and adults who may have sensory challenges. The clinic has been planned in a sensory friendly way and trained professionals will be on site to assist individuals with any difficulties. Goodie bags of sensory friendly items will be distributed while supplies last.
Meet Our Special Guests
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms mascot, meLVin, will be at the clinic from 5:00 pm until 5:30 pm.
Santa Claus will be at the clinic to take pictures with attendees in front of a festive holiday backdrop.
Thanks to our Community Partners
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20's mission is to make our community a better place and we are proud to partner with these like-minded community organizations on implementing this COVID-19 vaccine clinic.
Kiwanis Club of Easton Partnership Continues
For 40 years, Colonial IU 20 has partnered with the Kiwanis Club of Easton on a holiday party that is typically attended by over 150 students in our programs. This year's party was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, but the gracious Kiwanians volunteered to create special treat bags to be sent home with about 275 students in CIU 20 programs. The contents of the treat bags were donated by various community partners of Kiwanis and Colonial IU 20.
The treat bags were assembled by Kiwanis members at the CIU 20 central office and then delivered by CIU 20 supervisors to students in their classrooms. Colonial IU 20 is proud of this long-range community partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Easton and we are thankful for their flexibility to continue this tradition.
Community Based Learning Opportunities Expand with New Site
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 has partnered with Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center in Bangor, PA to offer a new community based learning site for member district students with life skills needs. The students who visit the site regularly are enrolled in the Life Skills Support classrooms of Kathryn McCormick and Pamela Esbin at Pen Argyl High School.

The students learn and practice a variety of vocational skills at the Kirkridge campus that includes a commercial kitchen, dining area, bedrooms, bathrooms, and trails. These experiences turn into data that is used by each student's educational team for focused transition assessments and planning.
In the first month of students visiting Kirkridge, they have practiced and worked on cleaning, washing dishes, bed making, vacuuming, folding laundry, raking, general ground maintenance, and made Christmas cookies together.

Pamela Esbin sees tremendous growth opportunities for her students at Kirkridge, "Our experience has been amazing and my students look forward to going every week. We embrace this new experience at Kirkridge and the staff there are wonderful to work with...we look forward to this continued partnership!"
National Giving Month Inspires Community Service Project
December is National Giving Month and the residents of Brookmont Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Effort, PA will soon be receiving handmaid gifts from the classrooms of Debbie Gladd (Pocono Mountain East Junior High) and Christine Scavello (Pocono Mountain East High School) to brighten up their holiday season.
With the help of classroom support staff and CIU 20 Occupational Therapist, Lisa Asay, Ms. Gladd's students made festive placemats and Ms. Scavello's students made personalized holiday cards. These teachers plan to keep "giving" as we move out of December and into 2022, with an upcoming community service project focused on helping the Animal Welfare Society of Monroe in Stroudsburg, PA. Thanks to these CIU 20 team members for being proactive members of their community.
Staff Spotlight - Karissa Johnson
Innovative Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments
Karissa Johnson has served Colonial IU 20 for the last three years as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments. Karissa feels strongly about giving every student the opportunity to learn - "When I can do anything to give students with visual impairments equitable access to their education, teach them to use it efficiently, and then watch them independently implement strategies, then I'm doing it right."
Making Connections, Partnering with Northampton Area School District, Collaborating for Student Success
Although she's a relatively new member of the CIU 20 team, her advice for an employee starting out with the IU is very astute, "Try your best to make connections with the school districts you are placed in. It makes your districts feel more like home, which I think is especially important for staff like myself who are itinerants. Learn the names of secretaries, greet district teachers as you pass them in the hallway, involve the LEA's in your triumphs and frustrations. When these connections are made, it's much easier to feel part of the district and be recognized as such." 
Karissa put her own advice into action when she partnered with Northampton Area School District on a project that involved the design and printing of a set of 3D braille stampers. The set includes 26 individual stampers, one for each letter of the alphabet, that can be pressed into Play-Doh and used as a hands-on tool to help promote literacy with students who are visually impaired. She originally saw the idea for the 3D stampers when she spotted them for purchase online at a high cost, and wondered if it was something that could be produced in-house.
Karissa requested a meeting with Ashley Thomas, NASD Assistive Technology Specialist, and CJ McHugh, NASD Technology Facilitator, and a plan was made to create and produce the stampers utilizing NASD's resources. Karissa notes how quickly NASD got on board with this passion project, "I think this collaboration was successful because of the understanding of what we do at the IU from Northampton. The request was never met with hesitance, but only the district embracing my request for these students placed in Northampton IU classrooms to have access to additional hands-on, literacy based activities. Because Ashley and CJ had previous knowledge of 3D printing, they were instantly receptive to my idea and eager to increase their own knowledge base regarding how 3D printing can support students who are visually impaired."
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At Colonial IU 20, we believe in RELATIONSHIPS that support student growth, RESPONSIVENESS to stakeholders crucial needs, RESULTS demonstrated through effective services and programs, and INNOVATION to improve student outcomes.
Colonial IU 20 provides educational, administrative, and management services to 13 school districts and 3 career and technical centers in Northampton, Monroe, and Pike Counties. As one of the community’s largest employers and contributors, the 1,400 full and part-time staff at CIU 20 provides direct and indirect services to 79,000 public school children; 9,000 non-public school children; and 7,000 professional staff in our service region of 1,200 square miles.