SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

November 22, 2023 | Issue 106 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Happy Thanksgiving image

With Grateful Hearts on Thanksgiving

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, let us pause to reflect on the moments that have shaped our year and the blessings that surround us. And what a year it has been - one full of growth, grief, change, and triumph. But through it all we remain resilient and thankful. We are grateful for it all - what we have, what we’ve lost, and for what lies ahead. 

This year has been a journey filled with success and challenge, and your unwavering support has been a source of strength. On behalf of the Board and staff, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of the families, professionals, colleagues, partners, and friends of SPAN. We truly appreciate each and every one of you for engaging with us and supporting our efforts to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families. Partnering with each of you helps us to learn and grow and motivates us to continually strive for excellence. And as we give thanks, let’s also remember those who may face ongoing challenges and let us continue to work together to make a difference, for together we rise.

In the spirit of unity and thankfulness, I wish you all a bountiful Thanksgiving, filled with an abundance of love and laughter, family and friendship, grace, peace and joy.

With gratitude,

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Important News

Picture of Carolyn receiving ASAH award.

(Pictured L/R: ASAH president, Brian Detlefsen, Carolyn Hayer, and ASAH director, John Mulholland)

ASAH Presents Carolyn Hayer with 2023 Legacy of Caring Award

At their 44th Annual Special Education Conference on Friday, November 17th, ASAH presented SPAN Executive Director, Carolyn Hayer with their 2023 Legacy of Caring Award.

The award is presented each year to an outstanding lawmaker or advocate whose work has significantly improved the lives of students and adults with disabilities in New Jersey.

ASAH serves 129 schools and agencies in New Jersey that provide highly specialized services to more than 10,000 infants, children, and young adults with disabilities and works closely with its members and the NJ Department of education to develop policy, promote effective educational practices, and foster productive collaborations between private schools, public school districts and communities.

Congratulations Carolyn on this well-deserved recognition!

For more on ASAH, click here to view their website.



Family Voices Early Childhood Focus Group Flyer

Parent/Caregiver Early Childhood Focus Group Participants Needed

Family Voices is interested in hearing from parents and caregivers of children younger than 8 years old who have used early childhood services and/or Medicaid benefits. This focus group is part of their work with the Early Childhood Developmental Health Systems (ECDHS): Evidence to Impact Center, led by ZERO TO THREE. They will conduct one 90-minute Zoom session for English-speaking families and another for Spanish-speaking families. Families will be paid $100 for participating.


During this focus group, they will talk about how to support the health and well-being of young children and their families. They hope to learn about how they can support children’s development, as well as the problems families face.

For more information, email Kasey Dudley at [email protected].

To participate, click here.

November Is Family Engagement Month

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Family involvement in a child’s development and education is one of the biggest predictors of lifelong

health and success. In November, we celebrate parents and relatives who are their child’s first teacher

and provide nurturing and supportive relationships. Families work hard every day to support young

children in growing and learning.

Let’s get busy supporting our families with these action steps in November:

  • Sign up for the PBS KIDS Newsletter here.
  • Take care of yourself – go for a walk, talk with a friend, do something fun. You deserve it!
  • Lend your voice and experience as a family leader in your school and community organizations.

Here are some great resources to help you:

Upcoming Events

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them.

Highlighted Event This Week

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Section 504 and the American Disabilities Act

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 7:00 PM

Online via Zoom

This workshop focuses on the right to services and accommodations for students with disabilities and special healthcare/emotional needs who may not be eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for special education.

For questions or more information, email Tammi Kaminski at [email protected].

To register, click here.

See all of SPAN's upcoming events with details and registration links here 

Para recibir la edición en Español de este boletín semanalmente en su correo electrónico 

haga clic aquí para suscribirse
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How I Manage My Time

Read the latest youth blog post, "How I Manage My Time," on improving time management by understanding your challenges and acting responsibly with your day-to-day.

To access the post, click here.

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