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

March 6, 2024 | Issue 120 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

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Celebrating National Women's History Month

The National Women’s History Month’s theme for 2024 celebrates “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” The theme recognizes women throughout the country who understand that, for a positive future, we need to eliminate bias and discrimination entirely from our lives and institutions.

Women from every background have long realized that an uneven playing field will never bring equality or justice. Many feel the critical need to speak up and work harder for fairness in our institutions and social interactions.

During 2024, we recognize the example of women who are committed to embracing everyone and excluding no one in our common quest for freedom and opportunity. They know that people change with the help of families, teachers and friends, and that young people in particular need to learn the value of hearing from diverse voices with different points of view as they grow and mature.

As a women-led organization, SPAN serves with a social justice lens and a foundational commitment to children and families with the greatest need. To learn more about our Vision, Mission and Commitment, click here.

To learn about some of the special ways you can celebrate Women's History Month, click here.


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From Trenton: School Safety Planning for Students with Disabilities

In January, Governor Murphy signed legislation, P.L. 2023, c. 212 (A1174/S2057) concerning emergency planning for students with disabilities in school settings. The bill clarifies the ways in which students with disabilities—specifically, those with an IEP, 504 Plan, or Health Plan—must participate in school safety drills.

The bill requires a written plan when needed, documentation of student needs in the event of drills and emergency situations, staff training, and the participation of local first responders.

To read more on the legislation, click here.

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Opportunity to Participate in a Focus Group

SPAN is partnering with the NJ Department of Health to conduct focus groups with parents of children diagnosed with Congenital Cytomegalovirus, or CMV.

If your child has been diagnosed with CMV and you are interested to participate in a study that may help improve access to services and systems, please contact Amanda Villamar at [email protected] or Emajonite Etinenne at [email protected]. 

Photo of Peter "Matthew" Byra

In Memoriam

Peter "Matthew" Byra

Matt was a well-known trailblazer in the disability community, entering the disability system at a time when there were few options to meet the needs of children or adults with significant disabilities. Supported by the unwavering advocacy of his mother, Eleanor, Matt gradually transitioned from the Warren County Day Training Center to Hunterdon Central High School. Matt became an active member of the HCHS community, serving as water boy at basketball games and was the first student with severe disabilities to graduate with his class. The high school experience was not only important to Matt but made a huge impact on his fellow students. 

To learn more about Matthew, click here to view his obituary page. 

Early Literacy Workshop flyer

Join Us for an Early Literacy Workshop

Friday, March 14


Via Zoom

Join us for a panel discussion with experts in the field of early literacy and find out what's happening in New Jersey Schools on the subject.

During the discussion, we will:

  • Review how districts are addressing the science of reading
  • Discuss how students can receive the support they need to read
  • Learn about initiatives spearheaded by the NJDOE to support early literacy
  • Identify best practices for effective family-school partnerships for literacy achievement.

To learn more and register, click here.

Upcoming Events

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

Highlighted Event This Week

Partners In Education Transition Mini Conference flyer

Partners in Education

Transition Mini-Conference: Building a Future of Possibilities

10:00AM - 3:00PM ET

Saturday, April 6

East Brunswick Public Library

Civic Center Dr.

East Brunswick, NJ 08816

In Person

This FREE conference is for youth and their parents/caregivers on the topics of transition to adult life, adult services, self-advocacy, assistive technology, and more.

  • Do you understand your youth's transition plan?
  • Does your youth need to build their self-advocacy skills?
  • Are you a youth preparing to transition from school to adult life?

Join us in person to learn strategies and resources from SPAN!

To learn more and register, click here.

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

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haga clic aquí para suscribirse
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Study Smarter

Read our latest youth blog post, "Study Smarter," on efficient ways to study and achieve academic success. 

To access the post, click here.

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