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

November 29, 2023 | Issue 107 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

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Giving Tuesday may be over, but you can still make a difference. At SPAN, we believe in the power of community and we invite you to join our community by supporting our efforts to engage and empower families. Please consider making a donation to our work by texting the code "SPAN" to 44-321. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, will make a difference to the families we serve. Thank you!

Important News

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OSERS Recognizes National Apprenticeship Week

In the latest blog from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), they recognized National Apprenticeship Week, which took place November 13-19.

Registered apprenticeships can serve as a strategy for individuals with disabilities to receive career training needed to get and maintain a job and/or seek advancement in their chosen career field.

National Apprenticeship Week spotlighted the value of registered apprenticeship, an “industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential,” according to

The blog includes numerous helpful materials and resources, including:

  • An overview of registered apprenticeships
  • Webinars, video series and podcasts
  • Ten resources and resource guides

To view the blog and its included resources, click here.



Resources for

Military-Connected Children with Disabilities

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Director, Valerie C. Williams sent a letter to all State Directors of Special Education and State Part C Coordinators to remind them that "...we all have an obligation to care for our military community, including ensuring high-expectations supported through a high-quality education for military-connected children with disabilities." 

She reminded them that, while all children with disabilities and their families face many challenges, "the families of military-connected children with disabilities may also have the added challenges of frequent separation from family and support networks and disruptions in the continuity of early intervention services and special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) because of frequent transitions."


The letter includes a single list of key resources, pulled together from several different government websites, that can be provided to parents and families of military-connected children with disabilities.

To read the letter from Director Williams, click here.

To see the list of key resources referenced in the letter, click here.

Nurturing Sibling Connections:

Our Next Parent Circle!

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Parent Circles are informal virtual meetings hosted by SPAN's NJ Inclusive Child Care Project in an effort to provide opportunities for families with young children as well as early childhood professionals to engage in conversations on a variety of topics related to supporting the healthy social-emotional development of young children. These meetings are offered in Spanish as well.

Families and caregivers can expect to receive helpful strategies and resources, including several from the Positive Solutions for Families training (an evidence-based, family-friendly workshop of seven sessions). Please follow us on Eventbrite to be notified when we add more!

Nurturing Positive Sibling Connections

Learning Outcomes:

  • Address some of the underlying issues that may be impacting sibling relationships.
  • Review positive strategies to address conflict between siblings
  • Discuss how children can express and address their emotions in a healthy way
  • Identify resources to help your child(ren) build healthy relationships with their sibling(s)

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm, online


[email protected] 

[email protected]

To 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

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The Changing Role of Families and Youth During Transition

Monday, Dec. 4, 12:00-1:00 PM

Online via Zoom

This event is for Families, Youth/Young adults with disabilities and adult System representatives.

The role of the caregiver and youth changes as youth with disabilities get older.

Let’s Discuss:

  • The caregiver's role early on.
  • How and why the roles change as youth age.
  • The fear of letting go and the benefits of supporting youth voice.
  • Applying supported decision-making principles early to help youth build self-determination for the future.

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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Living with Thanks

Read the latest youth blog post, "Living with Thanks," on the importance of thanks (giving) not for just one day but every day.

To access the post, click here.

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