December 6, 2012 | Volume 117, Issue No. 49

Pilot program launched to support parents of children with disabilities

An innovative pilot program targeting parents of children with disabilities living in rural communities ranging from Silver Bay and Two Harbors to Willow River and McGregor is up and running and ready to serve families.

Priscilla Heimbruch, hired as the new Parent Support Mentor, is available to mentor and help parents by connecting them to needed services and resources, helping them understand the complications of the special education process, attending meetings with parents (if asked) and by lending a caring and listening ear to what parents experience while rearing children with disabilities.

Heimbruch will provide mentoring and support services to all parents of young children with disabilities living in the 12 school districts served by the Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative (NLSEC) in northeastern Minnesota and encourages parents to contact her.

The parent of a 17-year-old son with disabilities and a pre-school teacher, Heimbruch is a skilled veteran parent who understands first-hand what parents experience while parenting a child with special needs. She is able to reach out to parents through this innovative pilot program that aims to lessen family stress, improve access to resources and services and to help young children be successful by supporting their parents.

The program targets families living in 12 largely rural school districts served by the NLSEC and receives grant funding from the Van Gordon Fund of the Miller Dwan Foundation and the Northland Foundation, with additional support from Carlton County Public Health and Human Services, Cloquet Schools and the NLSEC.

Priscilla Heimbruch welcomes all parents of young children with disabilities living in these targeted school districts to contact her. She may be reached by phone at (218) 393-1200 or email at nlsecmentor@gmail.com.

The school districts covered are: Barnum ISD #91, Carlton ISD #93, Cloquet ISD #94, Cromwell-Wright ISD #95, Esko ISD #99, Hermantown ISD #700, Lake Superior ISD #381, McGregor ISD #4, Moose Lake ISD #97, Proctor ISD #704, Willow River ISD #577 and Wrenshall ISD #100

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