As a special education teacher at Gretna Elementary School, Beth Putnam teaches students with a variety of educational needs and objectives.
Due to federal education cuts, Putnam was unable to obtain the classroom technology tools she needed in order to tailor her teaching to students with unique needs. Putnam said, “New [education] tools come out all of the time, but 90 percent of the time, funding doesn’t exist.”
To fill the gap in funding, Putnam applied for a grant from the Autism Education Fund from the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region. The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce served as the nonprofit fiscal intermediary. Putnam’s request was one of three selected by the Community Foundation to receive a grant from the Autism Education Fund during the 2013 grant cycle.
Putnam used the grant funding to purchase two programs that would help her to support the individualized education plans for her students. The programs are an Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills and a Verbal Behavior Milestone Assessment Placement program. Both programs are designed specifically for children with autism and/or children with developmental delays. Each of these science based resources includes an assessment, curriculum guide and skills tracking system. By using this tool kit, teachers such as Putnam can test a child’s language and social skills, develop curriculums based on the programs’ guides, and track their students’ progress. “This tool kit helps teachers work with students on an individual level,” said Putnam. By sharing these tools with other teachers, Putnam believes it has helped numerous children learn and develop the skills they need.
Apply for a Grant from the Autism Education Fund
To learn more about the Autism Education Fund, visit danriverautism5k.org/autism-education-fund. The deadline for the 2014 grant cycle has been extended to Monday, March 10, 2014. To apply, visit the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region’s website: www.cfdrr.org/announcements/applications-being-accepted-for-two-education-funds.
For all questions regarding the grant, contact Blair Lumpkins, Program Officer with the Community Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.