Stapp Inspires Organization Spotlight-Imagine! 

This month we are so excited to introduce you to our newest Stapp Inspires Spotlight Organization–Imagine! Imagine!  was established in 1963 by a group of parents determined to see that their children with developmental disabilities had the opportunity  to participate in their community. Since that beginning Imagine! has grown to offer a continuum of services to provide support for people throughout their lifetime.   

 

The mission of Imagine! Is to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. Imagine! offers a wide variety of programs tailored specifically for an individual’s needs. The majority of Imagine!’s Services can be divided into two main categories: Community Centered Board Services and Direct Support Services.

 

A Community Centered Board (CCB) is a local area’s single point of entry into local, state, and federally funded programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a community. Imagine! is currently one of 20 CCBs in Colorado, serving Boulder and Broomfield counties. Imagine!’s CCB services include coordination of Early Intervention Services, Family Support Services, and Case Management Services.

 

In addition to CCB services, Imagine! also has several departments that provide Direct Support Services. These are designed to incorporate people with developmental, cognitive, and physical challenges into the fabric of their communities. Services include educational and therapeutic services, job training and placement, recreation and leisure activities, opportunities for community living, and behavioral health services.

 

We had the opportunity to visit two different programs Imagine! offers to the community. We took a tour of the Charles Family SmartHome. This state of the art home is designed to enhance the quality of life for the residents. This well planned out house has features that allow the residents to be independent. For example, the kitchen is outfitted with counter tops that can be lowered or raised to accommodate individuals who use a wheelchair. Each resident has their own room that reflects their own unique personalities. 

 

The SmartHomes are also a living laboratory to design and test developing technologies, that may be then moved out to individual or family homes so that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities may remain in more independent and natural settings. 

 

On the other end of the spectrum we had to opportunity to join one of their Messy Play Days. This one was known as Splash Bash! As you can see Imagine!  works with the youngest in our community as well. By offering Early Intervention services Imagine! is able to help children the support they need to achieve a life of fulfilling life of new possibilities. 

 

Another big part of Imagine!’s mission is their Employing For Good Program. Imagine!’s Supported Employment program has partnered with businesses for over 30 years in Boulder and Broomfield counties, employing individuals with developmental disabilities. With support from trained Imagine! employees, these hard working and reliable individuals are eager to jump into the market and prove their skills at companies within our community! 

 

While we were only able to touch on just a few of Imagine!’s outstanding programs, we hope you will take the time to look into this great organization and see how they are positively impacting our community. We also want to thank Imagine!’s staff, individuals, and families who invited us in to learn more about this inspiring organization! 

 

Stapp Inspires Educator Spotlight – Strength In Numbers

Today is our favorite day around here. Every month we have the opportunity to introduce you to another inspiring educator in St. Vrain Valley Schools. This is our third year of traveling around the district getting to know the people around us who are inspiring the next generation. If this is your first time visiting us, thanks for stopping by. We hope that you will continue to join us and the rest of our community as we highlight a different educator each month. 

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We are so excited to introduce you to Mead Middle School Math and Special Education Teacher, Amanda White. Amanda has been teaching at Mead Middle School since 2011 and taught at the high school level for four years before moving to Colorado. 

Amanda has a warm and welcoming personality and this is reflected in her classroom. She understands her students’ struggles when they enter into her classroom. Often these students have given in to “labels” that have been assigned to them at some point in time in their life.  Middle chool can be a challenging time in a student’s life. They are learning who they are, what they want to be. To be different or to stand out from everyone else can be discouraging. Amanda creates a safe place for these students.

Amanda is inspired by the relationships she is able to build with her students. By building a relationship built on trust, she is able to push her students to the point of frustration. But she doesn’t leave them at that point. She comes alongside her students, helping them walk through that point and peel back the layers. When her students make that breakthrough, that “lightbulb” moment, she sees their confidence grow. Not only are they able to learn content, they are given the opportunity to become leaders, to advocate for themselves. Amanda allows her students to teach their peers, because the best way to learn something is to be able to teach that content to someone else. 

Amanda wants to help her students flip how they see themselves. That they are able to thrive, advocate for themselves and be leaders in the school. She wants her students to celebrate their mistakes, ‘fail forward’, as she calls it.

She has walked in their shoes. She had two teachers one in middle school and one in high school, who encouraged her to change her thoughts about herself and what she was capable of doing. Amanda was shown how to play off her strengths and be successful. If Amanda can change one student’s path, her journey was worth it. 

We asked Amanda what she would tell her eighth graders on the last day before moving on to high school. “First and foremost, if you are present and trying you are 90 percent of the way there. Our relationship isn’t ending, it’s just changing.” 

Amanda, thank you for all that you do for your students. We are certain you have changed more than one student’s path!