Organizers of the upcoming five-year reunion hope it will serve a dual purpose:
Sunflower Diversified Services can learn about the progress made by children who attended its Early Education Center (EEC) and Incredible Years Preschool; and families can re-discover that both our children’s services have an extended family for support, explained Cathy Estes, services coordinator.
Families of youngsters that are currently enrolled and those who received services during the last five years are invited to the 2006-to-present reunion. It is set for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31, at the Early Education Center, 1312 Patton, Great Bend. A silent auction, door prizes and an ice cream social are on the agenda.
"We have been wanting to get together with our families, and since this year is Sunflower’s 45 anniversary, now is a great time," Estes said. "All of us want to share current and past successes and learn how our families are doing today. A combination 45th birthday party and reunion should be a great venue."
Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults with developmental disabilities in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. The EEC is one of 37 Kansas tiny-k networks serving children with delays, age birth to 3. The Incredible Years Preschool is for any child age 2-and-a-half to 5.
"This is a come-and-go reunion," Estes said. "We hope our families can find a little time to stop by. We want to hear children’s success stories and to let families know we are still here with information about resources they might need.
"Some parents may want to mentor other parents and this would be a good way for them to get acquainted," Estes added. "Parents often need someone who understands their situation, and they can be a strong source of comfort for one another."
In addition, Estes noted, parents may want to know how they can help spread the word about the importance of early intervention in children’s lives.
"We will share information about how parents can allow their voices to be heard at the Kansas Legislature," Estes said. "Legislators have a difficult job and welcome information from people who have first-hand knowledge about infants and toddlers with developmental delays and the free intervention services we provide."
Families in each of Sunflower’s service-area counties are invited to the reunion. For more information, call 620-792-4087.