Editor’s note: This is the second of two stories about how iPads are helping teachers concentrate on students’ behavioral issues. The Sunflower Diversified Services Foundation has donated several iPads to USD 428 schools, most recently to Helping Hands Preschool, which was featured in the first article. This one is about Sunflower’s reasons for the donations.
While it should come as no surprise that the Sunflower Diversified Services Foundation donated an iPad to its own facilities, it may seem strange that it has also donated a few of the devices to USD 428 schools.
But it makes perfect sense to Glennda Drescher, Sunflower’s director of service coordination and chief marketing officer.
The non-profit agency’s Foundation has donated iPads to its own Early Education Center and Incredible Years Preschool, and to Lincoln School, Great Bend High School and most recently Helping Hands Preschool.
Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults with developmental disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.
“We have seen how iPads help with speech issues and are learning more about how they are a great tool for behavioral concerns,” Drescher said. “The teachers are sharing stories that are nothing short of amazing. It is gratifying to be part of that.
“These donations illustrate there really is a difference with Sunflower,” Drescher continued. “The kids will benefit but there is nothing in it for Sunflower except that we are doing the right thing. Some children will outgrow their need for additional support and special education because of good teachers and iPads.”
The Sunflower Foundation has thrown its support behind the Augmentative Technology Project, Drescher noted. The goal is to place advanced technology in the hands of people who can help the most children.
“We have seen miracles with speech concerns and now we are discovering how children can overcome behavioral barriers with the help of the iPad,” Drescher commented. “The children will grow up with fewer delays and be better prepared as they transition from our early ed center and preschool, and on into the public school system.
“Youngsters with delays or serious disabilities are making great strides in communication, social/emotional issues and behaviors,” she continued. “The younger they are, the easier it is for them to overcome or alleviate delays.”
The iPad is such a hit because it is interactive, fun and easy to use, Drescher explained. It provides a voice for those who have none, incentives for those who need them and cognitive stimulation for everyone.
“It is incredible to think that something so simple and relatively inexpensive can be so significant in improving the quality of life and the future of children with delays and disabilities,” Drescher said. “We will continue our commitment to the people we serve with the help of teachers and other Sunflower supporters.”