AlphaBEST Education understands the importance of creating inclusive environments where no child is excluded and in turn provides children with special needs the unique experience to participate in meaningful and authentic enrichment opportunities. To further these efforts, AlphaBEST has partnered with Kids Included Together (KIT) for staff trainings and learning opportunities that support and build on AlphaBEST’s capacity to provide students with special needs opportunities to increase their skills while building on their potential.
“One of our core values at AlphaBEST Education is ‘We Put Children First’ and through these KIT facilitated learning opportunities, our team members are now better able to design and support an environment that is safe, nurturing and fun for children of all abilities,” said Heather Alfonso, COO, AlphaBEST Education. “KIT brings nearly 20 years of training hundreds of organizations just like ours on how to include children with disabilities and have become specialists in our field around the unique challenges, changing demands, and complex needs we face as an organization that partners with school districts.”
KIT has developed an extensive library of best practices information and research, which AlphaBEST is now able to utilize at all levels within the organization. Their teams, who have worked in the after school field, have vetted these practices firsthand and can speak from real experience.
Goals from these trainings include:
The trainings included regional directors, area managers and site directors, and explored a variety of topics and workshops including:
“We understand that inclusionary practices enhance student’s self-esteem, as well as promote acceptance, understanding, and friendship in the after school environment,” said Alfonso. “This helps to foster the development of social skills for children—with and without disabilities—through peer interaction, collaboration, and learning. That’s why we embed these opportunities in their daily programming through their enrichment learning zones.”
Through the continued leadership of KIT’s Kathryn King, AlphaBEST team members look forward to ongoing support and coaching.