Disney Princess running for John Archer students
Organized by: Michelle DeSantis
EVENT DATE Feb 21, 2015
In February, I will be running 19.3 miles to raise money for a school that has a special place in my heart. I fell in love with John Archer School as soon as I started working there. It is a unique special needs school located in Bel Air, MD providing specialized education to children from ages 3 to 21. The school serves children with severe and profound disabilities. John Archer believes that "all students have the right to learn in a way that maximizes success", and I have to say that this is truly the case. This school is a special place where students with unique needs can learn in an environment adapted specifically to them, without prejudice or preconceived notions. It is a place where students not only come together to learn, but to build lasting relationships with peers and learn important life skills to maximize their independence. John Archer is more than just a school for these students. For example, the staff works with high school students to help them develop vocational skills so that they can transition successfully to adult services after graduation. Through donations the school was able to develop a vocational room where students can learn new skills in a supportive and safe environment.
John Archer also regularly uses technology to help students with Autism and other disabilities communicate their needs and effectively interact with their environment. Through donations like yours John Archer has been able to obtain this much needed technology to give a voice to students who don’t have one. They were also able to purchase sensory items, standers and specialized classroom seating for students with motor impairments, and a specialized outdoor learning center/playground designed by our staff especially for children with disabilities. Without donations and fundraisers much of that technology and equipment would not be available to these kids. These students deserve to have every opportunity to maximize their learning educationally, as well as increasing their life skills. I have never met a more loving group of children and young adults, so happy, so willing and ready to learn. My heart is forever changed and I hope that you can find it in your heart to help support such a special school that touches so many lives and leaves a positive mark on our community.