Charlotte, NC – First in Families of Mecklenburg County (FIF), a project of InReach announces the availability of Summer Camp Funds for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The application intake process starts on Tuesday, February 2, 2016. The application is available online: http://www.inreachnc.org/site/images/pdf_fif_2015/fifmeck%20application%20packet%2010.2015.pdf
The 2016 maximum award amount per camper is $400. The maximum award amount per household is $600.00 for two or more children living in the same household.
No phone calls will be accepted. No commitments can/will be made via telephone. Individuals are to submit the FIF application with all required documentation via fax or mail. During the review process, some applications may be denied if supportive documentation is missing.
Individuals who have received FIF assistance within the past six months may still apply for Summer Camp Funds. Also, individuals who are awarded Summer Camp Funds are not restricted from requesting assistance with a basic need such as rent or utilities.
About First in Families
First in Families has been a project of InReach since, 1999. FIF is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization offering resources and assistance to help people become self-sufficient or meet a basic need, such as housing (rent or mortgage payments), utilities, food, clothing, furniture or appliances. This program can help when all other options have been exhausted. Visit us at www.inreachnc.org for more information.
Dorian is a special education teacher and director for Crossway Academy. She started Crossway Academy 5 years ago for special needs students that were failing in other school settings. She has dedicated her life to her students and their families. Her children, Marc and Catherine are the loves of her life! She has two sweet dogs named Daisy and Bailey that she adores. She loves to cook, garden, watch football, travel and read. Now she needs support of family and friends as she battles colon cancer.
For More information and to keep up with Dorian's progress, please visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/dorianladue
In celebration of Veteran's Day this year, we met with Mr. Kenny from the Therapy side of Crossway and learned what it is like to be in the military. He let us ask many questions and try on all of his cool gear!
This week we had our last Dream Team visit for the year. The kids really enjoyed working with the students from Myers Park. We played kickball, parachute, and musical feet. The Dream Team has been such a wonderful gift this year. We truly appreciate the time the students spent with us here at Crossway!
We attended Feast with Friends today with our friends over at Rainbow Express Ministries! We enjoyed delicious, fresh food and got to meet the Firemen of Matthews!
In Loving Memory of Kyden Justus Brown 9/4/2009 – 7/10/2014
Kolby Brown was one of six students for the inaugural year of Crossway Academy in 2011. He and his younger brother Kyden had been receiving therapy at Crossway Pediatric Therapy when the Academy opened.
I remember meeting Ja’Net in the waiting room and introducing me to her two adorable boys. Kolby wide eyed, loved and greeted everyone with a smile and a hug! Kyden on the other hand was a little guy and not so sure. He clung to his mother giving me a look of “Is this another therapist that is going to take me away from my Mommy!” When a therapist did come to take him, Ja’Net would reassure him she’d be waiting and everything was OK. Once the therapy session started, he’d wipe away his tears and work hard with Mel. She had a gentle touch that made him at ease. With Mel, the therapy was play for Kyden.
Kolby started the Academy in August of 2011 completing first and then second grade with us. He flourished in a small environment and made incredible progress. We spent five days a week, six hours a day together. Every morning is share time where students tell about the day before or the weekend. Every day, and I mean every day, Kolby shared of Kyden Brown. He never said just Kyden, it was always “Kyden Brown did …” The love he had for his little brother was evident in his words on a daily basis. Occasionally I’d hear of the things that Kyden did that made him frustrated, but not often. “Kyden Brown took my popcorn!” Kolby never stayed mad for long, especially when it came to Kyden.
Kolby left to go to a Charter School in 2013. I sent his parents an email saying I understood but cried a few tears at not having him at the Academy. I was extremely proud of his accomplishments but hated to see him go. Everyone at Crossway loved Kobly very much!
The Browns let me know in October that Kyden had suffered multiple strokes. Amazingly he beat the odds and recovered, learning to walk the second time in his life. Kyden had a heart condition since birth and had already faced so many obstacles in his young life. He was a fighter from day one! Kyden’s heart was failing and he needed a heart transplant. The family worked with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association to raise money and awareness. They formed Kyden’s Keepers to keep everyone informed of his progress.
The Browns told me that Kolby would be returning to Crossway Academy for the 2014 year. Honestly I whooped when I heard the message on my phone from Ja’Net! Kolby also returned to camp this summer so he could have some time to have fun. The Browns at this point had been living at the hospital since January. They were stretched beyond measure.
Kolby again shared stories of Kyden Brown and exactly what was going on at the hospital every day. He told us about IV fluids, monitors, the nurses and yes, even the cafeteria! He had a great summer, but the worry was in his eyes. I comforted him every day as much as possible.
The last day of camp was when I got the news of Kyden’s passing. I was devastated for this family.
Yesterday I attended the Celebration of Life for Kyden Justus Brown at Rockwell A.M.E. Zion Church. It was the most beautiful, heart lifting service I have ever attended. Although everyone’s hearts were broken, we all left feeling a sense of peace.
The plan was for Koby and Kyden to come to Crossway Academy together once Kyden recovered and was ready to enter Kindergarten. Since this cannot be, Shelley and I have discussed starting the Kyden Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund. We don’t have all the details yet, but plan on announcing them soon.
Kyden will never be forgotten. He will live in our hearts and memories forever. The minister said Kyden’s life will have purpose. He may not be able to attend Crossway Academy, but another deserving child will do so in his name. For you precious boy, it is our honor!
We have successfully completed our school year. We were able to do so much this year. We went the public library once a month, we worked on our etiquette skills at various restaurants , and we visited Latta Plantation and Squirrel Lake Park. The 2013-2014 school year was spectacular! With the help of the fabulous families of our students, Crossway Academy is flourishing!
I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful school. After graduating from Appalachian State University, I was very nervous about what life would bring me. I was able to speak with multiple public school systems about possible careers, which I was thrilled about. What was not thrilled about was the fact that every one of the school systems wanted me to take large case loads spread out among multiple schools. I would not be able to work with students for more that 15 minutes at a time. My year would be filled with paperwork and IEP meetings.
I went to school to become a special education teacher for one reason; to help students in need. With what the public school system had to offer, I was very disappointed. This left me with many regrets about my career choice.
I soon went back to school to study my second love, computers. I finished a year long program earning a diploma in Computer Information Technology and certificates as a Software Specialist and Database Specialist. Although these accomplishments made me happy, I missed my first love. Working with children gives me a drive and a purpose that nothing else can. I knew I needed to come back.
I was incredibly lucky to be looking to start my career at the same time that Crossway Academy was looking to expand. When I spoke with Dorian Ladue, I was overtaken with emotion at how perfect the school seemed to be. I was doubting such a place could even exist. Crossway was the school that fit perfectly with how I believe students should be taught. Here, students are treated as individuals, not just some number randomly generated and assigned through a computer system.
I was able to observe how Dorian worked with the students, learn about her behavior management techniques, and see her passion for teaching. She is the most valuable mentor I have had the privilege to work with and I learn new things from her everyday.
I cannot explain enough how joyful I feel being at Crossway Academy. We have the best students, the best families, and the best supports through Crossway Pediatric Therapy. Shelley, Sue, and the therapists are always supportive, helping where ever they can to make the school the best it can be.
I want to send a special thank you to all of the parents of our students for believing in what we do here at Crossway Academy. We do our best to give each student what works best for them and we get excellent results. I look forward to the years to come and I know that Crossway will only get better as time goes by. Thank you to everyone for your love and I hope that though reading my story you may come to understand Crossway just a little better.
Special Education Teacher
Dorian Ladue, M. Ed. School Director, Elementary Teacher,