Family of the late Byron Dodd and board members from the Corpus Christi Education Foundation surprised seven educators at four CCISD campuses yesterday with grant awards for innovative special education inclusion programs. More than $3,000 was awarded in memory of Dodd, who had been a licensed specialist in school psychology with the Corpus Christi Independent School District for more than 35 years.
Memorial donations funded the majority of these programs, all of which are designed to help special education students develop academically and socially in “inclusion” classrooms (where special education students participate in a regular classroom setting).
“It is so important for these students to have opportunities in the inclusion classroom,” said Nancy Wesson-Dodd, spouse of the late Byron Dodd. “Byron really believed in inclusion, and I know these teachers work very hard to help their students succeed.”
The following programs are being funded through these Byron Dodd Special Education Inclusion Grants:
“Can You Hear Us Now?” – Awarded to Belinda Chapa at Zavala Special Emphasis School in the amount of $1,115.00 for a program designed to aid language-delayed and nonverbal students with communication in the inclusion classroom. Materials funded include technology to help students’ responsiveness, symbol systems and sign lanuage tools to bridge the gap in understanding what students need, think and choose.
“Let’s Get Focused.” – Awarded to Vicky Harvin at Club Estates Elementary School in the amount of $995.00 for a program involving the use of stability balls that allow for movement, activity and attentive learning proven through research to promote engagement among students with adaptive needs.
“Students Who Have Adaptive Needs Can Do Better.” – Awarded to Dr. Mariandrea Perez at Moody High School in the amount of $483.00 to enhance fluency in reading and speech through software that promotes active listening, practice with pronunciation, and the creation of social stories designed to help special education students collaborate with others in an inclusion setting.
“The Digital Pen is Mightier than the Sword!” – Awarded to Dr. Nancy Vera, Suzanne Marshall, Renee George and Cecilia Guajardo at Carroll High School in the amount of $500.00 for a program in which special education students will identify and model positive behavorial and character traits through daily journaling, use of interactive software and presentations in the inclusion classroom.