iCan! - The Learning Program

*This video is from The Learning Program in Boston to give families an idea of what the program will offer.

iCan!  The Learning Program™

The Learning Program™ will again be offered in Orlando starting the fall of 2016 by The Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida and our program partners: UCF College of Education and Human Performance and the Toni Jennings Exceptional Education Institute.  The Learning Program™ is designed to supplement traditional education. Despite efforts of some wonderful teachers, traditional education too often fails children with Down syndrome due to poor educational placement, lack of trained assistants and outdated stereotypes. Through this program, we hope to strengthen the educational potential for children with Down syndrome, regardless of their formal educational setting.

Developed by Dana Halle, founder of Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County (www.dsfoc.org), the program focuses on parents as first-teachers for their children, bringing the fruits of research into practice. Knowledgeable parents can work more effectively with their children and give them a jump-start on education. Moreover, the program arms parents to serve as capable advocates for their children in the educational process by attending monthly instructional sessions on topics such as:

• Teaching Your Child To Read
• Introduction To Math
• Creating An Effective Learning Session

Children and parents attend simultaneous monthly sessions, which focus on skill development for literacy, math, language, and fine motor skills. Aligned with your child’s session curriculum, you (as parents) receive training and materials to continue working with your children at home or at school.

The Learning Program™ is a 9-month program that will be held for ninety minutes, one Saturday a month. The modules we are offering this year are designed for children entering kindergarten - third grade. There are additional modules that may be available upon completion of this program. The Learning Program™ is an on-going research based program that layers learning year after year to help your children continue to succeed.
Classes will be held at UCF from 9:15 am - 11:00 am. (Please plan to arrive by 9:00 am to include time for on-campus parking and classroom drop-off time for children.)  A parent or guardian and the child are expected to be in class every month.  

The cost of the program is $50 per month plus a $50 registration fee (total $550) for families who have their child attending with them. The registration fee will be waived if you pay for the full program ($500) in advance.  Monthly payments will be required to provide post-dated checks or a credit card which will be charged monthly for your participation.  The cost of the program covers all materials for the class and home, along with the monthly sessions.  

This year we will also offer a parent only option for the lecture portion of the program  This still requires you to commit to the full program, but your child does not have to attend nor do they have to be the age of the class participants.  This is a great opportunity for parents of younger children or older children who may still need help with reading / writing skills. The cost for this option is $150 and $25 registration fee (total $175) for the 9 month program and can be paid at once or in monthly installments.  The registration fee will be waived if you pay the whole fee ($150) in advance. 

The parent component of the program will be taught by UCF Faculty and The FOUNDATION Board Members, and the children's component will be taught by UCF Graduate students from the College of Education and Human Potential and the Toni Jennings Exceptional Education Institute.  

If you have questions about the program, please contact Tina Mundelein at Tina.Mundelein@DSFFlorida.org.  


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