At the October 2023 board meeting, Crown Point Community School Corporation accepted both a donation and a grant to support exceptional learners. Totaling nearly $60,000, the money will be used to support students’ peer relationships, social skills, and communication.
A $51,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Education will support implementing Robots4Autism. Robots4Autism is a program that uses a robot named Milo to help students with autism improve their social skills. Social stories, videos, pictures, and other tools teach and reinforce social skills for students. Through interactions with Milo, students learn to tune in on emotions, express empathy, act more appropriately in social situations, self-motivate, and generalize in the population. Milo and the RoboKind curricula are nationally recognized as effective and innovative solutions in both STEM education and the support of children with autism. The grant covers two robots, professional development for teachers and staff, and the social skills curriculum.
The CPHS Best Buddies club received $8,441 from Richard and Bridget Mangan. Their son Kevin is a member of Best Buddies. The Mangan family hosted a golf outing at the Lake of the Four Seasons to raise funds, and Bridget said the entire Lake of the Four Seasons team helps them put on a great event for a great cause each year. “Best Buddies is a great organization that is inclusive to often forgotten kids who do not participate in the same sports, classes, and social activities their peers do,” said Bridget. “As a result, it helps build bonds between students.” The Mangan family’s three daughters, Maggie, Cassidy, and Brenna, were also all involved in Best Buddies while at CPHS and continued during their college years.
CPCSC Director of Exceptional Education Heather Paskis noted that both the grant and donation will go a long way in supporting exceptional learners in the district. “We are so fortunate to have people like the Mangan family who create a supportive community for our students. Receiving the Robots4Autism grant is another step in serving all students and creating the best possible learning environment.”