Special Needs Topics with Don Peek

This post is authored by Don Peek, a former educator and past president of the training division of Renaissance Learning. He now runs The School Funding Center, a company that provides grant information and grant-writing services to schools.  To learn more, or to subscribe to the School Fnding Center Grant Database, go to schoolfundingcenter.com

Don Peek – An Introduction

For at least the next few months I will have the rare pleasure of writing some of the special needs blogs for Achievement-Products.com.  In this posting I’d like to introduce myself and explore some of the topics we will be discussing in the months ahead.  I hope you’ll join me often as we explore the world of the special needs students, teachers, and parents and how those students learn and grow.

WHO:  Hi, my name is Don Peek.  I served in Texas public schools for 20 years as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent.  While I was principal of Pittsburg Middle School in Pittsburg, Texas, our school received one of only two awards given by the state of Texas that year for not only mainstreaming all of our special education students but also making them successful.  As a teacher and administrator I attended literally hundreds of ARD meeting and was always considered a strong advocate for special needs children.

After leaving the public schools, I became president of the training division of Renaissance Learning (creator of Accelerated Reader).  Whenever I did district and regional training, I always emphasized the use of Accelerated Reader with special needs children.  The ability to read is a great equalizer.

Currently I am President and CEO of The School Funding Center.  We provide grant information to schools throughout the United States.  Of our 30 grant categories, you can rest assured that grants for special education and students with disabilities are always included in our listings.

And finally, I have a grandson who is autistic.  He just turned 17 a few weeks ago.  Unless we get some drastic breakthrough in the near future to help autistic children, he will probably never hold a regular job, never drive a car, or never be able to live alone. 

Yes, I am very much dedicated to helping those with disabilities.

What:  I will be posting to the Achivement-Products.com blog twice each month.  I will cover a full range of topics dealing with special needs students.  I will also discuss the interaction between teachers and special needs students and the relationship of the parents with their special needs children and parents and the school system.  Special needs students are indeed special, and it is not always easy for either the school or the parents to know exactly what each child needs.  Often these needs change as the child grows and matures.  Most of the decisions made concerning special needs children are best made cooperatively between parents and the school.

Almost any blog is a mixture of fact and opinion.  This one will be no exception.  There are facts available about the various disabilities.  I will include that.  I will also include research information about what works best and what doesn’t, but I will also inject some of my opinions about dealing with students who have disabilities.  My greatest fear is that too often we do what is easiest, but not necessarily best, for these students.

I will also occasionally include notices about grants that are available to schools and non-profit organizations that support special needs children.  Look at the sample below.
When:  My posts will normally be published around the 1st and 15th of each month.  I want you to look for these posts, read them carefully, and respond whenever you get the urge.  You can agree or disagree with me.  You won’t hurt my feelings.   Your opinions are valuable, too.  The research you find may contradict something I post.  I’d like to know that, too.  You can reach me at:  dpeek@schoolfundingcenter.net

Where:   My blog is original material provided only to Achievement-Products.com.  You will find it only on this site.  Obviously, if you are reading this now, you found my blog at least once.  You may want to bookmark this site so you can return easily.  If you are starting from the home page of Achievement-Products.com, you should first click on Visit Now on the Check Out Our Free Resources! header.  Then on the left of the page find Online Community.  Go down until you come to Special Needs Blog.  Click it, and you’re back here.
That’s it.  I’ll expect to see you back here around the 1st of December.

See you then,

Grant Notice
Grant Name:  Tommy Wilson Memorial Grant

Funded By:  American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation

Description:  The Tommy Wilson Memorial Grant supports recreational programs for individuals with disabilities

Program Areas:  Disabilities, Special Education

Recipients:  Public School, Private school, High Ed, Other

Proposal Deadline:  December 1st each year

Average Amount:  $500.00 – $1,500.00

Email:  AAPAR@aahperd.org/aapar/

Availability:  All States


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