Teaching Inclusion: Frazer + ALC

Nympha Meadows with Donnie in Pre-K

Almost one year ago, Frazer Center began a partnership with the Adaptive Learning Center (ALC), thanks to a grant from the Goizueta Foundation. Inclusion is at the heart of Frazer’s mission, so we were thrilled to begin this pilot program that allows for two Inclusion Consultants, contracted through ALC, to be at Frazer five days a week. Annie Brown and Nympha Meadows have become part of the Frazer family, and their work here is invaluable.

Both Annie and Nympha hold a master’s in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). ABA is known to be a very clinical practice—the science of behavior. But Annie and Nympha’s gifts stretch beyond book knowledge and scientific research. Every day they enter a non-controlled environment—the classroom—and apply their skills to whatever situation arises in the moment. They work directly with the teachers to share resources and model behavioral interventions with children who have special needs. In addition to their work in the classroom, much of their time is spent on administrative duties such as coordinating with parents, therapists, and teachers to make sure each child’s team is on the same page, keeping the child’s development front and center.

Ms. Shirley and Emma

About twenty percent of the children enrolled in Frazer have a developmental delay or disability. Although Frazer has some teachers with Special Education degrees, it is not a requirement for employment. Thanks to the Goizueta grant, the partnership provides for professional development while in the classroom. One teacher, Shirley Drew, did recently complete her Special Education degree. Annie frequently visits Ms. Shirley’s class to make observations, confer with her and the other teachers about possible interventions, and model behavior with the children. She’ll often ask another child to demonstrate for a child with special needs. “I’ve learned a lot of things from Annie that are not in the book,” says Shirley.

Nympha says of the program, “It allows the teachers to look outside the box so we can find the best ways to assist a particular student. I think it’s also made a big impact on the parents. They get clarity about how important the consistency with their child is, and since we are coordinating communication they feel more included and can clearly see their child’s progress.”

As our mission says, Frazer is a place where people gather, learn, and flourish. “That applies to everyone, not just to the children. We want our teachers to flourish as well,” says Susie Riddick, Child Development Program Director. “This program nurtures their growth, and that in turn benefits the children and families.”

Annie Brown conferring with Ms. Kedra

The Goizueta grant is nearing completion, and Frazer is “actively seeking funding that will allow us to sustain the program while figuring out a funding model that is permanent and ongoing,” says Frazer CEO Paige Mckay Kubik. “The program is a very interesting model of professional development that we think other early educational programs can replicate. In fact, it would be great if it were the norm, but it does require extra resources.”

Meanwhile, we are grateful that Annie and Nympha are helping to foster Frazer’s inclusive community, and we are hopeful that the program will thrive well into the future.