MILLBURN, NJ - On Tuesday February 2nd, Caring Kids, the Millburn High School Self Advocacy Program and Wyoming Elementary School partnered together to deliver a program to the fourth grade students about building an inclusive community and about overcoming challenges that they may face.  

The Self Advocacy students were invited to speak to 4th graders as a follow-up to the Caring Kids Learning Differences unit that had been presented in the fall. The Millburn High School Self Advocacy program is designed for students with learning challenges to help them further develop their understanding of their learning challenges, improve their advocacy skills and develop their public speaking skills.  

The high school students spoke to the 4th graders about their learning challenges and their experiences in school.  They also spoke to the students about how to be a better community member and the importance of being kind and respectful and inclusive. They discussed strategies to address situations that may occur in school and on the playground or in the community.  The elementary students followed up the presentation by making posters with words to remember about making their community better.

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Sharon Cohen, co-chair of Caring Kids, says, “The student presentations were eloquent, informative, and heartfelt.  One fourth grade student told a presenter that she was an inspiration.”  Roger Askins, Millburn’s Transition Coordinator who leads the Self Advocacy program notes, “Multiple elementary students came up to the high school students and stated that they were motivated by their stories.  Talking about your learning difficulties is a challenging thing to do and these students did a wonderful job!“

Caring Kids is a district wide, parent-run organization, whose mission is to help children grow into compassionate, positive, and empowered members of society through character education programs in the schools, social activities, family enrichment talks/workshops, and community events.

The next Self Advocacy/Caring Kids program is scheduled for March 9 at Hartshorn School.