At the Wilton Public Schools, summer learning is part of an extended year program for students who receive special education services for students ages 3 to 21.
Camp All About Me is designed as an integrated program, as the classroom combines peers with children who have special needs, says program instructor Bernadette Hess, the preschool coordinator of Wilton Public Schools.
“So we have the support of speech and language pathologists, psychologists, OTs, PTs, and as a team, where there are dual-certified teachers in special ed and preschool, we are able to meet the needs of all the kids,” Hess said. “And the kids are working really hard and having a lot of fun,” she added.
According to Deb Meyers, one of two paraprofessionals at the preschool camp, the integrated structure is the key to success.
“The program is fantastic. It takes me over an hour to get here and over an hour to get home, and it’s worth it,” said Meyers. “It’s the whole team together for each individual child, and that’s what works.”
The major goals of the camp are to help children maintain skills during the summer, and to have fun. Usually students take three to four weeks to get back to their progress level from the previous June. If students do not have any learning opportunities during the summer, that time can almost double.