HVRSD Special Education PTO Rebrands, Gets New Leadership


    The Hopewell Valley Regional School District (HVRSD) Special Education PTO is now STRIVE PTO, a name they feel better describes what families and District staff do for children living with special needs and what the children do for themselves. Leading the effort is President Carolyn Bender, who was elected this past July after Alicia Nayfield stepped down. Carolyn is also the President of Central High School’s PTO.

    The STRIVE PTO serves families of children with special needs, pre-K through 12th, who attend the six District schools and those who have out-of-district placements. Though the challenges are endless (i.e. behavioral, mental health, medical, learning) and may or may not be visible, the group’s goal is to have families feel supported. In offering family networking events, peer-to-peer mentorship, bimonthly event/resource emails, and outreach via social media, the group hopes to be successful. Additionally, they will be offering staff mini-grants used to purchase supplies that will enrich student learning.

    On Friday, October 6th, 7 to 9 p.m. at Hopewell Valley Regional School District’s (HVRSD) Central High School cafeteria, the PTO will host “Meet, Greet, and Eat”, a potluck dinner for families of children living with special needs and the HVRSD staff that serve them. As guests socialize, PTO members will be available to answer questions about the I.E.P. (Individualized Education Program) and 504 Plan processes, connect caregivers with college-aged babysitters, and provide vital resources (i.e. therapy services, social and sport opportunities).

    It is said that it takes a village to raise a child but for families of children with special needs, the village can be all too small or disappear entirely, leaving families alone. STRIVE PTO will foster a much needed village for families on October 6th. Those interested in attending and/or volunteering should click here to RSVP. Questions can be directed to their email at hvrsdspecialedpto@gmail.com.

    For more information about the group visit their website, follow them on Twitter, “like” them on Facebook, and to sign up for bimonthly event/resource emails contact them at hvrsdspecialedpto@gmail.com.

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    Angela Jacobs
    Angela Jacobs is a freelance writer who lives in Hopewell Township with her teenaged children and partner of 20 years. Despite her best efforts to simplify her life, last year she added four chickens and a second rescue dog to her pet menagerie. Unfortunately, an interim of peaceful coexistence ended with the untimely demise of two of the chickens at the paws of Jax, the new dog. An egregious lack of impulse control has since been diagnosed resulting in an indefinite separation of Jax from all present and future chickens, her two cockatiels, open garbage cans, snacks open on tables, abandoned stuffed animals, etc. She does however gently encourage him toward a certain industrious squirrel that has spelunked its way through her backyard in search of the most perfect hiding spot for its nuts.


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