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NACD Coach Note Feb 22, 2021

Hi Everyone,

I hope that your weekend was good for you. I am going to ask you to really “dig in” to your program this week and focus on producing positive change. This is not a “go through the motions” or a check the boxes sort of week. This is a “produce positive change” week. So let’s get focused  and help our kids really  make some changes this week. How? Increase YOUR focus on the activities. Increase YOUR observational skills as to how what you  are doing and how your child is responding is either working well or not working. Are you paying attention, praising effort, really focused on improvement?

Let’s do a great job this week!

Take care,

Ellen

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Week of Feb 8-12, 2021

The week of a holiday always brings a special energy to the school that we love, and this week was no exception! In preparation for Valentine’s Day, the students made cards for their family and friends to share just how much they love and appreciated them in their lives. The girls made a flower out of hearts and the boys made the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with hearts; they all turned out so cute! When we asked the girls what they loved about Valentine’s day these were their answers:

  • JJ loves VD because of the annual family dinner they have to celebrate the love they have for one another.
  • Chantel loves VD because of the cards and flowers.
  • Jill loves VD because she can give gifts to her family and friends to show how much she loves them.
  • Melissa loves VD because she gets to spend time with her family and friends.
  • Jessie loves VD because she loves to see everyone happy and caring for one another.

On Friday, (due to good weather) we had our Valentine’s Day party outside! We started out by decorating bags to put all of our goodies in. The students used hearts, markers, and their amazing creativity to make them. After finishing, they gave each other their gifts. The students were so thoughtful in their presents and cards they gave to one another. If there is one thing that is always in abundance at COHA, it’s love! Once we finished giving out our treats, the real party begun! The students did a heart scavenger hunt where they had to find 7 hearts with their names on them that were hidden throughout the yard. Some students were speedy quick and then turned around and helped others find theirs. Next, they did a Cupid’s arrow toss where they were given 4 arrows that they had to throw on targets with different points. The highest score was by Sam who got 24 points! I think it’s safe to say that Cupid better watch his back because the students at COHA might just put him out of business with their accurate aim! Lastly, the students did a fun memory matching game, Valentine’s addition. To top it all off, the students had a red and pink themed snack; raspberries, pomegranates, and bananas with homemade whipped cream. Jessie, Melissa, and Jill preformed the song “A Thousand Years” in American Sign Language that they have been practicing for weeks. Good job girls!! Overall, the day could not have been more fun or perfect. We are so grateful for all of our students, the amazing tutors, and our phenomenal board members who made it all possible!

This week our students have been talking about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it blesses our lives and the lives of their loved ones. We heard beautiful testimonies from our students about how God has helped them overcome their fears, temptations, and find peace, joy, and love in their lives. We are so grateful for all the ways we have grown, and continue to grow because of the love we receive from our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Until next time, have an amazing week!

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NACD Coach Note Feb 16, 2021

Hi Everyone,

If you haven’t already seen the videos of Coco that his dad, Razvan, posted to our Facebook page (NACD Families on Active Membership), please take a look at it. Coco’s journey since we met him and his terrific parents has not been such an easy one. A huge amount of effort and sacrifice has gone into getting his program done and doing it the best way possible. Coco has responded by working incredibly hard and consistently being a super good sport and hard-worker. Through diligence and perseverance, Coco has achieved an incredibly high processing level and has the humor and the cleverness that you would expect for a child at that level. I feel very fortunate to know them.
When I think over all the wonderful and incredible moments that I have had with families, with specific children I remember the joy but I also remember the effort and the diligence it took to get there. Children and young adults are marvelous people capable of incredible change. The changes that I have had the good fortune to share have not been produced by any supplement, magic pill or that one amazing thing that fixes everything. The changes have been the result of doing the right things at the right times based on understanding what is really going on with that specific child. 
After over five decades of doing this work I can sincerely say that I have absolute faith in the potential of each child and young adult and I have faith in what a parent can do with the right help. 

Let’s make this a great week together.

Take care,

Ellen

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Week of Jan 11-15, 2021

We are half way through January 2021 already?? Between playing hard and working hard, this time has both flown by.

One of our favorite parts of the day is when we get to gather together for opening exercises where we talk about our lives, review events happening in the world/history, learn from the scriptures, pray, and practice social skills. We start each day with a “question of the day” and this week we had some fun ones! One of the questions was, “If you could change your name, what would your new name be?” They answered:

  • Melissa would be Alice
  • Macey would be Gaston
  • Jill would be Anna
  • JJ would be Mulan
  • Austin would be Mickey Mouse
  • Brady would be Simba
  • Sam would be Peyton Pace (one of our wonderful volunteers who makes everyone smile and laugh)

Our students constantly keep us laughing and smiling with their fun and creative answers.

Another theme of our opening exercises discussion this week has been talking about goals; their purpose, how to keep them, how to identify a good goal to work on, and who can help us stay accountable. Our students are no strangers to goals as they have specific physical, mental, and intellectual goals in their personalized NACD programs that they do daily to further their development. We had our students write down goals that we put on the bulletin board upstairs and downstairs that help us remember what we are working towards and help us keep each other accountable. Our students goals are:

  • Jill wants to ride her bike more, get to bed on time, be nicer to her dog Reggie, and walk more.
  • J.J. wants to work on organizing and cleaning out her closet and room.
  • Jessie wants to lose weight, quit drinking soda, get 10s on her digits, and walk 2 miles every day.
  • Melissa wants to lose weight, go to the temple more, eat less ice cream, and eat healthier.
  • Chantel wants to work hard at her job (She is one of our wonderful employees who helps clean and care for the school), exercise more, and do more crafts, activities, and projects.
  • Brady wants to get 6’s on his digits, read more, eat healthier, and protect and love his family.
  • Macey wants to eat healthier, drink more water, be kind to other people, take Archie (her dog) on walks, and not complain.
  • Sam wants to read scriptures more, pray more frequently, get married in the temple, make new friends, and work towards graduating from COHA.
Our downstairs bulletin (their goals are written on the paint splatters)

All our students have been doing excellent and have been so excited as they have been keeping their goals! The students would like to extend that challenge to you to make goals for the New Year so that you too can become 1% better every day and experience the joy that comes with progressing.

Another great week in the books and we are excited for the many more to come! Exciting things happening in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned….

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NACD Coach Note Jan 19, 2021

Hi Everyone,

While talking to parents last week and hearing some of them remark that their child was really having trouble “getting” something, I was reminded of my own children. My youngest just could not remember the word “could” no matter how many times I flashed it. My son couldn’t remember how to spell “because” no matter how many times he copied it. My one student couldn’t understand improper fractions after months of teaching fractions.

They did all conquer these issues by the way. We read a high interest book with the word “could” all over the place and she learned it immediately. My son learned to spell “because” the moment a reward was offered and my student who just didn’t get improper fractions finally processed high enough and I finally got an example clear enough that he totally got it. 
Whether you are teaching crawling or fractions, there are strategies and prerequisites that have to be learned. Some children don’t have the foundational pieces developed well enough to do the task. Some children don’t have the intensity to do the task. Whatever the issue is, you can rest assured we have dealt with it before now. 
You can trust our experience. So before you conclude that your child is just never going to be able to do a task, contact your coach and your evaluator will find a way. 

Let’s have a fantastic week working together.

Take care,

Ellen
**I haven’t heard from some of you since before the holidays.  Please call or email me an update.  Your evaluator and I want to make sure you are back up and running 🙂 Have a great week!

Glenda Girazian

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Fundraising Update

We are so grateful for everyone who purchased and sold the Hybrid Flashlights as one of our fall fundraisers. We raised $4,397.50 for the school!!

We are also grateful for all those that purchased the Dixie Direct books from our school. We were able to raise $12950.00.

This money will go a long way in providing a safe, productive, and fun space for our students to pursue their passions and further their education. We couldn’t do it without amazing people in our community that are dedicated to making a difference!

So on behalf of everyone at COHA, THANK YOU!!!

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NACD Coach Note: Jan 5, 2021

Hi Everyone,

Let’s start off with a clear vision for 2021. There are key components to making progress with your child that include doing program activities correctly and consistently, communicating with your coach when you run into roadblocks which usually include behavior, sleep, diet issues and health issues, and communicating with your coach when you see change and when you don’t.
With so many things going on in our lives, it is incredibly easy for you to get distracted. Be goal-oriented or as I like to say, outcome-based. We are. If we stay focused and communicate well, this can really be your best year, your child’s best year, our best year working together. I’m really looking forward to it.

Take care,
Ellen

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NACD Coach Note Dec 7, 2020

Good Morning Families,

So on Sunday night we often make our list for the week.  We have edited the list twice in order to make it realistic and less stressful. When it comes to program, a lot of you end up whittling down your list as the day goes on to reduce your stress and make your goals more realistic. Just keep in mind that if you do this too often, you can really slow down or even stop progress by cutting out or reducing activities that were essential to the whole. Although programs can appear to be fragmented, they actually are not. 

Here are a few examples of things some of you might have on your program; We didn’t get to do the more complicated chores but we did all of the sequencing activities. What’s the problem with this? The complex chores were a mechanism to force the child to use more working memory functionally. We did the auditory sequencing and some of the assigned reading but we just never found time for the books on audio. What’s the problem with this? The books on audio  promote a love of reading and a desire to read better as well as supporting auditory processing and attention. We did the crawling but not the deep pressure. What’s the problem with this? The deep pressure provides essential tactile information on where the muscle groups are located so that the brain is able to move the limbs more efficiently.

We all have days in which we don’t get everything done. It’s inevitable. Just be sure that what you’ve not been doing wasn’t essential for the progress of what you are doing.

Have a wonderful week!

Glenda Girazian

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NACD Coach Note Week of Dec 1, 2020

Good Morning Families,

Although this year our Thanksgiving Day may have been a bit different, we still remember all of the things for which we are thankful. I am most thankful for my children and grandchildren, of course, but I am also thankful for the opportunity to get to know your precious children and to know you as well.  It is our plan at NACD to make sure  we are doing all we can to provide you with the most efficient and effective program possible. We have spent decades figuring how to do this well and continue to constantly search for even more effective strategies. 

Did you know that your child’s program is the result of a huge amount of collaboration among professionals? The depth of NACD’s expertise is enhanced by collaborations with many brilliant experts over many years. Our knowledge about vision, hearing, health, mobility and language development have been immeasurably enhanced by the input of leaders in those fields over the past decades. It is our ongoing effort to find what works the best in a huge variety of circumstances. When it comes to your child, there is no one protocol that is right. This is why we constantly study and explore what works and what doesn’t and under what circumstances a strategy will work. 

So when a therapist tells you that they have worked with many children like your child, I will tell you two things: there is no child exactly like your child AND our experience and expertise has more depth than that therapist. We believe in the uniqueness of your child which is why we constantly look at the whole child. We believe in the potential of your child because we have seen countless children far, far exceed expectations of other professionals. 
Together we can and will make positive changes happen. Have a question or concern? We’re right here.

Have a great week!

Glenda

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NACD Coach Note for Nov 16, 2020

Good Morning Families,

Do you have neighbors who have put up their Christmas trees already?   Maybe you have put up your own.  It’s a clear reminder that the holidays are not far away. In the coming weeks, I’ll give some suggestions for how to handle program with the challenge of the holidays and still have a good time. 

I have two suggestions for you this week. The first suggestion is that you increase your knowledge of why you are doing what you are doing by going to our website at www.nacd.org and reading some journal articles on topics that relate to your child.  Your other option is to watch some of Bob’s videos on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/NACDDOTORG or by  searching for “Bob Doman” videos. They aren’t long but they are packed with information. 

My second suggestion is to review your child’s program again including the instructions and notes. You might be amazed by what you forgot was on the program or how the activity is meant to be done.

Both of these things will help you do better this week and during the upcoming holidays. Let’s have a wonderful week together!

Glenda Girazian

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NACD Coach Note Nov 9, 2020

Good Morning Families,

Congratulations parents! You are the best teacher your child will ever have and you are not teaching virtually! Just yesterday I heard another parent lament that they really couldn’t be both a parent and a teacher to their child. It always seems like such an odd remark to me. Parenting requires fairly incessant teaching on many levels, often simultaneously! It is actually hard Not to teach your child constantly as a parent. You teach your children how to eat with a fork, play with toys appropriately, climb stairs, put on socks, brush their teeth, settle down and go to sleep(hopefully), talk, use manners, cross a street and much, much more. 

So you do teach, all the time. You teach without reflecting on it. So maybe you don’t think of yourself as a teacher because no one is paying you for this constant teaching. Maybe you don’t consider yourself a teacher because you are really overwhelmed by the thought of having to teach everything. I have to say that after so very many decades of parenting and teaching parents to teach, there is a tremendous joy to it particularly when you love that person you are teaching. 
Yesterday I went on a hike through the woods with my son and two of my grandchildren. He was teaching them about deciduous trees since we were hiking through leaf-covered trails. They were quite proud of themselves when they could explain what a deciduous tree was. He was quite pleased that they had learned it and I was very nostalgic for the days when I taught that to him and his sisters. They say that knowledge is power and I am sure that this is true. Teaching is a joy when you know exactly how to do it,  particularly when you are teaching your own. We will help you every step of the way.

Don’t be afraid to be a teacher. You’ve been a teacher since your child was born!Keep up the good work!

Glenda Girazian

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School Pictures

This is one of the days that our student’s look forward to every year…school pictures! They love getting dressed up and showing their million dollar smiles and sense of style! We are so grateful to have Rochelle Slade, a Southern Utah Photographer, come and donate her time and talents to make treasured memories for the students, parents, and all of us at COHA.

And of course we had to get a little silly!

We are so blessed to have these bright smiles and loving personalities a part of our lives every day! Until next year school pictures….

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Week of Oct 26-30, 2020

Another exciting and fun week at COHA, but do we expect anything less with all these awesome people?!

This week Austin was able to listen to the last presidential debate and got registered to vote! He filled out his ballot and is ready to mail it in. We are so proud of Austin and all the amazing ways he surprises us every week!

We also got to celebrate our first birthday of the year; SAMO! Sam turned 32 years old and could not be more excited! On every birthday, our students sign a card for him and everyone writes down what they love about the birthday boy. These are all the reasons we LOVE Sam:

  • Brady loves that Sam is so nice!
  • Mitzy loves Sam’s personality and how it shines so bright.
  • Rilla loves that Sam always makes her smile and how he is always so fun to be around.
  • Austin loves that Sam is always so funny and makes him laugh.
  • Steph loves that Sam is always happy to be at school and ready to learn new things.
  • Bobbie loves that Sam is so joyful and kind to other people, and how he is so smart and fun, and that he makes her smile.

There are a million and one reasons to love Sam and we are so grateful he was born! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAM!!

Lastly, spooky season hit hard during our annual Halloween Party! We had such a good time celebrating with all of our students! This year we made our party outside and combined with the boys and the girls, so it was extra fun to see everyone together! Those who chose to dress up looked super spooky! We had Jessie dressed up as Mulan from the new Disney live-action movie! Brady was a super spooky Werewolf! We also had JJ dressed as the Ninja Turtle, Donatello! Jennica wore a shirt that said “Laziest Costume Ever” and a cute Halloween hat and sunglasses!

Our first game of the party was “Trick or Treat,” each student brought a non-sugar treat to give out to each other. We made it into a social distancing game where the trick or treater had to stand back and catch the treat in their bag as it was tossed to them! They all had great healthy treats to give out such as Halloween pencils, Halloween stickers, apple sauce, water, popcorn, and Cheez-its! Then we played Halloween bowling with a pumpkin, and Pin the Face on the Pumpkin while we listened to spooky Halloween music! Our last game of the party was called Pass the Pumpkin. The students stood in a circle and passed around a pumpkin, whoever had the pumpkin when the music stopped playing was out! We had a tie between Brady and Chantel! After our games we all ate our Cutie Pumpkin treats and a fruit bowl provided by one of our sweet tutors! It was a great Halloween party and we are so blessed to have such amazing and fun students!!

As sad as we are for the end of Halloween, we are equally excited for Thanksgiving to come around!

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School to Resume Sept. 14

With great excitement, we would like to announce that the Children of Hope Academy will be open for the fall semester starting September 14, 2020. NACD evaluations will be held the week before on September 8-10. Every student is evaluated by the National Association for Child Development every 6 months and then given a unique individualized program to help them in becoming proficient in the areas of development in which they struggle. Due to the recent rise in Covid-19 cases and for the protection of our students, evaluations will be done at the COHA facility. Please check your emails for your scheduled time and further instructions.

Our summer school and zoom calls will end August 27th to give time for our yearly deep cleaning and other preparations for the upcoming school year. Parents and students will be required to sign up to help with the cleaning.

To learn more about the National Association for Child Development and their mission, visit nacd.org

If you have questions about the beginning of school, please contact the school by email (nacdcoha@gmail.com) or call at (435)-272-4575.

NACD Coach Note Jan 11, 2021

HI Everyone, 

What motivates your child? Can you list the things that really make your child excited and interested? We often need to find ways to motivate a child to try harder on an activity and it isn’t always easy to figure out what is going to work. As I am writing this, my grandchild is sitting behind me in the same desk chair. We are crunched together. She is busy playing with her math, something she was also doing earlier with my other granddaughter. Both girls are finding math fun because they are good at it and it makes sense to them. Success is fun. 

Maybe as part of the reward you need to make an activity work is your own enthusiasm for the task. Did you ever have a sports coach who could really just make you want to do your very best or a teacher you really looked forward to seeing because they were so enthusiastic? That was rewarding. Not always, but in some cases, your attitude and enthusiasm can be the reward. And what are we rewarding? We are rewarding sustained effort. 

Let’s start this week by remembering that our attitude can be very rewarding to our children and that we are rewarding our children for paying attention and trying hard. If we can sustain that, we are going to see good progress.
We are here to help so let us hear from you!

Take care,

Ellen

Week of December 14-18, 2021

Christmas is one of the greatest times of the year and our students have been anxiously waiting for it after all the events of this crazy, hectic year!

Our annual Christmas party is the highlight of the season for us and the students. This year, to make add some extra fun, the students came dressed in their Christmas pajamas. Everyone looked so cute! Because Christ is the reason for the season, we started off the party with each student placing their ornament on the tree (which was beautifully decorated by Jane Fenton) and sharing what gift they were going to give to the Savior this year. Their gift is something they can do to improve their lives that helps them to become more Christlike and follow His commandments that He gave while here on this earth. These were the beautiful gifts they are striving to give this year:

  • Jill wants to spend more time with her family.
  • Macey wants to be nicer to her sisters.
  • Jessie wants to be kind to her mother and read the Doctrine and Covenants all the way through.
  • Melissa wants to go to the temple more.
  • Austin wants to be more respectful to others.
  • Jennica wants to work hard at her education.
  • Chantel wants to develop her talents through music.

We are so eternally grateful for the Savior’s infinite sacrifice and how we can continue to grow and change because of it. After that, we got to celebrate another person we think is pretty great…Jill! Our Jilly Bean’s birthday always lands right after we leave for the holiday break but this doesn’t stop us from showing her how much we love and care about her! These are just a couple of the reasons we love our Jill:

  • Jessie loves Jill because she is one of her best friends. She is proud of Jill for all the hard work she is doing in school.
  • Macey loves Jill because she is awesome.
  • Melissa loves Jill because she is the best sister and has been so helpful to her since she broke her arm (she has been helping Melissa do her hair). She is also proud of the hard work she has been doing at school and can see her getting smarter every day!
  • Chantel loves Jill’s big, beautiful smile.
  • Jennica loves Jill because she is a hard worker and is progressing well in school. She also thinks Jill’s hair is super cute.
  • Bobbi loves Jill because she is always so happy and excited to come to school.
  • Austin loves Jill because she is really funny.
  • Courtney loves Jill because she is silly , kind to everyone, and gentle.
  • JJ loves Jill because she has good dance moves.
  • Steph loves Jill because she is smart, hard working, and her smile brightens up any room she is in.
  • Kenzie loves Jill because she is always so happy.
  • Kennedy loves Jill because she is such a positive person.
  • Bobbie loves Jill because she is a true friend to all, has a beautiful smile/laugh, and is smart. She loves when Jill comes in and has conversations with her in the morning.

Happy Happy Birthday Jill! We can’t wait to see all the amazing things you will do this next year!

Next, we did our gift exchange. Each student drew a name out of a hat to be a secret Santa for one of the other students. They all were so thoughtful and gave wonderful gifts to one another. Throughout the month of December, every morning during opening exercises, we have been learning about the ABC’s of Christ which is where we talk about His life, attributes, and gospel. We surprised the students by making them their own books of what we talked about so that they could go and share with their family and friends. Hearing their thoughts on the Savior and His influence in their lives this past month have been so touching and tender; we truly are so grateful for their Christ like examples in our lives every day and couldn’t ask for better jobs.

After exchanging gifts, it was time to really get the party started with some fun games! The students did the “Santa Shake” freeze dance (they had a Kleenex box filled with Christmas ornaments tied around their waist that they had jump up and down and shake all around to get them out; if the music stopped they had to freeze), a “Snowball Shovel” (they had a straw that they had to suck up the cotton balls and move them from one bowl to another), a “Santa Says” (like Simon says, but Christmas edition), and a pin the heart on the Grinch. To top off our wonderful day of fun, we enjoyed a delicious lunch of whole wheat pancakes topped with a strawberry Santa hat, turkey bacon, and hot, steaming Wassel. While we ate we had the pleasure of listening to Cindy and Diana Wade play Christmas music on the violin and piano!

Our students have been through a lot this last year adjusting to a new way of doing things and being able to see their bright, smiling faces enjoying one of their favorite times of the year was absolutely priceless. We are incredibly grateful for all of those who helped with the party and have served our school this past year; we couldn’t do it without you!

Until next year, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us here at the Children of Hope Academy!