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EDUCATIONSUPPORTPROFESSIONALSMeetingtheNeedsoftheWholeStudent28www.nea.orgespAnnKrampitzisaspecialeducationparaeducatorwith23yearsexperienceasaneducatorintheOwatannaMinnesotaschooldistrict.AnnwantedOwatannasspecialeducationstudentstohaveaccesstosimilarhighschoolexperiencesasregular-edstudentssuchaspromsandcarnivalsanddecidedtodosomethingaboutit.TothisendsheandhercolleaguescreatedtheAnnualFallPartynowinitsninthyearforthespecialeducationstu-dentstheirparentsandsupportiveregular-edstudents.StudentsgetachancetointeractwithkidsthatarelikethemoraresupportivesotheyarecomfortableandhaveachancetobondwitheachotherinasafeenvironmentsaidAnn.Parentsareabletomeetupwithotherparentsofstudentswithdisabilitiesandcollaborateaswellasseetheirownkidsinter-actingwithothersinapositiveway.Annandhercolleaguesgetdonationsfromcommunitymembersandlocalbusinessesforthedancewhichprovidesmusicfoodandentertainmentforstudentsandistypicallyheldintheschoolgymafterhours.WethoughtthatourspecialneedsstudentsneededanoutlettooaplacewheretheycangoandhavefunsaidAnn.StephoneAveryHeadCustodianCamdenFairviewIntermediateSchoolCamdenArkansasWhenStephoneAverynoticesastudentinneedheneverignoresit.Thatisprobablywhyhehasbecomethedefactogotopersonathisschoolforstudentsupport.OnoneoccasionStephonenoticedafewboyswhowerecomingtoschoolnotproperlygroomedandlookingembarrassedaboutit.Hewasabletocontacttheirparentsandarrangetohavetheirhaircutbyaneighborhoodbarber.Anothertimehenoticedastudentwithwornoutandbatteredshoes.AgainwiththepermissionoftheparentsStephonesolicitedanonymousdonationsfromtheschoolcommunitytohelpthisstudentinneed.Anonymousgivingallowsthestudentsandparentstokeeptheirdignity.Mygoalforthesestudentswasnotjustabouttheirphysicalappear-ancebutalsotopreventbullyingfromtheirpeers.Thefocusneedstobeoneducationandnotwhattheyrewearingheexpressed.DuringthewintermonthshousefiresarefartoocommoninCamden.Thereareanumberofstudentswholiveinhomesthathaveunsafeheaterunits.Financialstruggleskeepfamiliesfrombeingabletoreplacethem.TodealwithsituationsliketheseandforthegeneralneedinhiscommunityStephonestartedtheCoatsforKidsprogram.Afteracoatisunclaimedfromtheschoolslostandfoundfortwoschoolyearsitisdrycleanedandprovidedtokidsinneed.Theyalsoprovideschooluniformsthroughthisprogram.AsaneducatorandpastorinacommunitychurchStephoneisalwaystheretosupportfamiliesandstudents.Itsamoralnecessitytohim.SharonSparksParaeducatorRyeJuniorHighSchoolRyeNewHampshireFormanyyearsSharonSparkstutoredstudentswhowerealsopatientsataYouthBehavioralHealthunitatanearbyhospital.Theyouththatsheencounteredtherewerereceivingintensivetreatmentandtherapyforavarietyofmentalemotionalandbehavioralproblems.SheformedclosebondsandrelationshipswithanumberofherstudentssowhenshediscoveredthattwoofherLGBTstudentshadcommittedsuicideshewasutterlydevastated.IfyouweretoattendoneofSharonSparkssprofessionalassoci-ationtrainingsoncommunicationstrategiesonLGBTissuesyouwouldlearnthatLGBTyouthfacesocialstigmadiscriminationandareoftenrejectedbytheirownfamilies.Infacttheyareatamuchgreaterriskofviolenceabuseandexploitationthantheirheterosexualpeers.Youwouldalsolearnthat30to40percentofhomelessyouthidentifyasLGBT.SharonfeltthatteachingeducatorswouldbethemosteffectivewaytopromotemoreinclusiveandsupportiveenvironmentsforLGBTstudentsintheschools.Wecancreateeducationalenvironmentsthatnurtureeveryone.NostudentshouldfeelexcludedespeciallysomeoursocietysmostvulnerableyouthSharonsays.Eveniftheyarenotaccept-edathometheyshouldhaveasafeplaceatschool.SowhetherSharonissupervisingahomeworkclubplanningoutextensionactivitiesforherstudentshelpingthehomeroomadvisorteacherwithgoal-settingoreventrainingaballroomof50educatorsonLGBTissuessheknowsthatshesdoingherparttowardseducatingandmeetingtheneedsofthewholechild.AnnKrampitzSpecialEducationParaproessionalOwatannaPublicSchoolsOwatannaMinnesotaSixty-sixpercent66oNEAESPsgivemoneyoutotheirownpocketstohelpstudentswiththingslikeclassroommaterialsfeldtripsandclassprojectsaveraging217peryear.SourceNEAK-12ESPMembershipSurveySpring2012andNEAElevatingESPCareersresearchstudy2012.HowimportantESPsaretousRaaelMartinezTaraStanleyKeshaunWardMahoganyKendrickMojaveKendrick