Latest Event Updates

The LABBB Legends Passion Plunge Special Olympics Fund Raiser

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LABBB Legends: Allen Buttimer, Marc Bluestein, and Tom Brincklow

Written by: Caroline Brown

LABBB staff, along with family, friends, and best buddies, dove into the frigid waters of Revere Beach to raise money for our Special Olympics event.  The Passion Plunge is an annual event in which teams can raise money for their program’s Special Olympics of Massachusetts (SOMA) event.  This was the second year we had a team, called the LABBB Legends, and we raised over $6,000.  Of that money, 70% goes directly to LABBB Special Olympics.

The LABBB Legends staff who joined the plunging team include: Marc Bluestein, Tom Brincklow, Caroline Brown, Allen Buttimer, Michael DiCenso, Kathleen Duncan, Danielle McMahon, Kimberly Roberts, and Kristin Spinosa.  Several other staff came to the shore to support us and partake in the festivities, and many more made financial contributions.
The LABBB Legends Team!

As you know, SOMA is a wonderful cause; having seen my brother participate in various events during my childhood, I know just how positive an impact it can have on an athlete.  Richard loved competing and knowing that his family and friends were there to support him, and I’m sure our students all feel the same way at our Special Olympics event competition in May.  I’m also sure that other staff would love to help us raise money for this fabulous event if they knew we had a team, so spreading awareness would be a great thing!

The Special Olympics will be held on Wednesday, May 11 at the town of Lexington’s track and field. Opening ceremonies starts at 9:00am. Come and enjoy the event!
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Teddy Bear Class

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Thought you guys might like to take a peek at what’s happening in the Teddy Bear class this week!  We have blasted off into space!  Some children are building space ships and satellites, others are engaged in “anti-gravity writing and drawing”.  We have space dust in the sensory table, and space puzzles on the blue table.  Shreya really got into the magic paintings of spaceships and stars!  And everyone wants to put on their helmet and strap on their airpack, so they can take a turn to play in our space ship!

Come visit!
Lisa, Jill and Maria!

LABBB Basketball Team Wins Gold

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The LABBB Collaborative Legends unified basketball team went to Worcester this weekend for the Winter Special Olympics. They had three games and won all three to win the gold medal.

The players were very excited and potentially will go on to Nationals.  It was a great weekend!

edcamp Boston

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Dear Staff:

I wanted to give you information regarding edcamp Boston which will be held on May 7th.  It is free admission, but you do need to register to attend.

I will be going to this “unconference” and it would be great to have others join if you are interested.  On my blog I wrote up a short reflection of my experience at ntcamp which I attended a few weeks ago; if you want to read more it is here ntcamp Burlington

Below is the link for information regarding edcamp Boston.  If you have a chance please view the video on the page.  Let me know if you have any questions.

edcamp Boston information

Sincerely,

Patric

Miracle League of Massachusetts

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I am writing to you about the Miracle League of Massachusetts.  We are a non-profit, all volunteer organization that provides all children with the opportunity to play baseball in an organized non-competitive league at no cost to their families. Our players are children aged 5 to 18 with a disability that keeps them from playing in a mainstream league. We don’t turn away any children.  Miracle League team members are assigned buddies, primarily mainstream peers who have volunteered to assist them in hitting the ball, running the bases, and fielding, to whatever extent
necessary.

This spring will be our 7th season and we are looking to expand our enrollment from the 80 players we had last year. We think the best way to do this is to let parents know that we encourage all types of players.  I would imagine that some parents hear a baseball program for children with special needs and think “that’s not for my child, he doesn’t have a physical disability” or “that’s not for my child, she can’t hit a baseball”.  But we want everyone to know that our players have a wide range of abilities; some just need a little help paying attention to the game, while others have significant physical and/or cognitive delays that require them to have help with all aspects of the game.  We encourage you to visit our website at  http://www.miracleleagueofma.com/ to see pictures and video from previous seasons to see the joy that our players get from playing baseball.
Games are played at Blanchard Elementary School in Boxborough, MA for 6 Saturday mornings beginning on May 7, 2010.  Our deadline to register is April 7th.  We also have a fall season.  Although the games are played in Boxborough, we have players from over 30 towns around Massachusetts. Some dedicated players drive for an hour each way to get to the games.

We would love to spread the word about the Miracle League to your students.  I’ve attached a flyer with more information about our program and we would really appreciate it if you could share this with the
parents of your students.  If you have any questions about our program, please feel free to email me back or call me at the number listed below.

Thank you for your time,

Lauren Richardt

Secretary, Miracle League of Massachusetts

Miracle League of Massachusetts

(Baseball for special needs children)

Spring Season 2011

Saturdays – May 7th to June 11th

1 hour game time starts in AM

Blanchard Memorial Elementary School Ball Field

493 Massachusetts Ave., Boxborough

  • Every player gets on base and scores a run each inning
  • Every player assigned a buddy from the community to assist with the game
  • Announcer makes it fun for the kids
  • FREE to participate (includes uniform)
  • We have players with all range of abilities (from just needing help paying attention to physically needing help with all aspects of the game)
  • Visit our website at http://www.miracleleagueofma.com to see video from previous seasons.
  • For more information or to register a 5 to 18 year old, contact Lauren Richardt at miracleleagueofma@yahoo.com or 978-263-3043.  Registration deadline is April 7th.

Want to Improve your Skills, Curriculum, Creativity? Join an PLN!

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Professional Learning Networks (PLN’s) or Professional Learning Teams (PLT”s) are becoming more pervasive in the world of education.  It is a simple idea; educators get together to share, learn, create, discuss, argue or whatever comes from engaging with one another to take on initiatives in curriculum, technology, or anything they feel is important to making a better learning environment for their students.

Computer software was developed in these type of networks. Software developers or engineers naturally crave to collaborate outside of their work environment, free for the distractions, where creativity is optimal.  They got together with others who had the same interests and pioneered some of the most influential products and services we use today. Check out Apache Software Foundation.

Anyone can develop a PLN and we are finding that more professionals are interested in this type of format for professional development. It makes your job more stimulating, and you can get engaged in meaningful, even groundbreaking ideas. You observe the talents of others, people who will motivate you, challenge your thoughts, provoke new views and give you honest feedback.  In this type of environment the group dynamics are what raises the bar, improves the quality, and gets everyone to think outside the box.

We need to do this more in special education.  Who can you network with?  How about a publishing company that will take your ideas and publish them?  Isn’t your curriculum unique to your classroom? Who can you share it with. What about collaborating with other professionals from different schools and ask them to meet once a month to collaborate. You can Skype with them, participate in Twitter chats, or blog and connect with people in your own community, the next town, other states or countries.  You will be surprised by what you see people doing and creating.

A group of professionals will be smarter than any one individual.  When people network and connect on their own, outside of the work environment, amazing things can happen.

Say No to the “R” word: Best Buddies Event

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On Wednesday afternoon the Best Buddies of Lexington High School put on and event called, “Say No to the R Word. Spread the Word to End the Word.  This was an impressive event with a packed auditorium of High School students.

The Best Buddies orchestrated this event all on their own. This is what is so meaningful,  a group of High School Students standing up to confront a misused word that can be destructive even if a person does not mean to say it.   The consequences and impact can run deep for those with disabilities as we heard from the speakers who have special needs.

We applaud the Best Buddies for confronting this and taking this on.  To build awareness is the way to go.  No blame, just education and knowledge in a peaceful manner is the tact and it was done in a powerful way.

The LABBB Collaborative has the Best Buddies Programs in our Lexington high School, Arlington High School, Chenery Middle School and Bedford High School programs.  At the LABBB Special Olympics in May of 2010 the Best Buddies had 400 volunteers working this event! That was amazing.

Paula Rizzo is the Best Buddies facilitator for the LABBB Collaborative and plans to increase the Best Buddy programs in more schools.