Support, Disability, & Counseling Center
Western Wyoming Community College has embarked on an exciting and innovative grassroots program to help those in the community with a learning disability (LD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Project Eye-to-Eye is a public service program designed to build life skills for independence and improve self-esteem of those labeled with LD or ADHD through the power of role modeling. The program matches labeled adults with learning disabilities with labeled elementary school students to work on art projects created to facilitate metacognitive development, expression of emotion and creativity, and most importantly self-esteem building. WWCC has been designated as a Chapter Partner for the program and will be facilitating the efforts in Southwest Wyoming.
Western is one of only thirty educational institutions participating in this program. Other participants include, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, The University of Denver and Tamalpais High School. All of these Chapters follow Project Eye-to-Eye’s Program Model which was designed to improve self-advocacy skills and meta-cognitive abilities, skills proven to be essential to the life success of LD/ADHD adults.
The WWCC Chapter currently consists of one student coordinator and 6 mentors. Kory Ingersoll is the student coordinator who arranges the activities and purchases the materials for the art projects. Last summer, Kory attended a training session at Brown University to prepare him for his leadership role. WWCC Support, Disability, & Counseling Center’s Disability Support Services Specialist, Karen Flaim is the facilitator for the program. Karen was approached with the opportunity to participate in the program by the Department of Education.
For the past 6 months, the WWCC Chapter has been mentoring 6th grade students at White Mountain Elementary. The mentors meet with the mentees every Thursday to complete an art project and to build relationships. Project Eye-to-Eye communicates with the chapter coordinators and mentors via Facebook and provides instructions and demonstrations for that week’s project. Both the WWCC student mentors and White Mountain students have benefited from the program.
Sweetwater County School District #1 (SCSD #1) Special Education Program Coordinator, Carrie Polson had this to say, “This program has been wonderful in fostering a sense of community within the school environment, these relationships are critical for student success. Project Eye-to-Eye creates a powerful intervention that has connected the labeled students with people they can relate to and that gives them confidence in the classroom and in life.”
Due to the preferred mentor to mentee ratio of 1:1, on average only 6 mentees can be accommodated at one time. WWCC and SCSD #1 would like to increase the number of mentors for next year, due to numerous requests from White Mountain students to be included in the program. Individuals interested in becoming a mentor can contact Karen Flaim at 382-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Mentors must complete a background check at the Central Administration and the chapter coordinators are interviewed and selected by Project Eye-to-Eye members in New York City.
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