Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex at WKU receives grants from WHAS Crusade for Children
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex (CEC) at WKU received two grant awards from the WHAS Crusade for Children: $21,000 for the Kelly Autism Program Prime Time and $26,000 for the Renshaw Early Childhood Center (RECC) Big Red School.
“For more than 10 years they have supported our program here at the CEC and we would not be able to provide the effectiveness of the programming that we do and the support that we do for the individuals and families in South-Central Kentucky without the support,” said Mary Lloyd Moore, executive director of the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex.
These funds will support the operation of the Big Red School and the Prime-Time Program, within the CEC. These specific programs serve children with special needs from 15 months of age through 18 years. The grant funding will be used directly to support programming for more than 100 individuals and families in south-central Kentucky.
“Without this grant, we could not possibly do all the great things that happen for children here. We serve children 18 months through 5 years. This is their entry into center-based settings often so it takes a lot of staffing and a lot of training. We have three certified teachers here because of the grant and it was really helpful when COVID struck and we had to turn on a dime and all of a sudden we were providing private programming virtually to students at home. Three of us were doing that and preparing sensory items to take to their homes so that parents can have that support at home,” said Beth Schaeffer, director of RECC.
The WHAS Crusade for Children, Inc., established in 1954 by WHAS-TV, fulfills its mission of raising money for agencies, schools, and hospitals to make life better for children with special needs as demonstrated in their generosity in the grant awards. According to Mary Lloyd Moore, executive director of the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex, the programs would not be able to operate effectively without the support of the WHAS Crusade for Children.
The vision of the CEC is “Building a World Where All Individuals Flourish as Valued Members of Their Community.” The CEC fulfills this vision as a unique collaborative project that houses four programs: The Communication Disorders Clinic, The Vickie and Dan Renshaw Early Childhood Center, the John and Linda Kelly Autism Program, and the Family Resource Program. The CEC collaborates with other university programs and community agencies to remove barriers and increase opportunities for full inclusion of individuals impacted by autism and developmental delays. It is also a training facility for various undergraduate and graduate students and programs; students are afforded opportunities to engage in applied research and provide intervention services under the supervision of certified staff.
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