Shaping the future of children

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Northland Early Education Center
City & State:
Kansas City , 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Shaping the future of children through quality early education and therapeutic intervention while teaching compassion for diversity

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Shaping the future of children The mission of the Northland Early Education Center is to shape the future of children through quality early education and therapeutic intervention while teaching compassion for diversity. Like Microsoft, NEEC strives to make a real difference in the lives of the children and families we serve, as well as the community in its entirety. Through generous donations of Microsoft software products from TechSoup over the years much needed technological gaps have been filled at the school. In 2004 NEEC received Windows server software as well as Windows XP and Office. This allowed the administration, therapists as well as the classrooms to work in a more efficient, effective and cohesive manner. Again in 2008, NEEC was able to further update the server software and Windows XP through TechSoup’s generous donation program. Also in 2008, NEEC purchased Grant Station at a discounted rate, allowing us to further diversify our funding base. Microsoft software is used daily in every aspect of our organization, some of these include; administrative duties; teachers daily notes and correspondence with the families; therapist’s documentation and reporting of children’s developmental goals; children developing computer skill’s in the classroom; as well as networking with the community. TechSoup and Microsoft have impacted the school and the children we serve immensely by allowing us to integrate technology into our programs. This innovation gives us the opportunity to focus solely on the children we serve and furthering our mission. NEEC achieves its mission by providing early education and therapy services for children with special needs, as well as early education services for children who are typically developing, ages birth to five. All children who attend NEEC learn in fully-inclusive classrooms that are separated by age, not developmental level. Each of NEEC’s eight classrooms has one lead teacher with a Bachelor’s degree in education or, at the minimum, an Associate’s degree in child development. Our teachers utilize the Project Construct Curriculum model, allowing each child to maximize their cognitive, social, communication and daily living skills through their interactions with the physical and social world. In addition to nationally accredited early education services, NEEC provides physical and occupational therapy, speech and language pathology and special instruction for children with special needs. Our highly qualified therapists provide these services on-site directly in the classroom or in our fully equipped therapy gym. NEEC therapists also provide in-home therapy services throughout the Kansas City Northland community for children with special needs whose families choose to educate them at home. Recognizing a growing a need in the community, NEEC also offers an extended learning program before and after school as well as during the summer for children with special needs ages six to eleven. On any given day, as you walk through the halls of NEEC you will see children of all developmental levels playing together and encouraging each other to learn. The relationships these children build with one another at NEEC are without prejudice, transcending physical and mental ability and instead are based on love, respect and compassion. Currently, NEEC provides on-site early education and/or therapy services for 100 children, 38 percent of who are children with special needs. Additionally, NEEC is providing in-home therapy services for 25 children with special needs throughout the community. In total, NEEC is providing early education and/or therapy services for 125 children, approximately 50 percent of whom are children with special needs. NEEC’s nationally accredited early education services are in such high demand that our waiting list currently extends into January - March 2010. However, every step is taken to that ensure our services are available for children with special needs, since they do not have the same opportunities as children who are typically developing. Several placements are left open at the Center in order to accommodate these potential students. The Northland Early Education Center is proud to be accredited through both the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Additionally, NEEC is a licensed private agency with the Missouri Department of Health and holds certification through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. These accreditations, licensures and certifications ensure that NEEC’s program standards are among the highest in the nation. The main goal of NEEC’s early education and therapy program is to ensure that all children with special needs are mainstreamed into typical kindergarten classrooms with the foundation for future learning and success. NEEC utilizes the Outcome Measurements format of tracking annual programmatic goals. In order to ensure that the children’s therapy and early education goals are met, through Microsoft products, NEEC tracks data from therapy billing records, children’s Individualized Family Service Plans or education goals, as well as monthly and annual enrollment data. This allows NEEC to accurately compile and analyze data as well as perform comparative analysis from year to year. Each year, after the Outcome Measurements are complete, NEEC shares its findings with its stakeholders through the Outcome Measurements Report and an Annual Report. In 2009 NEEC therapists will provide 3,900 units[1] of physical therapy, 2,250 units of occupational therapy, 1,200 units of speech and language pathology and 1,000 units of special instruction. Also, NEEC will provide early education services for 60 children with special needs. Additionally, NEEC teachers and therapists will work diligently to ensure that at least 90 percent of children with special needs who attend NEEC make progress on at least 75 percent of their established goals. Also, in 2009, 50 percent of the children who receive services from the school will be children with special needs and at least 45 percent of those children will participate in the program. As you can image the cost of providing these essential services is very costly and NEEC relies greatly on the generosity of individuals, businesses and charitable organizations for 20 percent of our annual operating costs. NEEC is extremely grateful to TechSoup and Microsoft for providing the school with essential cost effective software, which allows us to focus on what is most important – the children. NEEC sincerely thanks you for this opportunity to enter the Microsoft Impact Story Contest for a $5,000 cash grant plus $25,000 in donated Microsoft product, which would allow us to further our mission of shaping the future of children through quality early education and therapeutic intervention while teaching compassion for diversity.

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Optimize Mission Delivery
Supporting Work Files