Kaden has shown amazing leaps in his social and behavioral development over the past year while working with School Support Specialist, KellyAnn. His mom, Leela, notices he is happier and friendly to his family at home and excited to go to school each day.
Leela and Kaden (6) were introduced to Boys Town Nevada in 2021 through a referral from his Kindergarten teacher. This educator asked our School Support Specialist, KellyAnn, to re-direct students during recess that were hitting each other. Leela explains Kaden's Kindergarten class experienced COVID restrictions during critical growth milestones and observed the students having trouble navigating authority in a school setting. In partnership with KellyAnn and the Assistant Principal, Kaden started to receive individualized education plans to improve his behavior and learn more social skills.
KellyAnn, in her role of a School Support Specialist, creates specific curriculums based upon the Boys Town evidence-based model. These individual behavioral plans focus on improving students' social skills that are a barrier to learning. Based upon 16 core social skills in our LIFT Together program, KellyAnn began to validate his emotions and teach him ways to communicate anger without hitting. While working on this behavior, she identified Kaden had an opportunity to work with speech pathologists to help him improve speaking with confidence.
Throughout the course of the 2021 School year, KellyAnn became a navigator for Leela on how to advocate for her son and getting the accommodations Kaden needed to support his education. Leela is very proud to see the growth and happiness in her son and grateful for the guidance of KellyAnn. Toward the end of the school year, Leela asked KellyAnn to attend Kaden's Kindergarten graduation to share in the joy he was learning and behaving at his appropriate grade level.
Next month, Kaden will receive the prestigious Role Model Award, recognizing him for exceeding expectations in classroom behavior. He has a group of friends he rushes into see at the beginning of each class and Leela notices how much clearer he speaks and is kind to others. KellyAnn still works with Kaden, but not as often as she did last school year.
“Kaden uses the calm down techniques that I taught him and has blossomed into a social butterfly!" KellyAnn said.
The support offered by KellyAnn is critical for students to succeed and overcome social and behavioral barriers to learning. Our LIFT Together programing is designed to provide educators and administrators a digestible curriculum that incorporates our evidence-based model focusing on prevention and intervention to keep students in school and thriving. To support life changing programs like LIFT Together or other Boys Town programs, consider making a donation at www.boystown.org/donate.