E-Newsletter August 2019

Annual ASAPC Carnival 2019

It’s that time of year again! The A Step Ahead Annual Carnival is scheduled for August 15th. It’s FREE for A Step Ahead Families! See invite below for details. Or reach out to your FRC or Provider or call us at the office for more details.

Congratulations to Teacher Marti!

Super proud of our Marti for winning the 2019 Champions for Children Award from Project Child Success!
Each year, Project Child Success identifies and celebrates people in Pierce County who have made a significant impact in the lives of children and families. These are not just experts or professionals, but people from all walks of life who have made a difference for children and families from our community.
Marti’s superpower is to make children smile with her power of creativity! She’s been serving our children for 16 years… Congratulations Marti!!!

Fund Development

Check back in October for more news on our Fundraising Efforts!

Strategies

Submitted by Anne Hand, Speech-Language Pathologist & Lindsey Hartman, Early Intervention Teacher

Reading to babies is an intimate, shared experience that boosts development and learning. Making time for story sharing in busy infant settings is essential for children’s vocabulary development and later reading ability. Being intentional about embedding literacy experiences in babies’ everyday routines creates joyful, loving moments in the short-term and builds critical skills in the long-term. Adapted from: National Association for the Education of Young Children (2019). Rocking and Rolling: Reading with babies matters. https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/jul2019/reading-with-babies-matters

Resources

Contributed by the Family Resources Coordinators at A Step Ahead

Northwest Furniture Bank

Who We Help | NW Furniture Bank provides gently used furniture and household items to families at or below the poverty level struggling with fire, flood, job loss, domestic violence relocation, foster child ageing out, or someone moving from transitional housing. If you are sleeping, eating or living on the floor we want to help provide the items you cannot afford to purchase. We do not replace or upgrade furniture you may already have.
All our furniture is gently used and the inventory changes daily. Each household accessing our services is subject to a $75 processing fee payable at the time of your furniture selection. We ask that you be able to transport the furniture you’ve selected in one trip, at the time of your appointment or utilize our deliver service for an addition fee of $125. For more information on how to access help from NW Furniture Bank, reach out to your ASAPC FRC.

The Grand Cinema in Tacoma does Free Family Flicks the 3rd Saturday of each month. Coming up on August 17th, they will be playing the 80s favorite The Goonies. Doors open at 9:30, and movie starts at 10am. Seating is first-come, first-served. The Grand Cinema welcomes guests of all ages, but all children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult! Click their logo for additional details!

Meet our Board of Directors

Each Month we are going to introduce one member of our board of directors! Stay tuned to meet them all in the upcoming newsletters.

Nancy Scott, Treasurer

How long have you served on the ASAPC Board and what makes our mission meaningful to you?

I have served on the Board for 4½ years.  I value our mission of providing educational and therapy services in the homes of our special needs infants/toddlers.

What is your profession and what skills do you transfer to the board?

I am a retired CPA and was formerly a secondary science teacher.  I worked at ASAP for ten years as the Accountant and Office Manager before retiring in Nov 2013.  My skills as an CPA and ASAPC accountant have provided me with the background to serve on the BOD and as the current Treasurer.  My previous career in education has also provided me with insight into the function and politics of school systems in our county.

If you had unlimited resources, what is the one thing you as a board member would like to do for the population we serve?

I would like to be able to provide more free community and group activities for our clients and their families, including transportation and accessibility support.

In your opinion, what do we do better than anyone else in our field?

I think that ASAPC is the best at providing home-based educational and therapy services to our client population by highly skilled and professional staff personnel.

If you could swap jobs with a staff member for a day, what would you want to try and why?

I wouldn’t want to swap jobs with them, but I would like to shadow one of our therapists to observe how they interact with the children in our programs.

Meet Our Staff

David Pozolinski, Executive Director

Tell us about your background and/or education?

I moved to Washington 21 years ago from Wisconsin; where I grew up. I loved growing up there; however, the winters were just too snowy and cold and the summers were too hot and muggy. I have been practicing as a speech language pathologist assistant for 15 years. I have worked in the public schools and private speech clinics serving ages four through adult with communication challenges. The past 7 years, I have been serving children ages 1-3 in early intervention. This June, I was very excited to begin a new adventure in leading A Step Ahead as the new Executive Director.

Describe a typical “day at the office” for you?

I usually arrive at the office around 8am. That’s pretty much where the typical part ends. Throughout my day, I might take calls from families, community members, and school districts. I have various meetings scheduled daily and many unscheduled meetings; as something unexpected always comes up. The best parts of my day are when our teachers and therapists share the successes of the kiddos they’re seeing! This is the reason we are all here! 

What do you like about ASAPC?

I thoroughly enjoy my coworkers! We all have varied experiences; personal and professional. We are all here for the same purpose, to help support children with special needs and their families and caregivers. Everyone loves to laugh and we are all very supportive of one another.   

Any funny/best stories to share?

Recently, I learned how scary a large empty box could be when one of my coworkers asked me to help her lift a printer into z box to mail to the repair shop. As I approached the box, another coworker sprang out of the box! Needless to say, my heart skipped a few beats!

Lindsey Hartman, Early Intervention Teacher

Tell us about your background and/or education?

I spent my childhood being raised in my mother’s home daycare and working for her as soon as I turned 16 years old. Once I was in college at University of Minnesota Duluth, I worked in the summers in child care centers, special education summer programs, homes for adults with special needs, or foster homes for kids with special needs. In 2012, I completed my Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Unified Early Childhood Studies which allowed me to teach kids birth-8 years old in general education and special education settings. During my Bachelor’s, I also completed a Graduate Certificate in Educational Computing and Technology as well as two Minors in Deaf Studies and Psychology. Then, I worked as an itinerant teacher of the deaf for 3 years in Kotzebue, AK (a small village above the arctic circle) with kids Pre-K to 12th grade while obtaining my Master of Arts in Special Education: Deaf and Hard of Hearing in 2015. Next, I moved to Anchorage, AK to pursue my dreams of working in early intervention at Developmental Therapist/Teacher of the Deaf for infants and toddlers. After three years there, I relocated to the Seattle area for my spouse’s job to work with A Step Ahead as an Early Intervention Teacher starting in January 2019.

Describe a typical “day at the office” for you?

There is no typical day at the office in early intervention. I can usually be found one of two places: getting out the office driving between home visits and community events -or- staying in the office completing evaluations, meetings, and paperwork! Regardless of what the day brings, it is so much fun to work with the families and colleagues of ASAPC.

What do you like about ASAPC?

I enjoy ASAPC because of all the fun people I get to meet and interact with daily. There is such a warm, inviting atmosphere at the office and the people here become more than just your coworkers. We are really one big family through and through!

Any funny/best stories to share?

On my 3rd day of work, I found myself at my first staff meeting surrounded by a room of crying individuals. I was brand new to the office and thought to myself “wow, what’s the deal?!” What happened was, the executive director who hired me announced that she was retiring. It was very shocking at the time, but it didn’t take long to figure out why anyone who was not new wept upon hearing the news. At any other job, I may not have had the same caring experience, but here it was clear that everyone loved Candy for her heart and dedication. Now, the tradition continues with David the new executive director. Lucky for me, there has been much less crying at staff meetings! 😊

Anything else you want to share?

In my spare time, I love to be outdoors camping, hiking, and fishing. At home, I enjoy baking, cooking, scrapbooking, crafting, and sewing. I also teach part-time as an Adjunct professor for the University of Alaska Anchorage Master’s Program for Early Childhood Special Education.