Make a Difference in a Child’s Life: Children’s Outreach Project
by Mary Jo Gross
Editor’s Note: Instead of traditional president’s columns, Mary Jo Gross has elected to have guest columnists—people who are involved with public service organizations—write about their personal commitment and experiences with charity work. Appropriately, we will start the series with Mary Jo’s personal involvement.
The company I work for, United General Title Insurance Company, has made a commitment to a nonprofit school called Children’s Outreach Project (COP)—and this commitment has turned into a mission for us. COP is an early childhood education and childcare center in Colorado, but it is so much more than that. This critical community resource has done amazing work with children and their families. For instance, last year, it was able to move 65% of children who received speech pathology services into the typical range after only one year of intervention. According to the Department of Education’s 24th annual report to Congress on the condition of special education, children with disabilities who receive early intervention services show significant developmental progress a year later. Families also report increased confidence in their ability to deal with their children.
Children thrive there because they see they are valued and therefore believe they are capable of great things.
The values of Children’s Outreach Project are inclusion, respect for the individual, and dedication to the whole child. COP’s motto is, "it is better to build children than to repair adults." For nearly 33 years, the school has lived by its commitment to nurture and guide students toward a productive and positive future. It strives to offer an integrated, quality, early childhood and kindergarten education to children in north metro Denver. In addition to the standard curriculum designed to develop cognitive, academic readiness, social, and self-help skills, the school provides various therapeutic services such as speech language, occupational, and cognitive therapy. Student-to-teacher ratios are kept well below state requirements for all age groups, ensuring that children receive individual attention and special assistance with academic and social learning.
Take 4-year old COP student Gabriel Janke and his family. Gabriel was born with a large tumor and has endured six surgeries, congestive heart failure, and a stroke. His special needs and circumstances led his mother to seek an alternative environment. She wanted a school that could help him feel included and supported, self-confident, and loved. She wanted a place that would nurture and believe in him so he could believe in himself. She found all that and more at COP. Since Gabriel started at the school, he has learned to walk, run, socialize with other children, use scissors, and draw shapes. He happily learns more each day.
Cases such as these are common throughout COP’s 33-year history. And they need your help to see that this type of care and support continues.
How you can help support educational programming for special needs children.
Sign up for COP’s Annual Golf Tournament on Aug. 16th at The Ranch Country Club in Westminster. They need golfers, sponsors, and prize donations. Please let your friends and
To sign up for the tournament, call Stephanie Baer, at (303) 429-0653. For more information about the school, visit www.childrensoutreachproject.org.