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Hello Friends,

Greetings on this cold day! Spring is still a long way off, so I hope you are finding ways to enjoy winter.

Community Awards

It’s that time of year again when we look to you to tell us about the shining stars in our community who deserve recognition. If you know of people or organizations creating positive change in the lives of people who have disabilities, nominate them for a Community Award. Use this link to nominate them online or download a form. There’s one catch: we must receive the nomination by end of day February 4th!

NYS Parent Center Changes

You may have heard about the New York State’s planned change to their Early Childhood and Special Education Parent Centers. The State appears to be changing the model for how they will contract with agencies to deliver information and resources to families and professionals working with students. According to the State’s publications, they are shifting their focus to address broader issues of equity in education, which includes students with disabilities but is not solely focused on that population.

I can assure you that Starbridge is committed to continuing to support families, children, and schools in improving educational outcomes. Through our federal Parent Center grant and other state and local grants, we will be able to do this work for the long-term.

New collaboration with Ibero

Our LASR (Learning to Achieve Self Reliance) program is a free transitional coaching service that helps people age 17 and older in Monroe County to live as independently as possible. We are pleased to launch a new collaboration with Ibero-American Action League to add the support of a Spanish-speaking navigator. We are happy that, together, we can serve more people and assist them in living independently.

LASR is funded by the United Way of Greater Rochester. For more information, please contact Nora Kiriakidi at 585-224-7246 or email ekiriakidi@starbridgeinc.org.

2019 Among the Stars

Our annual gala is moving to The Strathallan’s City View Ballroom, and will be Saturday, April 6th. We’re looking forward to another elegant, entertaining evening – raising a glass to those who raise the bar, and raising funds to create opportunities for children and adults with disabilities and their families. I am pleased to announce that we will honor Stephen G. Schwarz, Esq., as our Outstanding Community Partner. Steve is a longtime Board member and supporter, and a passionate advocate for the rights of people who have disabilities to advocate for themselves and reach their fullest potential.

We’ll announce the Advocacy, Inclusion, and Rising Star award recipients next month. But for now, save the date on your calendar for a night of fun!

No matter the season, we at Starbridge are here for you.

Colin Garwood

Best wishes,

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 Colin Garwood, President/CEO