The father of a former student at the UCLA Intervention Program, a school focused on helping children with disabilities, has launched a fundraiser to increase awareness and raise money to support the school. Michael T. Ward says he recognizes the immeasurable value of the program to the community, and more specifically to the children and families it serves. In an effort to ensure that the program is around for generations to come, he has developed a team to help generate awareness and funds that will directly support the UCLA IP program’s need for updated equipment and materials for students. Within three days, the fundraiser, launched Aug. 6, had raised $8,500 toward its goal.
The fundraising effort includes a dedicated website with promotional videos, interviews with parents of current and former students, specific information about the special-needs school and a gofundme.com account. “The goal of the program is to raise a minimum of $50,000 dollars, and make sure that the Los Angeles community knows that a place like the UCLA IP exists and is available to those that need it most,” says Ward. “Anyone who has ever been through, or had a child in the program has only the best things to say about it. It truly is a program that is second to none when it comes to serving children with special needs.”
The UCLA IP is a center-based early-intervention program providing educational, diagnostic, and therapeutic services to children ages 3 and younger with a range of developmental risks and disabilities. The school was founded in the 1950s, and has been in the same location since the 1960s. The program encourages the individual development of each student, and provides social interactions within a classroom environment. Each staff member is trained and skilled at viewing each child within the context of typical child development, having the same basic needs as all children, as well as some that are uniquely his or her own. Since its inception, the program has provided thousands of children in the L.A. area the opportunity to learn, grow and develop in a safe, loving and nurturing environment.
The school is regionally funded, and with budget cuts consistently cutting into its lifeblood, it is becoming paramount to find other ways to generate funds. Learn more about the fundraising effort at www.playingforthefuture.org.