Community pitches in to serve children with special needs

Last updated: July 03. 2014 4:19PM - 218 Views
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As the saying goes, great minds think alike.


That phenomenon occurred earlier this year between recent West Jefferson graduate, Emily Davis and her former 4-H key leader, Sharon Edwards McCord.


Davis, who is assisting McCord in the operation of Yes We Can 4-H Club, said she and McCord blurted out the same answer to what can we do together? Start a 4-H club for children with special needs.


Since its beginning in March 2014, 21 boys and girls have joined the ranks. Since that time the group has been meeting every other Sunday in a room of the former London Primary School on Walnut Street. With the approach of the fair, Davis said they have increased their meetings to weekly.


“It’s handicap-accessible,” Davis said. “They come in and do art projects, splattering paint or drawing something that expresses emotion.”


To prepare for the fair, in its 125th year, they are having the children create works of art, which will be submitted for judging at the fair. The media run the gamut. Davis said the judging will be “a little different than the other kids.”


“We’ll help them,” Davis said. “Some will have a script. Everyone will be a little nervous, which is to be expected.”


Davis recalled being nervous at age 9 when she presented her first 4-H project at the fair.


She said financial and material support from the community has been sufficient. She said individuals and churches have donated to the club so the children’s financial burden has been lifted.


“They haven’t had to pay a penny,” Davis said.


Working with children with special needs brings good experience for Davis, who will begin studies in the fall at Urbana University. Her goal is to be an intervention specialist for children with developmental disabilities.


Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1617 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.

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