CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
PACER workshop sampling
PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, unless specified. Workshops are offered throughout the state, with some workshops available online. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Many workshops are live-streamed. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions designed for their needs.
- Getting it Right: Mental Health, Special Education, and 504 Plans is offered 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tue, Oct. 15 in Winona. The workshop will provide information on the challenges students with mental health needs have in the school setting and offer tips and strategies on providing instruction and support at school. Co-sponsored by the Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center. Register for this workshop.
- Supplemental Security Income Benefits and Employment is offered 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tue, Oct. 15 in Montevideo. Learn how your youth can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to help meet his or her postsecondary education, training, employment, and independent living goals. This workshop will include information on CareerForce center services, Vocational Rehabilitation Pre Employment Transition Services, and Pre-Ets for high school students will also be provided. Register for this workshop.
- What’s So Special about Turning Three is offered 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tue, Oct. 15 at PACER Center. Before their child’s third birthday, families on Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP) will learn how to actively participate in the transition from Early Intervention services to Preschool Special Education services or other community-based services. Sponsored by PACER’s Family Information and Resources Project. Funding is made possible in part from the Minnesota Department of Education. The source of the funds is from federal awards, Special Education part B. Register for this workshop.
- Tech for Teens Club: Intro to Coding and Video Games is offered 10 a.m.-noon Sat, Oct. 19 at PACER Center. The two-hour hands-on workshop will introduce teens (boys and girls) with disabilities to the fundamentals of coding. Teens will create interactive games and stories while developing basic programming skills. This workshop is designed for students with basic computer skills, but no previous coding knowledge is required. Students of all abilities are encouraged to attend. Register for this workshop.
- Getting it Right: Mental Health and Special Education is offered 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mon, Oct. 21 in Bemidji and at PACER Center. The workshop will provide information on the challenges students with mental health needs have in the school setting and offer tips and strategies for using the IEP to provide support and instruction. Register for this workshop.
- FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org
INFO & ASSISTANCE
The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides many life skills classes as well as fun outings and events for people with disabilities. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website, www.mcil-mn.org. Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030
Get to Know NAMI
NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) hosts a free Get to Know NAMI class 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wed, Oct. 16, at NAMI Minnesota, 1919 University Ave., Suite 400, St. Paul. Meet NAMI staff and volunteers and hear firsthand how NAMI’s work directly affects the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families. Learn about education and support programs and how to advocate for better mental health policies. FFI: Kay King, 651-645- 2948 x113, firstname.lastname@example.org
Classes and support in Sauk Rapids
Independent Lifestyles, Inc., 215 North Benton Dr., Sauk Rapids, offers many groups and classes, for free or a small fee. These include advocates for independence, post-polio and Parkinson’s support groups, and sports including bowling.
- Learn self-dense and improve fitness with a free one-month introductory classes, for both adapted martial arts and Tae Guk Known Do. Wear loose clothing and bring a bottle of water. The classes are on Fridays unless there is a holiday. Scott Ridlon is instructor. FFI: 320-267- 7717, 320-281-2042
St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Disease group
St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group typically meets 1-2 p.m. third Mon of each month at ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Dr., Sauk Rapids. Meetings are open to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers and the general public. The free group provides support, education, and awareness about the disease. FFI: 320-529-9000
Mental health support offered
NAMI Minnesota offers more than 500 free educational classes and presentations statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. NAMI also has more than 70 free support groups for people living with a mental illness and their families. In the Twin Cities NAMI has about two dozen family support groups, more than 20 support groups for people living with a mental illness, anxiety support groups, groups for veterans and other groups. Led by trained facilitators, groups provide help and support. Parent resource groups are facilitated by a parent who has a child with a mental illness and who has been trained to lead support groups. A group meets 6:30-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday at Eagle Brook Church, 2401 East Buffalo St., White Bear Lake. FFI: Jody Lyons 651-645-2948 x109.
- Family support groups help families who have a relative with a mental illness. A group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Anne Mae. 651-484-0599.
- Open Door Anxiety and Panic support groups help people cope with anxiety disorders. One group meets 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the second and fourth Thu in Room 104, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. Another group meets 6:30-8 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul.
- A peer support group is offered for LGBTQ adults living with a mental illness. The group meets 1-2:30 p.m. Sat, Living Table United Church of Christ, 3805 E. 40th St, Mpls. FFI: David, 612-920-3925, 651- 645-2948.
- Young Adult NAMI Connection is a free support group for persons ages 16-20. One group meets 7-8:30 the first and third Thu at Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul. A group also meets 7-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursday at Dental Office of Dr. Crandall & Associates, 2300 East Highway 96, White Bear Lake. The group is facilitated by young adults who live with mental illnesses and are doing well in recovery. A full calendar of all events is offered online. FFI: 651- 645-2948, www.namihelps.org
Adult support groups offered
AuSM offers free support groups for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Groups include those for adult family members, women with autism spectrum disorders and independent adults with autism. Check the website for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10, www.ausm.org
Vision loss group offers activities
Vision Loss Resources provides free and low-cost activities in the Twin Cities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Check out the newly redone website, accessible on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Life skills classes for those with low vision; card games, craft classes, book clubs, walking groups, dinners out, special outings and technology classes are among the offerings. Participants need to RVSP to participate, at least three working days prior to an event. The calendar is also available on the Vision Loss Resources website and as a printable large-print PDF document for those who wish to print their own or additional copies. FFI: RSVP hotline, 612-843-3439; activity line and audio calendar, 612-253-5155, www.visionlossresources.org
Networking and support
The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) Professional Networking Group meetings bring together mental health professionals who provide support to individuals on the autism spectrum together to learn. Each meeting will focus on a topic, such as therapeutic alliance, support services, or other problem-solving challenges. An AuSM counseling and consulting services staff member will present a case example and then facilitate an open group discussion for sharing relevant cases. Troubleshoot challenges and learn from other professionals. All meetings are held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at AuSM’s office, 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul. Upcoming dates include Nov. 18, Jan. 27 and March 23. RSVP. FFI: email@example.com, 651-647-1083
Book readers sought
Volunteers are a valuable resource at Radio Talking Book, broadcasting local news and information programs to blind and print-impaired listeners from sites around the state and at the Communication Center in St. Paul. The goal is to provide accurate and timely information to our thousands of listeners throughout Minnesota and across the nation. FFI: Roberta Kitlinski, 651-539-1423
Be a tutor
Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps are seeking 1,700 tutors for the 2019-20 school year by asking residents to Help Minnesota Be More. Give Your Time As A Tutor. Both full- and part-time tutors are being recruited to begin a year of paid service this fall. By joining Reading Corps or Math Corps, individuals will be helping more than 35,000 students statewide. Reading Corps and Math Corps are statewide initiatives to help every Minnesota student become a successful reader by the end of third grade, and proficient in math by the end of eighth grade. Tutors are being sought for three different levels of commitment: 35, 25 or 18 hours a week. Tutors receive a stipend every two weeks and can earn up to an additional $4,200 for student loans or tuition, which can be gifted to a family member if the tutor is 55 or older. Many tutors also qualify for additional benefits like free health insurance and child care assistance. Sign up soon as tutors start work in August. FFI: www. minnesotareadingcorps.org, www.minnesotamathcorps.org
Open the door to education
Help adults reach their educational goals and earn their GED. Tutor, teach or assist in a classroom with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Give 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. Provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251- 9110, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://tinyurl.com/adult-opportunities