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SEF Campership Helps Student Transition to Middle School

Nearly through her first year at Rogers Middle School in the Affton
School District, Stasia Noblett is putting to good use the skills she learned last year during a stay at a summer camp.

At Camp Cougar, Stasia enjoyed typical camp activities, such as swimming, field trips and team-building exercises. But she also had the opportunity to develop other skills that will last a lifetime.

“I gained new social skills, including learning how to approach someone to make a new friend, and how to have good conversations and not be so shy,” said Stasia, who receives services from SSD.

Stasia was able to attend Camp Cougar with the help of a scholarship called a “campership” awarded through the Special Education Foundation (SEF). The SEF is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help children with disabilities in St. Louis County achieve success in areas not supported by tax dollars.

The time that Stasia spent at Camp Cougar provided her with an excellent opportunity to interact with peers, said Julie Jacob, SSD teacher at Gotsch Intermediate School in the Affton School District.

“The program consists of social games and activities and helps her learn to take turns, deal with winning and losing games, and handling frustration,” said Jacob. “During camp she has appropriate role models for grade-level social skills.”

Jacob added that the opportunity to attend a camp allows students like Stasia to become more confident, learn to work and share with peers, and get ready for middle school.

Stasia received the Sammy Goldman “Living Big” Campership through the SEF. It is an award given in tribute to Sammy Goldman, a young child whose life ended at the age of 5. His parents, Rebecca and Louis Goldman, established the campership to honor their son’s memory.

“It was an absolute pleasure to meet the Goldmans,” said Melanie Noblett, Stasia’s mother. “We are honored that they chose our daughter for the campership. They described Sammy as being very similar to Stasia in interests, personalities and especially their love for music.”

Noblett attributes much of Stasia’s success to speech and music therapy provided through SSD. “Music is her world and a way for her to communicate to others. She has thrived with the support of her resource teachers, and has gained learning strategies to calm down and interact socially.”

She added that without the help of SSD services, Stasia would not be where she is today. “Stasia has been very fortunate to have the opportunity to be supported by fantastic teachers who are patient, knowledgeable and compassionate. With their supports, Stasia is a strong, determined and successful student, and she has come a long way.”

The SEF provides support and assistance to students who receive services from SSD, including scholarships, camperships, hearing aids, assistive equipment, and much more. To learn more about the SEF and the opportunities it offers, visit www.sef-stl.org.

Published May 2015

Stasia Noblett
Stasia Noblett

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Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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