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Ackerman Event Promotes Family Engagement

 Ackerman mother and son smile for the camera after getting a hot dog and chips.

October 24, 2023 - Ackerman families were greeted by friendly faces for the school's fall family engagement event, Ackerman Family Happy Hour. The event is an opportunity for families to learn more about the school, how they can support their kids' educational needs at home, and meet Ackerman staff. 

“It’s been a great evening and I’m excited to see all of the families,” said Lisa Leonard, Ackerman principal. “We will give the families a game to take home at the very end. This is by far one of my favorite events of the school year.”

“I just love it when the students walk in and they get so excited to see us even though they were just here about an hour ago,” said Michelle Flynn, social worker. “They come in and hug everybody and the students are so excited to introduce people to their families.” 

Students and their families were provided a complimentary dinner of hot dogs, chips and drinks. The school's speech language pathologist also had a booth set up to provide information about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. 

“These are very beneficial because a lot of our students are visual learners. They can’t use the muscles of their mouth to produce the words,” said Lori Glassman, speech language pathologist. “These devices give them an open vocabulary to come up with original messages and have others be able to understand them without all the intensity and labor of moving the muscles.”

“We have a lot of low tech communication where you can use pictures to support social communication or record your voice,” said Theresa Vistine, speech language pathologist. “We also have more high tech devices with different overlays that allow you to sequence them to match a students' learning ability.”

After mingling, families moved into the classrooms to dive deeper into literacy and reading. Kim and Kevin Bowman said they attended to support their daughter, Ashley. 

“She is in seventhth-grade and this is actually our first time in the building,” said Kim. 

“We wanted to be present to see the facility, her teacher, and know how we could better help serve her,” said Kevin. 

Ackerman families can attend future engagement events in May. Family Wellness Day takes place May 3 and the Family Celebration will be held May 23.