The Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children offered Ohio Parent Mentors the opportunity to apply for a resource mini-grant to support the work they do with families across Ohio. The funds are a one-time-only grant and 64 grants were awarded across the state. Our Champaign County Parent Mentor applied and was successful in obtaining the funding to provide help to families and educators in Champaign County School districts.
The Parent Mentor Project of Champaign County proposed purchasing 500 flash drives (credit card shape and size) to use as an informational resource. The cards will be easy to use and carry since it is designed to fit anywhere a credit card can go. The cards will be loaded with the Parent Mentor flyer and the tri-fold brochure and handouts that are usually given in a paper form that explains what the Parent Mentor does and what parents and educators need to know to work together productively to meet the needs of students with or suspected of having special needs.
The cards can be customized to include additional information on topics of interest and will be available to families, educators, administrators, and community agency partners upon request. This use of jump drives will make sharing the handouts easier and less costly. The card can hold 8 GB of information and take up very little space, saving time, copying labor, paper, and ink for the Parent Mentor project. Anyone who has a copy of the jump drive would be able to share the information either digitally or can print out any of the resources. All of the handouts are converted to PDF format and so should be very easy to download and share. In short, this would be a very smart use of the funding.
In addition to the basic information cards, a number of cards can be custom loaded with specific information on topics (such as ADHD, Autism, Transition to Life, sleep difficulties, complex needs, etc.), and will be reserved to be used on an as-needed basis.
This activity is good for the Parent Mentor Project because it is not partial to anyone’s school district or building and it has the potential to help parents and students through the utilization of the files through multiple points of contact.
Each flash drive card will be delivered with a request for feedback via a survey to assess the impact and satisfaction of the cards and materials. That survey will also be on the Parent Mentor’s webpage on the MCCESC site so the information can be given on a continual basis. Jacqueline will be measuring the usefulness of the Jump Drive and the information it contains the type of delivery, and satisfaction with the resource.
The remainder of the funds will be used to produce some paper copies for those who do not use or have access to computers as well as new copies of the PM Trifold Brochure. To put in a request for a Parent Mentor Resource Card, email email@example.com after May 1, 2021.