The LABBB Collaborative
  May 2016
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In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri
2016 Special Olympics, 
Wednesday, May 11at 9:00am

We have two big community events coming up in May and June.
First is our 12th Annual Special Olympics which will be held at the Lexington Track and Field on Wednesday, May 11. The opening ceremonies begin at 9:00am. You do not want to miss the parade of athletes as they proudly march around the track. Then the Olympic torch gets lit and sends chills down your back. You can feel the spirit of the LABBB community as they cheer on the athletes as they pass. This part of the ceremony never fails to touch your emotions.
The LABBB community which includes: students, staff, parents, friends, host school district staff, selectman, school committee members, and superintendents, come to be part of this event.
Whitney Sharpe, Miss Massachusetts, will be our special guest at the LABBB Games.  Whitney attended the LABBB integrated pre-school program and graduated from Burlington High School in 2013.  She is looking forward to attending and being part of our community. 

We also have a few other special guests so please do not miss this event!
LABBB Family Pizza and Ice Cream Social

Our second LABBB community event will be held in June.The LABBBPAC is coordinating this event, and we look forward to holding family socials a few times a year. You will receive more information when we have confirmed the date and time.
This community event is for all of our LABBB community, from pre-school through High School. Come and mingle with parents and participate in our community. The power of a community is a benefit for everyone, and we are building this in LABBB. This is a chance for you to get connected and help build a resource that will help you in the future. We have a great opportunity to expand and offer parents this experience. 

Unified Theater: Performers in the Making
The LABBB Unified Theater Troupe is proud to announce their original production "Every Picture Tells a Story" live on stage at Bedford High auditorium. The production highlights students' acting, singing, and dancing abilities. Unified students also collaborated in the writing of the show!!!! 
Please support us by coming.

Friday, June 17
th at 6:30 pm
At Bedford High School Auditorium

                    Hope to see you there! 

A Day at the Restaurant
By: Chris Nicastro
As part of our functional life skills curriculum at LABBB Arlington High School (AHS), each month we eat out at local restaurant.  During this school year, we have ventured to Border Caf´┐Ż, Flatbread Pizza Company, Fife and Drum Restaurant, and Bertucci's. This is a great opportunity for our students to learn and practice a plethora of skills including: reading/identifying choices off the menu, placing their order with the server, engaging in turn-taking/waiting patiently, utilizing their burgeoning conversation skills, as well as identifying proper payment (i.e., money management).  

Additionally, for our most recent trip to Bertucci's, we had a group of staff and students learn to use public transportation. This provided our students an opportunity to engage in travel training and have a much deserved lunch of their choosing.  We look forward to our next trip into the community.        

Clinical Corner
By: Lisa Gurdin
For a lot of us, there are some tasks that are very difficult to start. It may be cleaning the garage, doing the dishes, starting a project at work, or making a new dish for dinner. Many of us procrastinate by doing a more preferred task, leaving the house/work, checking email, or other less preferred tasks for later, or not doing them at all. We also tend to delay starting a task when someone else asks us to do it. It is no different with our students. They too procrastinate and delay doing tasks that they perceive to be difficult, boring, or meaningless. The tasks delayed often include doing math worksheets, getting dressed, and doing chores. 

One way to help our students, children, and ourselves initiate tasks we don't want to do is to utilize what's called: Behavioral Momentum. Behavioral Momentum involves doing easier tasks to "get the ball rolling" so that doing those more difficult, less motivating tasks is more likely. For example, you can gain momentum for cooking a new recipe by first organizing the ingredients and doing the easier prep work. Or, you can do small, easy tidying up around the house before starting the big task of cleaning the garage. This approach also works great for students both at school and at home. Here are some examples:
  • To support our students to comply with requests that typically lead to protest behavior, start with easier, less aversive requests that get the student moving and responding to your instructions. By the time you get to the direction your student finds aversive or difficult, s/he is already moving and responding and will continue to do so.  
  • Present 2-3 easy math problems before a more difficult problem then go back to easy math problems before asking another more difficult problem. 
  • Start with easy chores before doing a more complex chore.
  • During academic discussions, ask a child a few basic questions before asking more challenging questions.
  • For students who are working on conversational skills, ask a few simple, interesting questions before asking more complex questions.
Remember to praise your student or child for initiating a difficult task and then deliver praise after s/he finishes it! Providing reinforcement in the form of praise, stickers, extra video time, or special time with an adult will help the student feel more confident and motivated to do that task again in the future. Combining behavioral momentum and reinforcement can promote improved task initiation and compliance for our students both at school and at home. Momentum can even help us start our next challenging project! 

Lexington High's Allen/Goguen Classroom Creates Beautiful Artwork
By: Melissa Allen
 As part of our Recreation and Leisure theme this month, our class went to Pinot's Palette in Lexington Center. The classroom is currently made up of students between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two, and our focus is on the transition skills necessary for adult life. With the help of Mrs. Malenchini (Speech) and Ms. Kidder (OT) for an interdisciplinary approach, along with our assistants Mr. T and Mrs. Carey, we have been able to teach our monthly thematic units. Our themes are woven throughout the schedule for maximum generalization and retention of material learned. This month has been no exception and an especially fun one!

We chose Pinot's Palette to try a unique team building recreational activity. Students were divided into three separate groups to work together to paint beautiful collages. The results far exceeded our expectations! Not only did all of the students have a blast painting, they worked exceptionally well together (even those that don't typically like group activities) to create some amazing artwork. It was a great experience and a mindful one too! This is something we talk about all year long, finding activities to do that help us feel calm and happy.

Next time you are on the Lexington High campus, check them out! The artwork will be displayed in the LABBB entryway and office area, as well as in our classroom.  You can also visit the Pinot's Palette website and Facebook page to see our students in action.

Or you can visit the website:

Go to the photo gallery and scroll down to see the two postings of our class.


Best Buddies at Chenery Middle School
By: Sarah Bennett
It has been an exciting year for the Best Buddies chapter at Chenery Middle School!
The amount of Chenery students who volunteered to be a part of this chapter at the beginning of the year was overwhelming, and we usually have about 60 students at each activity.
This year, each student in the LABBB program was paired with a Chenery Middle School buddy, and these buddy pairs remained the same throughout the whole year. It has been incredible watching these friendships form and grow, and it's great to see how excited the students become when they know they get to see their buddies and spend some quality time together.
Each month, there is a large group activity here at the middle school. Some of the favorites have been a turkey trot race and tie dying t-shirts in November, building gingerbread houses in December, and doing a leprechaun scavenger hunt (where they found a real leprechaun at the end!) in March. They also learned about Say NO to the R Word, and made posters to hang around the school, along with a banner that all the students signed.
The Chenery students have worked so hard this year, and their efforts have actually been recognized in a recent nomination for Best Buddies Middle School Chapter of the Year!
I have truly enjoyed being the faculty advisor for this great group of students, and I am incredibly proud of what this program has become. 
I'll leave you with the words from a parent of a Chenery student:
"The Best Buddies chapter at Chenery Middle School has been a fantastic club for my twin 6th grade daughters over the past two years.  Best Buddies has been so rewarding for them because they feel like they have helped to make a difference in the lives of their classmates.  From a parent perspective, I have seen my daughters be more patient, understanding and eager to help their classmates who have learning disabilities.  I also feel that their participation in Best Buddies at Chenery has helped them develop into more compassionate, inclusive and empathetic girls."

By: Beth Veguilla
Over at Fox Hill, the students have been preparing for the Special Olympics by practicing outside with physical therapist, Mrs. Giordano.  The students are training for three events: the softball toss, running short and long distance, and the long jump.  The students enjoyed practicing each event. They cheered their classmates on while each one had a turn.  In the classroom, we have had discussions on healthy eating and how to make healthy choices at home and at school.  The students here at Fox Hill are ready for 
the games to begin... 

Recreation News and Events
By: Paula Rizzo, Integration and Recreation Coordinator
The students and staff at LABBB are so lucky to have five outstanding chapters of Best Buddies and PALS in our host schools.
I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the great events and activities each chapter has done this year. Each chapter operates with the same theme in mind, make it the best experience for all students participating.
The Lexington Best Buddies Chapter, with Allie Schruender as the president, has done many activities over the year, but the one that stands out was organized by one of the officers, Addie Von Emon.  We had a LABBB parent that had a dream about 5 years ago.  His dream was to see the Lexington Best Buddies Chapter have a float in the town Patriots' Day Parade. His son has now graduated from LABBB, but this year when Addie was presented with the idea, she ran with it.  She found people to help her, young and old, to the point that the float they built won the 1st Place Youth Float Award in the Lexington Patriots' Day Parade.  The Lexington High School Buddies, along with their LABBB buddies and some parents, walked in the parade.  It was a dream come true, and the parent and former LABBB student were able to participate in the float and parade. 
The Arlington Chapter, with Paige Riley as the president, has also done group activities for the LABBB students during school time.   They have two events that stand out this year.  Paige and another Best Buddies Arlington officer, Harshini Senthil, put together a spectacular Say No to R Word Assembly for Arlington High.   They had Arlington High School students involved with our LABBB students, and together made a video to present for the special day. They had students and staff giving speeches about what the "R" word means to them.  It was a full house in the  auditorium at Arlington High for this event back in March.  They also just had an open mic night for their chapter at the Real School of Music in Burlington on a Saturday night in April to help fund raise.  Thanks to all who participated and attended. 
The Bedford Chapter, with President, Taylor Anderson, and her fellow officers, planned how their chapter was going to get their students to the annual Prom at the Dighton Rehoboth High School.  They rented a school bus, secured chaperones and put the night together for themselves and their LABBB buddies.  About 25 Bedford High and LABBB students attended this event.  For this chapter, this is a special event and something that they want to keep doing for our students. 

The LABBB students at Burlington High School have also had a great year with their PALS peers! This month, a group from Long's Jewelers came to Burlington High School and provided a wonderful interactive activity, with the outcome of each participant leaving with a piece of jewelry that they created for their mother or grandmother or even their sister for Mother's Day. It was an excellent activity that all truly enjoyed! 

Our next PALS event is a 
cookout, ending the year with a celebration. We are excited to have many of our members from PALS joining us at the Special Olympics this month. Whether you are a participant or a spectator, it is a great day to be with your friends and classmates.

The Chenery Middle School Chapter is run differently than the high schools.  They don't do events off school grounds or 1:1 with their buddy.  They do monthly events during the school day at Chenery as a large group.  The chapter helps to plan the activities with guidance from our very own Chenery LABBB teacher, Sarah Bennett.  This chapter has put on events from watching movies, making signs for Say No To R Word, following clues to find a leprechaun for a St. Patrick's Day and having a field day for their upcoming May event. 
The chapters do come together for some events. This was the second year that the three high school Best Buddies Chapters came together to go with the LABBB students to see a Celtics game.  It brought over 75 students, who have a connection with LABBB, together for one night.  All Best Buddies and PALS Chapters will be coming together again on May 11th to help support the 12th Annual Special Olympics held at Lexington High School.
LABBB, as a program, is so lucky to have these Best Buddies and PALS Chapters.  The uniqueness that they each bring to LABBB for our students is a tribute to the schools they come from and a privilege for our LABBB students.

Always remember to follow @LABBBREC on Twitter

Recreation Resources links:

If you have new ideas to offer, please email them to [email protected]. We are always looking for new ideas and opportunities our students will enjoy!

Remember to follow @LABBBREC on Twitter

Special Needs Arts Program Spring Concert: Together We Sing

Support Bill H.3938: An Act Relative to Education Collaboratives
By: Patric Barbieri
Bill H.3938 offers many benefits to educational collaboratives in Massachusetts. Building an adult Post 22 program is a vision I have for LABBB. When Chapter 43 was enacted about 5 years ago, Educational Collaboratives could no longer apply to offer these services.

Secondly, all of LABBB's programs are located in public schools. This bill would offer incentive points to districts who provide space for collaborative programs when they are approved by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to construct a new building.

If you would like to read more about this bill click here: An Act Relative to Educational Collaboratives
Parent Resources and Events
School Cancellation: All LABBB programs follow the school cancellations in their respective towns.

LABBB PAC INFORMATION: The combined LABBB PAC and Belmont SEPAC meeting held on April 27, 2016 was well attended. If you missed it, you can view it by clicking here: State of LABBB.
Communication and Contacts Links
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About Us
LABBB Collaborative Central Office
36 Middlesex Turnpike
Bedford, Massachusetts 01730
(339) 222-5615

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