The following is a letter sent by Mrs. Theresa Anders, systems manager of the Infant and Toddler Connection of the Heartland, to NSSLHA on Friday, January 10, 2014.
Angel Tree Article, 2013:
Angel Tree gifts benefit Infant and Toddler Connection of the Heartland families
Longwood University’s chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) sponsored an Angel Tree to collect Holiday gifts for children served by the Infant and Toddler Connection (ITC) of the Heartland.
ITC of the Heartland provides supports and services to families with children ages birth to three who have a developmental delay or a high possibility of having a developmental delay. The goal of early intervention is to provide assistance to families to support their children’s learning and development through every day activities.
“I am very grateful to the members of NSSLHA, the Longwood & Farmville community members, and ITC staff for ensuring that each child in our program has a gift bag of developmentally appropriate items for the holiday season,” said Theresa Anders, Local System Manager of ITC of the Heartland.
Melissa Goetz, a communication sciences and disorders major and a member of the NSSLHA, assisted in organizing the project. “The Angel Tree Project brings hope and happiness to families in need during the holiday season, and NSSLHA is so happy to have a role in that!” said Goetz.
The Angel Tree gifts are donated by Longwood students, alumni, faculty, staff and community partners. They are then personally delivered to over 85 homes in the seven county area surrounding Longwood University by ITC of the Heartland staff and providers.
“As a service coordinator working directly with children with delays and disabilities, many of them do not have access to age appropriate toys that will help them in their development. The annual Angel Tree gift project from ITC of the Heartland & Longwood University provides families with toys that are tailored to the child’s individual need(s). These toys foster learning, help parents assist their children in meeting their developmental milestones, and help the children accomplish the goals that are written on their Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP),” said Kavonda Jordan-Dean, ITC of the Heartland Service Coordinator.
Dr. Peggy Agee, faculty sponsor for the student organization, said “As one of the faculty advisors for NSSLHA, I have appreciated the opportunity for students in NSSLHA to participate in the planning and development of the Angel Tree project. I have observed the development of collaboration and organizational skills and the students’ pride in completing this service project. It’s a topic that they talk about long after the tree comes down and the gifts are distributed.”
“It’s always a blessing to be able to give to the little ones in our program and their siblings. The smiles and expressions on their faces reminds us as Early Interventionists why we do what we do during this special time of year. However, it also sheds light on the importance for us to be givers to our families not only during this time of year, but all year long!” states Sonya Edmonds, Senior Service Coordinator at ITC of the Heartland.
The Infant & Toddler Connection of the Heartland is located at Longwood University’s Speech, Hearing and Learning Services at 315 W. Third Street, Farmville. Early intervention services are provided in the homes and community settings in the counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward. For more information about services offered by ITC, contact 434.395.2967 or visit http://www.longwood.edu/infanttoddlerconnection/index.html