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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Human Services

Mission: Club 21 provides the educational tools and resources that enable individuals with Down syndrome to be fully included. Founded in 2009, Club 21 Learning and Resource Center creates educational partnerships and provides progressive programs and services not available anywhere else in the greater Los Angeles area that support, educate, advocate, and celebrate individuals with Down syndrome from first diagnosis onward.

Target demographics: individuals with Down syndrome, their families and their educators

Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 400 individuals with Down syndrome, parents, siblings, grandparents, and educators.

Geographic areas served: Greater Los Angeles area

Programs: Club 21’s 16 programs and services equip individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and their teachers with the skills that will enable them to have independence, access, and belonging in their home, school, and community. A First Call peer mentor is matched with each family who receives a prenatal or newborn diagnosis to offer support and guidance. Parents participate in First Steps (birth to age 3), meeting weekly with other families with similar concerns and receive critical information from rotating therapists. Our goal is to train new parent mentors, especially Spanish speakers to serve our growing Latino community, train medical professionals on how to give a Down syndrome diagnosis that is informed and communicates current, up to date research on how children with Down syndrome learn and thrive, and to provide a free speech consult to every new family. We have grown our support groups: Sibshops for siblings of children with Down syndrome, Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome (D.A.D.S.), Moms Meet-Up, Down syndrome-Autism Dual Diagnosis Support, and Bienvendios, our rapidly growing Spanish speaking community group. Our goal is to widen our reach to Spanish speaking families and form community support groups in outlying areas to reach more families in need. Learning Program teaches parents the fundamentals and strategies of teaching children with Down syndrome literacy and numeracy. Children attend simultaneous sessions that focus on skill development for literacy, language, and fine motor skills. It is at capacity with 41 families. Every Child a Reader (ECAR) program, where teachers meet each child’s individual needs, is at capacity with 20 children. Our goal is to increase staffing to provide more classes. Club 21 offered 14 topic specific conferences and workshops last year, averaging 40 parents per session and a Talk Tools conference for Speech and Language Pathologists, where 90 SLPs and parents learned Oral Placement Speech Therapy. Educational Partnership program (Educational Pathways for parents and Equipping Educators for teachers) is instrumental in helping families include their children in typical classrooms and assists teachers and parents in modifying curriculum so that children with Down syndrome can participate in classes with their typical peers. 65 parents and 137 educators from 44 school districts have participated over the past three years. Our Goal is to hire an Educational Support Specialist to support educators at their school site and build a digital repository where teachers can share modified curriculum. Club F.U.N. teaches social nuances to elementary age students through two monthly classes that give direct instruction in social awareness and literacy to 16 students. Club Connections teen group teaches social skills through recreational activities, with 10 typical teens participating alongside 10 teens with Down syndrome. Our goal is to expand both of our social skills literacy curriculums.

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