Eagle Hill-Southport School Hosts i CAN! Program to Empower Children with Learning Disabilities, In Association with Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities

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Eagle-Hill Southport School recently hosted a presentation of the i CAN! Program to empower children with learning disabilities. Developed by Karen Ayoub of Greenwich, Connecticut, in association with Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities (SKLD), the program highlights strategies to focus children on what they can do rather than what they cannot.

The i CAN! Program presents a unique opportunity to help students with learning disabilities better understand themselves and the challenges they face, as well as their tremendous potential

The i CAN! Program was presented at Eagle Hill-Southport School on December 11, 2012, in association with Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. In the effort to empower children with learning disabilities, the program highlights strategies that focus on what children can do rather than what they cannot do. The program was developed by Karen Ayoub of Greenwich, Connecticut, with the assistance of SKLD. Over 24 students and faculty, representing grades seven and eight, participated.

The i CAN! Program, inspired by the HBO film “I Can’t Do This But I Can Do That,” strongly encourages students, teachers, families and friends to look beyond any label to discover the gifts each child possesses. The HBO film and i CAN! support materials serve as the basis of an interactive discussion among the participants.

The presentation was moderated by Roberta Safire, a speech and language therapist who in addition to a career as a school administrator and classroom teacher at the Windward School in White Plains, NY, and as a tutor, has acted and served as a puppeteer in children’s theater productions.

“The i CAN! Program was a great platform for students to talk about their strengths,” reported Benjamin Powers, Head of Eagle Hill-Southport, an independent school for students with learning disabilities. “It was evident that the event resonated with many of them by comments the parents were making the next day. Many said their children continued the dialogue with them that evening at home.”

Karen Ayoub, founder of the i CAN! Program, noted, "I’ve watched my own son, who is dyslexic, struggle with issues of self-esteem and self-confidence. I was determined to help him and others like him. Children with learning disabilities can learn and can succeed -- they just require alternative methods of teaching and belief in their potential."

During phase one of the program, Karen Ayoub will work with SKLD to present the i CAN! program to additional schools in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, before approaching public and private schools in other parts of the country. Jane Ross, Executive Director of SKLD, commented, “The i CAN! Program presents a unique opportunity to help students with learning disabilities better understand themselves and the challenges they face, as well as their tremendous potential.” The program debuted last year at Winston Preparatory School in Norwalk.

About Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc.:
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering parents of children with learning disabilities (LD) and attention-deficit disorder (ADHD) through providing information, guidance, and support while also educating the public about these children’s significant gifts and talents. Henry Winkler, the famed actor, director and producer as well as the author of the Hank Zipzer book series about a boy with learning disabilities and ADHD, serves as the organization's Honorary Chairman.

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