Father Gorman School seventh-grade teacher Alyssa Dopko is working on a new organization to help kids with learning exceptionalities learn about the world.
Dopko recently founded Exceptionally Educated Exceptional Learners, an online group for parents and families of children with exceptionalities. As of right now, it exists on Facebook and her website but the goal is to turn it into a non-profit organization helping as many of these kids as possible.
She currently has three children in her program, but since getting the word out online about Exceptionally Educated Exceptional Learners, she’s had more families approach her about getting involved. Dopko says her goal is to provide a safe and fun environment for learning outside the home or school, which she explains can sometimes present challenges to kids with exceptionalities.
“With this kind of facility and this type of programming, these children will work with trained professionals and trained volunteers to help them differentiate this environment to be a place where they are learning, and it will help the families to have these children live a little more independently.”
The learning covers a wide range of topics, ranging from speech, motor functions and literacy to cleanliness and self-care. They’ve also done learning programs outside the home about topics like grocery shopping, social interactions and outdoor play, which they plan to pick back up after the COVID-19 pandemic ends and it is safe to do so.
Exceptionally Educated Exceptional Learners will be looking into sports programming as well. Dopko explains that there are many sports programs in the Border City, but not many that have the right tools or aides for these children.
“These kids will be able to connect to their peers, and children will be able to talk to their friends about the soccer game they had this weekend, or the dance recital they attended, and it just opens up a whole new door of inclusion for them.”
Dopko says her next step is working through the logistics of becoming a non-profit. From there, she will take more volunteers and kids into her program. Until then, she encourages families to take part in her programing online, which is available on Facebook.