June 03, 2005 – Five-year-old Valentina Montenegro was all smiles as her wheelchair
glided to the stage.
Valentina, who has cerebral palsy,
was proud that she was graduating, along with 19 other children, from a preschool
for developmentally or physically disabled children in Fort Lauderdale Thursday.
United Cerebral Palsy Early Beginnings Preschool, open to children ages 18
months to 5 years old, strives to prepare them to enter kindergarten at regular
”I’m excited. I’m gonna finish,” Valentina, of Davie, said. But, she added: “I
will miss all my friends.”
The ceremony, held at the Police Officers’ Association Hall in unincorporated
Broward near U.S. 441 and Davie Road, began with words from Ana Fraga-Pardo,
director of the preschool.
The 20 children then either walked in sheepishly or were wheeled in on their
wheelchairs, a sea of red caps and gowns and smiles.
They sang a number of songs like “One-two, buckle my shoe.”
Fraga-Pardo also gave out awards to each of the students, including categories
like Most Huggable and Most Determined. Jullisa Hibbert won ”Most Congenial.”
”That’s my girl,” said her mother, Terrian Sterling of Fort Lauderdale.
Jullissa, who suffers from spina bifida, a disorder caused by incomplete development
of the spinal cord, seemed overjoyed at the idea of starting regular school.
”I’m going to kindergarten!” she exclaimed.
Luis Buenahora’s 5-year-old son Andres graduated Thursday. Andres has cerebral
palsy, a muscular disorder caused by brain damage.
”This school has helped to prepare him a lot,” Buenahora said in Spanish. “He’s
become more sure of himself.
Fraga-Pardo began to cry during her speech. ”After 30 years of doing this,
I still get emotional,” she said. “We accept our children and love them unconditionally
here, and challenge them to achieve their full potential.”
United Cerebral Palsy Early Beginnings Preschool was founded in the early
1970s and is supported by United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida, a nonprofit
organization. Children that attend the school have cerebral palsy, spina bifida,
and other mental or physical disorders, but learn alongside students without
disabilities as well as an `integrated learning experience.’
The organization will open a charter school for disabled children in west
Hollywood in August.
MOVING ON UP: Andres Buenahora, 5, gives a thumbs-up to his parents at United
Cerebral Palsy Early Beginnings Preschool graduation ceremony.
Volunteers Needed for World Championships for Athletes with Disabilities
June 10, 2005 – The Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association
(CP-ISRA) World Championships, a world-class athletic competition for people
with cerebral palsy-related physical disabilities, will be held at Connecticut
College in New London, June 27-July 10, and 2,000 volunteers are needed to assist
The world’s top athletes with cerebral palsy and other related physical disabilities
will come together at the championships to compete in the sports of bowling,
cross country, cycling, powerlifting, slalom, soccer, swimming, table tennis
and track and field. Approximately 750-1,000 athletes from 36 countries, including
the US, are expected to compete in the world championships.
Volunteers are needed to assist the athletes during the various sports competitions,
as well as with registration, opening and closing ceremonies, computer operations,
concessions, hospitality/VIP hosting, media relations, medical assistance, social
activities, team relations, transportation and wheelchair/equipment repair,
as well as other activities.
“The number of volunteers needed for this event is staggering,” said Ron Loomis,
coordinator of volunteers, who was also the coordinator of volunteers for OPSAIL2000CT,
which involved 3,600 volunteers. “For soccer games alone, we need 50 volunteers
for each shift, and a total of 200 for all activities during the morning and
“The 2005 CP-ISRA World Championships will be approximately the same size
and scope as the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games,” said NDSA executive
director Jerry McCole. “We know the championships will mean so much to hundreds
of athletes with disabilities and their families, and we wouldn’t be able to
fulfill our vision for this event without the help of volunteers. Those who
volunteer to help at the championships are sure to find it a rewarding experience
that I am sure they will cherish for the rest of their lives.”
For more information on volunteering for the 2005 CP-ISRA World Championships,
please visit www.cpworldchampionships.org, or call 860-447-2231. For general
information about the event, visit the web site or call 860-267-6757.
NYS Cerebral Palsy Agency Jawonio, Loves Chocolate in July
Help Children and adults with disabilities this summer by going to the movies
with Jawonio. Join Jawonio, on July 21st, 7pm at the Loews Theatre, Palisades
Mall, West Nyack, NY
(PRWEB) June 27, 2005 — Jawonio (www.jawonio.org) the Cerebral Palsy agency
based in New City, NY will screen “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” during
it’s opening week on July 21st, 7pm, Loews Palisades Theatre. “This is our 4th
annual film benefit, and we are so excited to see Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka,
and to be dazzled by Tim Burton’s vision” says Jawonio PR Director Diana Hess.
This is Jawonio’s 4th annual film benefit for children and adults with disabilities.
Proceeds will go towards Jawonio’s new pre-school opening in the Fall of 2006.
Sponsors include: The Paul and Mary Adler Family, Orange and Rockland Utilities,
Domus Mortgage, and Lynch’s Lakeside Inn.
Past Films have included: I am Sam;Seabiscuit; and Shrek2.
Jawonio, is a NYS Cerebral Palsy affiliate and is dedicated to advancing the
well-being, independence and equality of people with disabilities and special
For tickets or to become a “charlie sponsor” please call: 845.634.4648 x1214