Leading kindergartens, child care centres and schools in the Barwon South West region are vying for the top prize in the 2011 HAPI Awards.
The HAPI (Helping Achieve Positive Inclusion) Awards recognise outstanding achievers in kindergartens, child care centres and schools for their positive inclusion of children with disabilities and additional needs – and each winner is awarded $1000 for their efforts.
This is the seventh year of the HAPI Awards developed by Gateways Support Services, a non-profit organisation in Geelong West that empowers children and adults who have a disability/additional need.
Chief Executive Officer Rosemary Malone said we are delighted the HAPI Awards continue to grow. “The awards are a unique chance for parents of children who have a disability or additional need to celebrate the welcoming attitudes and skilled work carried out by their school, kindergarten teachers, or child care workers,” Mrs Malone said. “Friendships formed through school, kinder and childcare are important for children with and without a disability as they assist with lifelong learning and have benefits for the whole community, into the future.”
In response to requests from families, a new category has been introduced in 2011 to recognise the successful inclusion of a child attending a primary/secondary catholic or independent school. Inaugural sponsor G-Force Employment Solutions is supporting the new award. The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has also expanded their award to recognise the inclusion of a child in any year level in a government primary or secondary school. The HAPI Awards are also continuing to receive strong support from City of Greater Geelong and City of Warrnambool who sponsor the childcare category.
As one parent said, “she is continually amazed at the ingenuity and the lateral thinking of her son’s teachers, all done with the constant goal of him being included and ensuring that he receives the same benefits as his classmates”.
Nominations can be made by:
· A Parent of the child with the disability or additional need
· Other family members or friends
· Visiting support staff involved in facilitating the inclusion of the
child with the additional need or disability
Nominations for the G-Force Employment Solutions HAPI Awards close on Friday, October 28, 2011, at 5pm. Guidelines and entry forms are available at www.gateways.com.au or by phoning Gateways on 5221 2984 or email firstname.lastname@example.org