Whew! 2016 was quite a year for Kids Included Together. We worked diligently (and passionately!) this past year to get our message of inclusion out in the world in every way we could. We conducted more training sessions than ever before, our call-in Support Center saw a dramatic increase in callers, and we had some truly unique opportunities to share our vision and mission. In December we came together as a full team of board and staff to reflect on 2016. We thought you might like to see the highlights of what we accomplished during the calendar year.
We did A LOT of teaching. Like, A LOT
In 2016, we delivered over 525 days of our inspiring, informative in-person disability inclusion training in child and youth focused programs in 41 states and 9 countries. We were everywhere. Our trainers logged a staggeri
ng amount of air miles traveling across the US and to Canada, Korea, Italy, Spain, England, Guam, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, and even Bahrain. This year we taught inclusive practices in:
- Boys & Girls Clubs
- Military installations
- School districts
- Head Start programs
- Girl Scouts
- City parks and recreation departments
- Theaters and dance studios
- Colleges and universities
- And even a zoo and a farm!
We teach every way we can. This year our Inclusion Support Center saw a +92% increase in coaching calls. Our team of specialists supported teachers in early childhood programs, afterschool program leaders and camp counselors in better serving children with additional needs. Our Online Learning Center saw a +33% increase in users accessing our on-demand training modules and downloadable materials.
Our Washington, DC office held a series of free community trainings.
We delivered 37 webinars.
Viviana and Becky launched a new Inclusion Support Specialist education program, and we graduated our first class of 13 students in Southern California.
In a partnership with The Inclusive Class, we developed a new online training program for K-12 educators.
In order to meet the increasing demand for our training, we added some incredible new talent to our team.
We Expanded Our Platform
This year Torrie, Mary and Nili spread the word about the work of Kids Included Together through speaking engagements and keynote speeches for disability organizations, advocacy groups, regional and national conferences and statewide afterschool networks.
In March 2016 Torrie addressed the United Nations in New York City on the occasion of World Down Syndrome Day. She was one of four Americans who spoke that day to an audience of ambassadors and advocates from around the world.
We Completed Important Projects
On September 30th we completed three years of work in partnership with Leed Management Services, Inc to support inclusive practices in the US Department of Education funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers. There are over 11,000 of these programs around the United States, and now they all have access to quality information on inclusion. We provided direct support to programs in California, Utah and Massachusetts.
On December 31 we completed 4 years of work with 9 San Diego-based organizations who were part of our original learning laboratory. We were honored to work with the Jackie Robinson, Border View, Peninsula and Copley-Price YMCAs, the New Children’s Museum, Tap Fever Studios, Neighborhood House Association, Escondido Community Child Development Center and the El Centro Police Activities League.
We Got Some Fun Recognition
The California Parks & Recreation Association honored us with the 2016 Merit Award.
Our CEO, Torrie Dunlap, was selected as the “Fieldstone Social Entrepreneurship Fellow” for 2016 by the Fieldstone Foundation.
Our employee physical exercise program called KIT-FIT was featured in a new book called The Happy, Healthy Non-Profit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout. We are on page 121-122 if you want to check it out!
And, now onto 2017! This new year marks the 20th Anniversary for Kids Included Together. We’ve got big plans, so stay tuned!