In the photo, President Margi Urquhart presents Jeanetta Alexander with a bottle of "Windward Rotary Water" to signify Rotary's commitment to clean water worldwide.
Jeanetta Alexander, director of Education Services for Parent to Parent of Georgia, supplied Windward Rotarians with a roadmap of services the organization provides to support Georgia families of children with disabilities.
Alexander, our guest speaker on Monday, Aug. 16, is in charge of the Parent Training and Information Center, develoepd to assist families in advocating for their children with disabilities.
"We encourage parents to be their children's first advocate," she said.
Staff members and a peer support program help parents become involved in their children's education, teaching them about laws covering their situations. Workshops are held not only for parents, but also organizations, schools and other agencies across the state.
Parents who have proven they can be leaders in their community are part of navigator teams that are formed. When an issue arises that a parent doesn't think he or she can handle alone and they need a little bit of support, a local team can help out.
"We are there as a support system, as a training tool, as a resource for their parents," Alexander said. Not only parents, but agencies, schools."
She has been working in Georgia for just a year, but has worked in Parent Training and Infomration Centers for 27 years with the U.S. Department of Education.
Her own son became disabled when he had an allergic reaction to an immunization, causing major seizures and a scar on his brain.
"At that point I became a parent of a child with a disability," Alexander said.
She changed her major from business to special education to learn everything she could about how to help her son.
"I was determined. I had to save my child. I had to make sure he was going to be the best he could be," she said.
It was her job to teach him all he could learn. That attitude is something everyone in Parent to Parent of Georgia shares, with almost all of the staff also parents of children with disabilities.
Parents are taught how to communicate with their children, especially difficult if they have a child with disabilities and a child without any disability. Parents are trained how to go to school and request information that is needed, and what the law is.
Workshop training is conducted all over the state, day and night.
"There's no charge for anything that we offer our services to," Alexander said.
Visit www.p2pga.org or call 1-800-229-2038 for assistance.