New International Facebook Group for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Israel’s Athena Fund, a nonprofit organization empowering teachers, has launched a new international Facebook group, in English, for parents of children with special needs. The Athena Fund is engaged in a unique program – iPad for Every Special Education Teacher in Israel. According to the program, about 10,000 special education teachers in Israel will receive iPads with specialized software and applications for students with special needs and various disabilities. The new Facebook group contains posts in a number of areas of interest concerning parents of children with special needs, as well as information on Athena's special education activities. The link to the new Facebook group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/324222721354496/

Athena’s iPad for Every Special Education Teacher in Israel program is designed to empower special education teachers by enabling them to communicate better with their students, gain access to a wider range of teaching materials, and expose their students to the world of advanced technology.

The iPad is especially important in special education. In addition to it being an extremely effective tool for the teacher in the classroom, studies have shown that the iPad allows children with special needs to communicate better and more effectively with their environment. For example, the iPad enables children with autism, even those who had never before communicated with their parents and their environment, to interact with their surroundings in a most exciting manner. Many parents have expressed how the iPad has helped them open a window into the soul of their special needs children, and enabled them to talk with the children about current and high-level subjects. This has led to a dramatic improvement in the lives of special needs children and their families. The distribution of iPads to special education teachers will enable them to help students fulfill their potential.

“The new Facebook group is another milestone in the Athena Fund’s activity in the special education sphere,” said Uri Ben-Ari, Athena Fund’s founder and president. “We've received excellent responses to our iPad for Every Special Education Teacher program from parents of children with special needs. As a result, we decided to involve parents in efforts to promote special education and to inform them about various things that may help them.”

The new Facebook group for parents of children with special needs follows two other recent initiatives of the Athena Fund. The first is an exciting, touching video featuring testimonials of parents to teens with special needs, describing how the iPad enables their children to express themselves in various subjects and communicate with them and their surroundings (https://www.facebook.com/Athenafundlaptop/videos/251078858709386). The second was a charity auction of more than 50 artworks created by Israel’s best artists, to benefit Israel’s special education teachers. Each artist received an old laptop that is no longer in use (contributed by high-tech companies), and turned it into a unique 3D artwork.

In addition to iPad for Every Special Education Teacher in Israel, Athena runs three additional programs: Laptop Computer for Every Teacher, Laptop Computer for Every Kindergarten Teacher and Tablet for Every Science Teacher.

About the Athena Fund

Established in 2006, the Athena Fund is a nonprofit organization working to promote the empowerment of teachers in Israel by providing them with tools for self-fulfillment and professional advancement. The Fund was founded by several prominent business leaders under the direction of President Uri Ben-Ari (CEO of UBA Ventures and former Executive VP of Ness Technologies). The Fund's programs are Laptop Computer for Every Teacher in Israel (launched in 2007), Laptop Computer for Every Kindergarten Teacher (2012), Tablet for Every Science Teacher (2014), and iPad for Every Special Education Teacher (2015). So far, the Athena Fund, together with its partners, has provided laptops, tablets and iPads to approximately 15,000 teachers across Israel, in 1,240 schools and kindergartens in 123 local authorities (municipalities, local and regional councils), according to the Fund’s various programs. Each teacher also receives 120 hours of techno-pedagogical training from professional instructors, with support from the Ministry of Education. For more information please visit http://www.athenafund.org/index.php?categoryId=8561

September 1, 2017

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