"It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength."

Maya Angelou


The Learning Program™ is designed to supplement traditional education. Despite efforts of some wonderful teachers, traditional education too often fails children with Down syndrome due to poor educational placement, lack of trained assistants and outdated stereotypes. Through this program, we hope to strengthen the educational potential for children with Down syndrome, regardless of their formal educational setting.

Developed by Dana Halle, founder of Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County (www.dsfoc.org), the program focuses on parents as first-teachers for their children, bringing the fruits of research into practice. Knowledgeable parents can work more effectively with their children and give them a jump-start on education. Moreover, the program arms parents to serve as capable advocates for their children in the educational process by attending monthly instructional sessions on topics such as:

• Teaching Your Child To Read

• Introduction To Math

• Creating An Effective Learning Session

Children and parents attend simultaneous monthly sessions, which focus on skill development for literacy, math, language, and fine motor skills. Aligned with your child’s session curriculum, you (as parents) receive training and materials to continue working with your children at home or at school.

Celebrate Differences is offering The Learning Program™ as a 4 - month pilot program that will be held for ninety minutes, one Saturday a month. The modules we are offering this year are designed for children 3 - 5 years old. The Learning Program is an on-going research based program that layers learning year after year to help your child continue to succeed.

Classes will be held at Celebrate Differences from 10:00 am - 11:30 am. (Please plan to arrive by 9:30 am to include time for classroom drop-off time for children.) A parent or guardian and the child are expected to be in class every week.

The parent component of the program will be taught by Mary Johnston, who has her Masters in Education as a Reading Specialist, and the children's component will be taught by Sarah Malkowski.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Rebecca Christiansen at info@celebratedifferences.org.

A not-for-profit organization, Celebrate Differences is incorporated in the State of Illinois and files as a qualified 501(c)(3) organization with the Internal Revenue Service, Id 20-5007373. 

5375 Route 34, Ste 4 - Oswego, IL 60543   |   630.885.3006