Mayor Claudia Thomas (second from left) presents award to Denise Edington (second from right) while CITA Committee members Sydna Koontz and Debbi Saint add their congratulations.
Denise Edington from Alfaretta House, has been “Caught in the Act-of-Keeping Lakewood’s Promise” for her work with children with learning disabilities.
Suzi Riley nominated Denise who tutored her grandson, Zach for over two years. Zach called Denise his “hero”. So much so that in a school reflections project he chose Denise as the focus because he felt that if it weren’t for her commitment to him he would not be reading as well as he does today. Suzi calls Denise “a real gift”.
Although, Denise provides individual tutoring her main work is the teacher for Clover Park School District’s Alfaretta House. This school, located behind Park Lodge Elementary School currently provides education to 14 disabled students, ages 18-21, all with IEP’s (Individual Education Plans). Denise and her team teach skills for these young adults to learn to live independently. This includes work habits and skills, social skills and skills of daily living such as household management and financial management. The students are placed in community job sites and volunteer their time as they practice their work habits and skills. They also help out in Caring for Kids, assembling and delivering balloon baskets. Denise provides student supervision for these community based projects.
Denise decided to be a teacher when she was in third grade. As a college student she shied away from Special Education classes for student teaching experiences but it was substitute teaching that allowed her the opportunity to see how much she loved working with these children. Now, after earning Special Education certification she has taught at all levels-Head Start on up and all types of learning disabilities, including autism and her favorite, developmentally delayed children. She has been with Clover Park Schools 5 years and with Alfaretta House 3 years.
Denise commented “It is not the recognition, but I am so glad that I have made enough of a difference with children that my community is aware and acknowledges it.”
Denise Edington is an example of Caring Adults, Healthy Start, Marketable Skills and Opportunities to Serve and receives the traveling Red Wagon, a symbol of Lakewood’s Promise of people pulling their weight to help the youth in Lakewood. Lakewood’s Promise mission is to mobilize people from every sector of life in Lakewood to build the character and competence of our youth by fulfilling these Promises:
– Caring Adults-Provide ongoing relationships with caring adults-parents, mentors, tutors and coaches
– Safe Places &Provide safe places with structured activities during non-school hours
– Healthy Start-Provide all the elements leading to good physical/mental health for a health future
– Marketable Skills-Provide marketable skills through effective education
– Opportunities to Serve-Provide youth with opportunities to serve in their community.
Lakewood’s Community Collaboration, made up of over 100 human service organizations, service clubs, businesses, individuals and public entities presents each month a “Caught in the Act-of Keeping Lakewood’s Promise” Award to an individual or organization that has quietly performed an outstanding deed for a family/child in the City of Lakewood.