As 2022 rolls into 2023, we reviewed our GRADS board minutes and we have quite a list of accomplishments to be proud of. Here are some highlights of what we did in 2022:

  1. The GRADS website has continued to improve and evolve. Events on the calendar are now updated more frequently and provide better documentation of events to assist in saving time when planning similar projects.
  2. The Lucky Leprechaun raffle opened the door for GRADS to contact schools in Sisseton, Milbank, St. Lawrence Catholic School, Big Stone, Summit, and Wilmot. Excellent event coverage was provided by the Lake Area Tidbits as well as the Sisseton and Milbank newspapers.
  3. We had a very successful Rummage Sale in June.
  4. GRADS and Life Quest did a gift jar filling activity that utilized measuring, teamwork and socializing skills and concluded with a pizza party. Later, GRADS sold the gift jars to help support organizational goals.
  5. Laura Maag set up a display for the Hartford Beach Parade of Lights and included GRADS.
  6. This past September saw the launch of the Boost for Teachers Award. As a result, GRADS was able to connect with schools in Wilmot, Sisseton, Milbank, Big Stone, and Summit.
  7. The NDEAM event was very successful! Bobbie Jo’s of Beardsley, MN provided an excellent meal and Robert Anthony was our inspirational speaker. Mae Amodia was recognized as the 2022 Boost for Teachers winner.
  8. Plans were made to save GRADS information on the Cloud Forever site. Diane Spilde will provide assistance.
  9. Katrina Koeppe will plan the ADA event in 2023.
  10. Plans for Day Services in Sisseton are being pursued.
  11. Diane Stewart has been very supportive by including GRADS articles in the Grant County Arc News. The Grant County ARC has a substantial mailing list and gives GRADS great publicity without the cost of postage.

Thank you to all who supported and participated in our events! We appreciate your continued support!

GRADS Meeting November 8, 2022

Middlebrook Community Room 6:30 p.m.

Four people were at the November meeting of Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports.

NDEAM/Sisseton

The National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebration was held on October 6 in Sisseton with 56 people attending from towns in Grant and Roberts Counties as well as Aberdeen. We had employers and employees, representatives from GRADS, Grant County Arc, Voc Rehab, LifeQuest, and local schools, and community members in attendance. The attendees enjoyed the meal, the comfortable venue, and the enthusiastic speaker, Robert Anthony. We thank GRADS, Grant County Arc, and Sisseton Public Schools for helping to sponsor this event. We plan to have another event in 2023.

Boost for Teachers

MaryLou Bullert will arrange for another Boost for Teachers grant to be announced in January. Congratulations to May Amodia, Transition-PAES Supervisor (Teacher), from Sisseton. She received a check for $100. for her Lunch Preparation project.

Fundraisers

MaryLou Bullert wants to do a Lucky Leprechaun fundraiser again. We also talked about having a grill or patio set raffle.

Website

We will ask Cheryl Polkington for current information on number of views to the site.

ADA

Katrina Koeppe can assist with invitations for an Americans with Disabilities Act picnic or bingo event, on the last Monday in July perhaps. We will discuss this further at our April meeting and reserve the venue.

Request for Help

We had a request for obtaining day services for adults with disabilities in the Sisseton area. It was suggested that LifeQuest may be a good option. Charlotte Athey would arrange and attend a meeting with Pam Hannah, LifeQuest CEO, from Mitchell. Information to bring to the meeting should include the number of people who desire services and what services are needed, (eg. recreation, cooking). Rachael Johnson will follow up on this request.

Financial Report

The GRADS checking account balance was $3,135.68 in First Bank & Trust on 9-30-22.

Next Meetings

The next GRADS meeting will be on February 7, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. via ZOOM.

The GRADS annual meeting and election will be on April 11, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. at the Middlebrook Community Room, 902 East Milbank Avenue, Milbank.

Boost for Teachers Award Recipient 2022

Left to Right: MaryLou Bullert-GRADS Board Member, PAES/Transition Program participant, May Amodia-Transition-PAES Supervisor/Teacher, PAES/Transition Program participant and Colleen Siegel-Paraprofessional.

Boost for Teachers, a brand-new yearly GRADS initiative, is a grant program that will award $100 to a middle or high school special education teacher working in the Grant or Roberts County area.

To be considered for the award, teachers must submit a proposal for empowering students with disabilities to learn occupational skills.

This year’s recipient is May Amodia, a teacher and transition-PAES supervisor from Sisseton. She earned the $100 award for her work on a lunch project.

The project she developed instructs students how to prepare, cook and serve food. In addition to those concepts, students also learn planning, budgeting, and marketing skills that help them prepare for jobs and independent living.

Congratulations May!

GRADS Meeting September 20, 2022

Middlebrook Community Room 6:30 p.m.

 

There were 5 people at the Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports meeting.

 

Website

We will add a picture and information about the Boost for Teachers grant recipient on the site. We will also add RSVP information for the NDEAM event in Sisseton.

 

Business Cards

Charlotte Athey will check with Sean Athey about prices. Then design work can be done.

 

NDEAM/Sisseton

The National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebration will be on Thursday, October 6, at the Family Life Center, 404 West Hickory Street, Sisseton.

Dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. and the speaker will begin at 6:45 p.m. The speaker is Robert Anthony, an elite para athlete, whose message is titled “Becoming Your Best Self ”. RSVP to Rachael Johnson by September 30 by email (striping@venturecomm.net) or phone (605-698-7445).

MaryLou and Laura will hang posters up in Milbank. Rachael will contact radio stations, and will have articles placed in the paper(s). Invitations have been sent via mail, email, Facebook and delivered in person. The information has been placed on community events calendars in Sisseton and Milbank and has been printed in the Grant CountyArc newsletter.

 

Boost for Teachers

May Amodia, Transition-PAES Supervisor (Teacher), from Sisseton will receive a check for $100. for her Lunch Preparation project. This project teaches planning, budgeting, marketing, food preparation, cooking and serving a meal, useful in restaurant employment. Congratulations to May.

We plan to do another grant in January.

 

Financial Report

The GRADS checking account balance is $2,870.23.

 

Historical Records

Rachael Johnson suggested using Cloud: FOREVER for saving articles, pictures and other documents from GRADS. She will ask Diane Spilde for assistance with this project.

 

Next Meeting

GRADS will meet on Tuesday, November 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Middlebrook Community Room, 902 East Milbank Ave., Milbank. The Jan. meeting will be via ZOOM.

Join us for

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2022!

GRADS Meeting June 11, 2022

Middlebrook Community Room 10:30 a.m.

Four people were at the Grant/Roberts Area Disability Supports meeting.

ADA Celebration

We will not have an event this summer as Katrina Koeppe is unable to participate. Perhaps a proclamation could be put in local papers with a picture of a mayor signing it. Rachael Johnson will do this.

NDEAM/Sisseton

The National Disability Employment Awareness Month event will be on Thursday, October 6, 2022 starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Family Life Center, 404 West Hickory Street, Sisseton. A catered meal will be served followed by a guest speaker, Robert Anthony. The evening will end with a recognition of Project Skills participants.

Perhaps Sean Athey will make the invitations. Rachael Johnson will send the information to include on the invitations to Char Athey.

Projects

MaryLou Bullert has emailed the schools with the grant information. She will send a follow-up reminder in August.

Business Cards

Charlotte Athey will bring information about business cards from Sean Athey to our next meeting.

Website

We want to have a donation button or other way to encourage donations, Charlotte Athey will ask Cheryl Athey about this, perhaps using PayPal. Could we get a textbox? What about the blog? We tried out the site and sent requests for information. Are questions being answered promptly?

Financial Report

The checking account balance was $3,105.42 in the First Bank and Trust in Milbank as of 4/29/22.

Next Meeting

GRADS will meet on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. at the Middlebrook Community Room, 902 East Milbank Avenue, Milbank.

Show your support for people with disabilities!

GRADS will be selling raffle tickets March 7, 8, and 9th from 10am to 1pm at the local Runnings located at 1706 Morningside Drive in Milbank, SD.