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Carin Schoppmeyer: Horizon bright at Sunshine School

Enrollment openfor new students by Carin Schoppmeyer | March 21, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.
Odalys Pineda (cq) staffs the front desk on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center in Rogers. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)

A number of positive activities are on the horizon for the Sunshine School & Development Center in Rogers.

The nonprofit organization offers a therapeutic preschool for children ages 18 months to 5 years who have developmental delays or disabilities. The center also serves school-age children with outpatient therapies and provides community support for adults with disabilities in Benton and Washington counties.

Earlier this month, the Board of Directors introduced Jarrod Reeves as the school's new CEO. According to a news release, JoAnn Stevens, Board president, says Reeves' background in social services, leadership and finance will be important to the development center's strategic plan.

Enrollment is open for the 2021-22 school year. Nicole Bedard, director of children's services, says: "The growth and development of a child's brain in the first 5 years of life is critical. These early experiences and interactions form the foundation for future learning in children. Sunshine School & Development Center is honored to serve children 12 months to 6 years old in our Early Intervention Day Treatment Program. We have an integrated, collaborative, and individualized preschool program that uses an interdisciplinary model of educators, therapists, nurses and administration all working together to support our early learners."

A monthly online speaker series launched this past week and featured Julie Barber, Walmart, on "Women in the Workforce." Speakers planned for the coming months include Beth Ferrick and Tom McDonald of Bayer on "Culture as a Differentiator," 10 a.m. April 21; Vanessa Yates and Seth Malley, both of Walmart, "Getting Uncomfortable with Vanessa and Seth," 11: 30 a.m. May 18; and Ben Hasan, Walmart senior vice president and chief culture, diversity and inclusion officer, on a topic to be determined, 11:30 a.m. June 25. Tickets for each session are $25. Power of Inclusion sponsorship includes tickets for the series.

The school's Power of Inclusion virtual panel discussion is set for April 27. Organizers say the discussion will focus on "disability inclusion in the workplace. Latriece Watkins, Walmart, will moderate a discussion with companies who are champions for inclusion in their workforce and discuss ideas on how all organizations can become more inclusive."

The panel will feature Rachel Berger, dyslexia and literacy community consultant and assistive tech specialist at Microsoft Education; Peter Ramsey, vice president and head of GSK consumer healthcare research and development, the Americas; and Yuri Hermida, executive vice president of North American hygiene, Reckitt Benckiser. Individual tickets are $50, and sponsorships are available.

For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.

Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]

Becky Holt cooks lunch in the kitchen on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center.
(NWA Demorcrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Becky Holt cooks lunch in the kitchen on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center. (NWA Demorcrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Teacher Katie Jennings plays with children on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center.
(NWA Demorcrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Teacher Katie Jennings plays with children on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center. (NWA Demorcrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Teacher Katie Jennings plays with children on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center.
(NWA Demorcrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Teacher Katie Jennings plays with children on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center. (NWA Demorcrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Tabitha Mayberry, speech therapist, and her student laugh together on Wednesday March 17 2021 while reading a story at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center in Rogers.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Tabitha Mayberry, speech therapist, and her student laugh together on Wednesday March 17 2021 while reading a story at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center in Rogers. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Staff artwork decorates hallways and doors throughout the school.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Staff artwork decorates hallways and doors throughout the school. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Sarah Pollack, in charge of philanthropy, plays with students on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center in Rogers.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Sarah Pollack, in charge of philanthropy, plays with students on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center in Rogers. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center is located in Rogers.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center is located in Rogers. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Teachers, including Katie Jennings (left), lead students through a hallway to a play area on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center.
(NWA Demorcrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
Teachers, including Katie Jennings (left), lead students through a hallway to a play area on Wednesday March 17 2021 at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center. (NWA Demorcrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
WEARING 'O THE GREEN
Katie Jennings, a teacher at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center in Rogers, sports her St Patrick's day garb on Wednesday March 17 2021 while playing with children at the school. Four-leaf clovers and other St. Patrick's Day decorations decorated hallways and doors on Wednesday, St. Patrick's Day. Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center has served the developmental needs of children for 60 years. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
WEARING 'O THE GREEN Katie Jennings, a teacher at the Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center in Rogers, sports her St Patrick's day garb on Wednesday March 17 2021 while playing with children at the school. Four-leaf clovers and other St. Patrick's Day decorations decorated hallways and doors on Wednesday, St. Patrick's Day. Benton County Sunshine School and Development Center has served the developmental needs of children for 60 years. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
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At a Glance

Sunshine School & Development Center

Monthly Speaker Series

What: Corporate executives will focus remarks on diversity and inclusion.

When: 10 a.m. April 21; 11:30 a.m. May 18; and 11:30 a.m. June 25

Tickets: $25; sponsorships are available

Power of Inclusion Virtual Panel

What: Latriece Watkins will moderate a discussion with companies who are champions for inclusion in their workforce and discuss ideas on how all organizations can become more inclusive.

When: 11 a.m. April 27

Where: Online

Tickets: $50; Power of Inclusion sponsorship includes tickets for the speaker series.

Information: (479) 636-3190 or nwaSunshineSchool.org

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