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  1. Raising a child is expensive, especially when your child has special needs. Government benefits are helpful however understanding the process can be overwhelming. Well NPN is here to help! In this session, we will discuss what types of benefit programs exist, which benefits programs are available to you, and what is needed for the application process. You will walk away with clarity about government benefits and how to set your child up with financial support as they become an adult. This session is helpful for parents of special needs children from ages 3 to 22. Our Esteemed Presenter: Sherri Schneider, founder, Family Benefit Solutions, Inc For more than 25 years, Sherri has been tirelessly dedicated to helping individuals with special needs and their families. Her career began as a Case Manager in a Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) where she helped those with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses acquire the government benefits they so desperately needed, including SSI, Medicaid, and food stamps. She was instrumental in creating one of the first Community Living Facility (CLF) facilities funded under a Medicaid waiver. Sherri now meets privately with families to thoroughly assess their individual situations and pursue the appropriate benefit assistance program(s), personally guiding them through the application process. Based on her vast experience, she has skillfully established and maintained open, productive relationships with government agencies involved in the decision-making process. Professionals find her in-service expertise to be invaluable as they navigate the government benefit process.
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    We're excited to launch Parent Chats! Your monthly virtual opportunity to join in on a casual conversation centered around topics that matter to you. Unlike our monthly webinars that are more structured and have a presenter and topic - you get to lead the discussion, vent about current happenings, or just observe and chime in as you see fit; think of it as our forum in video format! Sitaara and Amy from the NPN staff team will join you. If you've been craving connection but not eager about getting out in the real world for it to happen - we hope you join us. Here are the topics and dates for each Parent Chat this June through August. Participating parents will be automatically entered to win raffle prizes at each chat! In this July chat, focusing on the elementary school years, you could win: - A kid's birthday party rental at The Joinery - Four sessions of therapeutic tutoring from Smart Love Family Services - Two pairs of Bel Air full custom boxing gloves (one for a child and one for an adult) June 9th: Chat about the early years: pregnancy - preschool July 14th: Talk about the elementary school years: Kindergarten - 6th grade August 18th: Celebrate the tween-teen years: 7th grade - 12th grade
  3. Does your child have an IEP or 504 plan? Are you having challenges receiving supportive services in school for your child? Are you overwhelmed with understanding what therapies your insurance will cover and will not cover? Did you know your child can receive accommodations even in college? Do you know your child's rights within the state of Illinois? Well NPN is here to help! In this session, you will learn when it is appropriate to seek legal advice, what rights your child has in the state of Illinois, what are your child's health care rights in the state of Illinois and so much more! Our expert will provide valuable information as well as be ready to answer your questions.
  4. If you're like me, saving for my children's future is a top priority. But it's more than just saving for college: I want to help my kids have positive relationships with money. And that means talking to them early and often about money and finances so that they are equipped with the tools to make good financial choices as adults. However, in the last 10 years, the financial landscape and possibilities have changed drastically with the introduction of cryptocurrency and the Metaverse. As a parent, this leads me to ask so many questions: What does this mean for our kids and their future? How can I better educate myself so that I can safely introduce the world of web3 to my kids? And most importantly, is there a way that I can leverage crypto to incorporate it into our larger wealth-building journey to benefit both myself and my family? All of these questions led my husband and I to start a company called The CryptoMom App, the premiere destination for all things crypto for women, by women. I wanted to create an inclusive, secure platform for women to learn about crypto and then invest it in products that are meaningful to our lives, like college funds. And with April being Financial Literacy Month, there's no better time than today to start learning about cryptocurrency. Here are three ways to start conversations about financial literacy and web3 with your children: 1. Model good behavior by researching first The best way to learn about the basics of crypto is to start researching. There are really great social media accounts for women that encourage conversations and provide the basics of cryptocurrency; Some of my favorites are CryptoWitchClub on Instagram and Elana @TradingFemale on Twitter. You don’t have to know all of the jargon and buzzwords; It’s more about increasing your exposure to slowly gain familiarity. Then, talk about what you've learned with your kids in a casual setting, like at the dinner table. Your kids will certainly be impressed and you get to flex your 'cool mom' muscles! 2. Read Books Together Kids of all ages love to cuddle up and read books together. You can find books at your local library or online that teach kids the basics of crypto, even board books for infants and toddlers like Bitcoin for Babies. For your teens, offer to start a book club and read the book together. Not only are you learning together but you're also building authentic connections that are often difficult to maintain in the teen years. 3. Take the plunge by purchasing yourself first There's no better teacher than experience so now that you're prepared with research and knowledge, take your first step by purchasing your first coin. Don’t feel the need to invest large amounts of money; Invest what you feel comfortable with, whether it's $20 or $200. Platforms like The CryptoMom App allow you to buy small fractions of bitcoin in just three easy steps. If you're looking to connect with other women on their crypto wealth-building journey, sign up for the waitlist for The CryptoMom App to get exclusive, first access to our product.
  5. Let’s begin with a boundary check: The responsibility of homework completion falls squarely on the child. Without question, it is hard to watch our children struggle with the effort homework demands, but it is very important that we resist the urge to “rescue” our child from the discomfort of effort. If you “help” a butterfly out of its cocoon it dies because it wasn’t given the chance to build its wing strength. So, we can all agree that children should work through homework on their own, but there is still a tremendous amount of pressure on children and parents to achieve at very high levels in our culture. College applications reduce years of education to a discrete set of numbers and the status of being from certain high-performing schools. We are told to not interfere, and then we are shown a world in which not getting the best possible grades and achieving the accolades that come with that means dramatically reduced opportunity. And it all begins with homework, which is why it’s such a charged topic. While we often are looking forward towards an imagined future for our children, we are probably pointed in the wrong direction. To achieve a way forward through this achievement thicket, we should look to our own memories of doing homework as a child. There, we can mine the gold of memory: the parents who hovered over you and checked your work before you turned it in, or the parents who left you completely alone. We all have pain points from our school years. Exploring and healing these sore spots will free up space for you to more clearly choose how you want to interact with your child around homework. Your uncomfortable memories of homework and your child’s struggles with it today represent a perfect reparenting opportunity for you, which can lead to a deeply compassionate journey with your child as you work together to make homework work for them, instead of simply feeling like busy work. With this mindset you can start shifting the narrative from struggle and challenge to one that is about how we can learn and grow - together. Here are some suggestions of ways to foster relationship and a love of learning: Pair your own work time with that of your child by having work/study dates. You can set goals together, take breaks where you share what you are learning or working on, and most importantly celebrate progress together. Turn counterproductive statements or questions into learning opportunities by challenging them to problem solve. Respond to a statement like “I don’t know how to do this” with “What have you tried?” Having a good dialogue about a stumbling block builds critical thinking skills. Problem solve difficulty in completing homework together, as you might tackle a task management problem at work. Engage the challenge as a partner in removing obstacles. By making homework help a self-development opportunity, you can ensure a deeper engagement in learning for both your child and you.
  6. NPN Tareema

    Think Private School is Too Expensive?

    Are you considering private schools in your school search? Do you have concerns about the cost of tuition? Or, have you dismissed the possibility due to affordability? This session is for you! Hear from some of Chicago's best private schools about affordability, grants, and financial aid. You will learn, about general needs and timelines when you apply for financial aid. In addition, details on affordability and alternative support options for each school on the panel. Our esteemed panelists are, Erin Woodhams, Director of Marketing, Admissions, and Communications, British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park, Melanie Ahmad, Director of Enrollment & Tuition Assistance, The Ancona School, and Corey Jacobson, Director of Marketing & Admissions, Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, the British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park.
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    NPN Playdates are back! Join us for Sunday play at City Garden Waldorf School! There will be fun activities and snacks for the kids! Parents, grab a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy as your kids experience some fun activities! This event is for kids aged 2 - 5 years old. Spots are limited so register today! City Garden Waldorf School is located at 920 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608
  8. As the world begins to normalize neurodiversity, more and more educational options are becoming available for special needs kids. In Chicagoland, there are several private school options for diverse learners. In this session, you will hear from Lorell Marin, Founder, of Quantum Leep Academy, and Kaitlyn "Kait" Mullahey, Head of School, Fusion Academy Lincoln Park. Our presenters will discuss why parents should consider private school options for their diverse learners, what questions parents should ask on their search, what an academic curriculum with therapeutic support looks like, and how tuition coverage works.
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    Register Here! Free admission. Even in normal times, the transition from preschool to Kindergarten is fraught with questions and concerns. In a post-Covid world, parents face additional challenges, including the isolation their children faced during their earliest years. Join us for a roundtable conversation with a first-grade parent, a curriculum specialist and a speech language pathologist to discuss your concerns and meet other families. Kids are welcome to enjoy a fun activity with CFS kindergarten teacher Isabella Suárez and art teacher Christina Jeskey while you learn. About the Presenters: Katie Tengel, a Speech Language Pathologist, who sees clients all over the Chicago area, will be there to discuss some of the developmental changes and challenges that 4-5 year olds face and how our multi-age approach to schooling might serve your child. Alyssa Vejendla is Chicago Friends School's Curriculum coordinator and will discuss how she has worked with our team of teachers to develop age appropriate yet rigorous curriculum that links across the grades, as well as ways to make Kindergarten more flexible and welcoming for diverse learning needs. Lela Beem is a parent of two kids at CFS and has had her kids in private preschool as well as public elementary school. She will share her experience of helping her daughter transition from preschool to Kindergarten last year and why the smaller class sizes and mixed age approach works for their family.
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    Discover Lycée Français de Chicago's campus and bilingual program. At Lycée Français de Chicago we believe that for any child, from toddlers to teenagers, school is more than an education. It’s a journey. It’s in these years when they learn about the world, who they are and who they want to be. It’s these years that guide the rest of their lives. And while an education at Lycée Français de Chicago sets students up with the tools they need to become critical thinkers, cultural ambassadors and multilingual experts, most importantly, it’s the beginning of their journey to the rest of their lives. And it’s our mission to make sure it’s a good one. RSVP required. Please go here to RSVP. Street parking available. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: cporter@lyceechicago.org.
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    Does your child struggle with focus, irritability, or sleeping? Have you noticed that your child has become more clingy, fidgety, or finicky with food? Are you concerned about a change you observe in your child's behavior? Trying to figure out what is the root cause of a change in a child's behavior can be overwhelming. Well, NPN is here to help. In this session, we will discuss anxiety and bring clarity around what anxiety symptoms look like, when a diagnosis is appropriate, and what supportive resources and treatments are available. This webinar is for children ages 2 - 8 years old who are neurodiverse or neurotypical. Our Esteemed Panelist: Dr. Chrisna M. Perry, Ph.D., Founder & Director, Comprehensive Learning Services Dr. Bill Pasola, Psy.D., Psychotherapist, Smart Love Family Services
  12. It's that time of year again, school search time! Schools are welcoming prospective families for in-person tours and open houses. What type of questions are appropriate to ask during a tour or open house? Do you have questions about discipline, diversity, inclusion and bullying? Are any subjects off limits? Whether you are looking for a preschool, an elementary school, looking to transfer to a new school or searching for a high school, this session is for you. In this session, our panelists will discuss why it is important to ask all questions, how to ask sensitive questions, and what are good follow up questions. They will also give examples of comprehensive answers. Our esteemed panelists: Erin Woodhams, Director of Marketing, Admissions, and Communications, British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park, Tami Doig, Head of School, Daystar Academy, Laura Maheshwary, Director of Enrollment (PreK - 2nd), Bennett Day School, Sarah Cudnik, Owner, Kids Work Chicago Riverview Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park.
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    Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School and The Ancona School present the Hyde Park Early Childhood and Grade School Fair to be held at Akiba-Schechter, 5235 S. Cornell Avenue, on Wednesday, December 7th from 5:30-7:30pm. The fair, open and free to the public, connects parents and caregivers with daycares, preschools, elementary schools and community-wide organizations. There will be free childcare and free parking. For questions, please contact Ronit at 774-493-8880 or rbezalel@asjds.org. Event Address: Akiba-Schechter 5235 S. Cornell Avenue Chicago, IL 60615 Registration URL: https://bit.ly/HydeParkFair Date Time: 12/7/2022 5:30 PM - 12/7/2022 7:30 PM This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: Ronit at 774-493-8880 or rbezalel@asjds.org
  14. You’ve successfully navigated the nursery years, tolerated the toddler years and are pondering the preschool years when you realize, "OMG! Preschool means 'pre-SCHOOL,' and I need to find an elementary school!" A parent’s school search typically starts by sitting down at the computer and typing in “Best Elementary Schools." The results are populated with hits from sources such as GreatSchools, Niche, Schooldigger or School Sparrow. But what do these results mean, and should parents just add the #1 school to their list while ignoring other schools that are closer or more familiar to them? How reliable are the ratings, and how should a parent use them? [Related: How to apply to CPS selective enrollment elementary schools and magnet schools] The fact of the matter is that school ratings and rankings are a very messy, very inexact method to quantify schools. Because they are summarized by a “number” or “grade” or listed in a “ranking order," parents tend to put undue emphasis on ratings/rankings yet aren’t aware of what is being measured. While test scores are typically the largest component to rankings, “school fit” (literally, how good of a fit a given school is for your child) is much more than test performance and is ultimately a very personal matter that can even vary within a family from child to child. What truly qualifies as “best” for one family may not be well suited to another. While it is understandable that parents need some metric to start with, the metrics used can be skewed, out of date, or not reflective of the cohort your family will be entering the school with. Following are some common misunderstandings about school rankings: Ratings typically put the greatest emphasis on test scores, so better resourced families often have higher test scores and those family resources continue to benefit their children throughout their education Ratings/rankings are not set in stone and can change as demographics in a school changes Ratings typically reflect 3rd to 8th grade, so younger families should be wary of looking at metrics that may include a very different demographic than the one their family will be in school with Ratings often lump in all programs within a school. So, those with a higher population of students with learning needs may still be a great (or even better) option for your student, but the “rankings” may not reflect the level of supports. Schools can and do change, and schools in gentrifying areas may have more resources added to the school by the time your family will be attending [Related: 9 questions parents should be asking schools] Test scores don't tell the whole story It is somewhat pre-ordaining to use rankings to choose a school. Think about it: If test scores are a big factor in ratings/rankings, then children who have advantages and resources from birth are certainly going to test better overall and the schools near them will reap the benefits of well-resourced students and parents. While new parents may be more swayed by rankings, eventually we come to realize that academics alone are not a single trait to look for in a school. Social-emotional factors — as well as culture, climate and community — are just as impactful yet are hard to capture in objective metrics because they are inherently more subjective. School visits can be invaluable to dispel pre-conceptions or help a family picture themselves in a school, but people gravitate toward or crave the easier route of following rankings. School rankings don't measure lifestyle impact Parents who blindly follow blanket rankings/ratings may overlook a great "fitting" school in favor of one that a third-party metric says is 10 spots “above” the other school, yet requires a drive across town to attend. In the end, there may not be any marked difference in outcome for their child attending one or the other. But the lifestyle impact could be more negative for the school that's further away. One school’s overall scores may be lower because it serves a broader range of backgrounds or has more special needs students, but that doesn't mean your child’s success is reliant on only one school and not another. What your child can achieve and what they score on an exam does NOT have to be the “average” number. What to look for instead of rankings Using rankings and ratings to be the first or only metric in choosing a school can also serve to negatively suppress positive changes at a school. Instead, families should tour their local school or those near them. Another great indicator of a school fit? Talk to families with children their age who may have older siblings at the school. Reaching out to a school’s parent group or attending local school council (LSC) meetings is also a great way to get an honest scoop on a school. Ultimately, the greatest arbiter of student success is parent involvement in their children's lives — way beyond one school over another school, public or private, city or suburbs.
  15. RSVP Here
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    Join us for our Open House on Saturday November 5! (in person) This event will give you an opportunity to tour our school and ask key questions to our team. Registration is open! Hours: 10:00-12:00pm & 2:00-3:00pm: Pre-K (3 year old by 12/31/2022) through 5th grade 11:00am-12:00pm & 2:00-3:00pm: Middle, High school & IB program (taught in English, starting in 9th grade) Register Here
  18. Thursday, December 1 12:00 p.m. – Virtual Open House RSVP Here
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    Tuesday, November 15 9:30 a.m. – Virtual Open House RSVP Here
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    Sunday, January 8 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Family-Friendly In-Person Open House RSVP Here
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    Saturday, November 5 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Family-Friendly In-Person Open House RSVP Here
  22. The Lower School Open House takes place on Saturday, October 15th at 10:00 am CT and is an event for parents/guardians. Please note that due to the length and format, the Open House is intended for adults only. You will have the opportunity to explore the Lower School, learn more about our dynamic curriculum, and hear directly from Parker's Lower School students. You will receive further instructions in the registration confirmation email. Visitors to the school must attest that they are free of symptoms of COVID-19 and comply with current campus protocols. We look forward to meeting you! Register Here
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    Please note these events are for parents/guardians only, not students. What to Expect at our Coffee & Tour: When you register for an Admissions Coffee & Tour, you will receive an email with a recording of our Open House that you can watch ahead of time at your convenience. Then, you can join us on campus for a small-group tour and Q&A session with a member of our Admissions Team. Register Here
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    Please note these events are for parents/guardians only, not students. What to Expect at our Coffee & Tour: When you register for an Admissions Coffee & Tour, you will receive an email with a recording of our Open House that you can watch ahead of time at your convenience. Then, you can join us on campus for a small-group tour and Q&A session with a member of our Admissions Team. Register Here
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    Please note these events are for parents/guardians only, not students. What to Expect at our Coffee & Tour: When you register for an Admissions Coffee & Tour, you will receive an email with a recording of our Open House that you can watch ahead of time at your convenience. Then, you can join us on campus for a small-group tour and Q&A session with a member of our Admissions Team. Register Here

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