Northwest School celebrates a new communication tool with a ribbon cutting

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[February 09, 2024] 

On Friday morning, Lincoln Daily News had the great honor of assisting students at Northwest School with a very special ribbon cutting ceremony. The ribbon cut was done in the perfect, warm and sunny weather with a large number of very special guests attending.

The cut was for a new communication board that has been installed in the playground area of the school. The board will be particularly useful for special needs children who have difficulty verbalizing their thoughts and feelings.

The board was acquired for the school through money earned by the students in fundraising activities, and a special donation from Heartland Bank.

“This board will provide all children the opportunity to talk about what they see and what they want to do during playtime together. This will especially be a helpful tool for those students with limited communication skills. Many of these students have a speech generated device that they use throughout the day to communicate, but these devices can be very expensive and difficult to carry as the children are playing on the playground. We hope this playground communication board promotes public awareness and acceptance of those that communicate differently,” said District 27 Speech-Language Pathologist.

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For the ribbon cutting, LDN provided the ribbon and big scissors. The ribbon was held by the current school principal Chris Allen, and District 27 Superintendent Kent Froebe. Cutting the ribbon was Heartland Representative Rachel Martin and her daughter Karina, a fifth-grade student at Northwest.

In addition to the students who will benefit most from the new board, others behind the ribbon included the incoming school Principal Ashley Phillips who will assume that role in the 2024-25 school year, Conrady and Functional-Life Skills teacher Deana Brooks.

Brooks and Conrady also posed for a photo with the new board and holding the special communication pads the students use in the classroom.

[Karen Castelein with information provided by Janna Conrady]

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