Before the Covid-19 lockdown, Susie had a busy weekly schedule, which included four afternoons at Connect. We were not looking forward to trying to keep her occupied in a meaningful way each day during the lockdown. When Laura and Sydney started up the Connect Online program, immediately after the stay at home advice was issued, we wondered how they would be able to reproduce the normal Connect Up With Downs experience, which Susie loves. Well, they have managed to do that, with a very high standard of online activity.
For the several weeks that the program has been running, Susie has been fully engaged in all the activities – math, reading, science, art, virtual museum visits etc. Laura and Sydney clearly put in a lot of work to prepare each session, incorporating many sources, such as IXL. Each participant even has their own IXL account in which to do further work. There is a good blend of individual and group activities, managed with kindness, patience and humor, within the Connect Up With Downs framework of behavior. Every evening, and at the weekends, Susie informs us that she will be working on Connect and seeing her friends online for the next session of learning, laughing and chatting with her Connect friends.
Susie’s response, when asked how today’s session went (every time), aptly sums up Connect Online and the little team that run it – “awesome”!
This sounds absolutely amazing. Rachel would love ❤ staying connected. She misses all of you terribly.
Thank you very much. This will help more than you could know! Connect has been an amazing component to Rachel’s day.
It’s been s nice balance of academics and fun stuff.
What an excellent communication! Really great contingency plan Laura…I was wondering if you were moving to online learning. Wow what a great job of facing adversity. You go girl!
Wishing you lots of success with your new program format. Well done you and Sydney!
Of all my friends Laura…you are the most inspirational. Love what you have done with Connect Up With Downs! Filling such an important void in the community and make a difference to so many young lives. You are my hero girl!
Hugs and praying for your continued good health and stay strong. You got this!
What a great message. You are providing an anchor when so much is floating.
The progress you have made with online delivery is brilliant. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help with content and helping with activity eg games.
Obviously it will be a bit strange at first but I am sure this will evolve and our children will be part of that organic development.
Wonderful message Laura and happy to hear you are temporarily closing to slow the spread down.
This is very draining as we are all figuring out how to deal with it.
Virtual hugs to you and hang in there.
Thank you for letting us know how you are reacting to the COVID closure and for keeping us well informed. I know this was a tough call, but thank you for taking precaution. We love Connect and are here for you.
I’m so proud of you and I will always support Connect 100%. I know the other parents follow suit.
Keep up the good work!
What a beautiful email Laura. I’m glad you were able to find a way for the members to still be able to connect with each other.
I sincerely hope this crisis ends soon!
Donna Jones Bow Valley College
Hello there Laura, Mack and the crew. Hope all is well and yes today is a special day. And yes I wore different socks.
Officer Mike Moore
I would love to stay connected with everyone,
Thank you so much for providing me with the option because I really do miss everyone too!
Thank you so much for your email,
Thanks for taking such an innovative approach. Your note the other day was so moving and made me cry reading it to Kaleigh.
We have downloaded the Zoom app onto Kaleighs iPad, Kaleigh is looking forward to see her friends.
Hi Laura and please let Sydney know….
It is a life line for Stewart and other young adults involved. It has great improved Stewart’s quality of life to be engaged and I cannot thank both of you enough for coming up with the idea and making it happen.
As you can imagine I become very boring after a few days – as does the rest of the family!
You and Sydney are doing a fantastic job with virtual delivery. You did an amazing job getting everything up and running so quickly. Susie is really enjoying the sessions.
Thanks again for all your fantastic efforts and your commitment to the well-being of our children.