September 13, 2017 Newsletter

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin with CEID Executive Director, Cindy Dickeson, celebrating Fatimah’s Campaign on National Night Out

One Little Girl, One Great Campaign
Fatimah came to CEID with a number of challenges that included hearing loss and no language.  CEID’s teachers and therapists worked hand in hand with Fatimah’s family to help her develop the skills and tools necessary for physical, social, and academic advancement.

Over the course of several years at CEID, Fatimah showed us all her strength and resilience and, in the process, she stole our hearts.  Not the least of which among those working with Fatimah was her devoted family.  Her sisters attended sign language classes, participated in classroom work, and cheered every new achievement their little sister made.

Her brother undertook a fundraising campaign to help fund the gap for which no public funding was available.  The entire family celebrated Fatimah’s recent graduation from CEID that included Fatimah blowing kisses at her many friends and fans.

In August, the Fatimah fundraising campaign culminated in a block party in their neighborhood complete with a feast of specialties cooked by family members.  The Berkeley Chief of Police attended as did the Berkeley Mayor.  CEID’s Executive Director Cindy Dickeson had the opportunity to speak about the miracles that occur at CEID and that, in Fatimah’s case, were due in no small part to the dedication of a family to its youngest member.

In celebrating Fatimah, we celebrate all the children and families of CEID, who believe that challenges can be overcome through professional service and family commitment.

Graduation and the Next Big Step

CEID students celebrating graduation on July 20, 2017

Two highly charged emotional events occur at CEID – one, on a child’s first day of school and, then, years later, on that child’s graduation day. Even with intensive parent inclusion in classroom activities, some children are tearful at the start of school when the parent must leave them for a short period of time.  CEID’s teachers and aides are well experienced in helping children with separation anxiety and, typically, after a few days, the child is happily integrated into the classroom

At the other end of a child’s CEID journey is graduation.  They say goodbye to friends, to teachers, to aides, to therapists, to facility dog Nan, and to all the familiar surroundings that have become a second home.  CEID takes every step to ensure that the child’s transition to a new school, a new classroom, new friends, and new supports will be positive and will build on skills learned at our center.  And, while, all of us are sad to see children leave, we all feel pride in what each child and each family has accomplished.

2017’s graduation was no different.  The ceremony was filled with stories, songs, tributes, and applause for each and every little graduate.  Yes, there were some tears but those quickly dried in the light of the joy we felt watching each child take a bow, knowing they are ready for the steps ahead of them.


Summer Smiles Thanks to Quest and to You!
CEID has been the grateful recipient of summer program funding from the Quest Foundation that enables CEID to       offer the highest quality of services provided by its professional staff.  While some summer programs rely on interim staff, CEID’s summer program features the same expert staff who work with the children throughout the academic year.  That includes our speech and language therapist and occupational therapist.

Students enjoying hands-on water activities this summer

Themes such as sensory week introduce the children to new experiences ranging from water days to finger painting.  Parents are always welcome and summer sign language classes continue.

The generosity of the Quest Foundation is the stimulus for the annual summer program.  And the donors of CEID are the partners with Quest who make the program possible.  Quest funding is provided as a challenge grant.  CEID turns to its individual donors each year to help raise the funds to meet that challenge.

Once again, you have met the challenge and, in so doing, you have given the children of CEID a wonderful summer.  Thank You!


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