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Our Project

In this innovative research project, we have begun preliminary evaluations of an evidence-based approach for providing access to literacy for young children with significant disabilities in inclusive education programs. The importance of early literacy experiences for all children cannot be overstated.  The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is largely centered around developing a rigorous literacy curriculum for all children beginning in their earliest years of schooling. This particular project is designed to assure that children with the most complex, significant needs are part of this important shift toward universal, critical literacy skills.

The Schools

We have continued our observations at Jowonio Preschool and Kindergarten in Syracuse, NY and more recently began visits with Chime School in LosAngeles, CA.  We have also conducted observations at Freeburg Early Childhood Center in Waterloo, Iowa.

Jowonio School offers a fully inclusive preschool and kindergarten for children with a wide range of special needs and their typical peers. Opened in 1969, Jowonio's center-based program serves students 2 1/2 to 5 years. Classrooms are half-day, 4.25 hours or full-day. We also have available on a limited basis early morning and after school care. Our ENRICH program serves children with special needs at home and in community child care settings. In addition to special education and therapy services, we provide case management and support for families through our social work staff. Jowonio also does transdisciplinary play-based evaluations.  Jowonio School 3049 East Genesee St., Syracuse NY 13224, Phone: (315) 445-4010, FAX: (315) 445-4060 Point of Contact: Ellen Barnes, Director, Email: jowonio@dreamscape.com , HOME PAGE: www.dreamscape.com/jowonio/

The CHIME Institute develops and implements model programs that support all children to achieve their maximum potential, and that provide dynamic research and training environments to disseminate best educational practices.  Among other things, CHIME emphasizes an inclusive learning community, with some children in each class receiving special education services alongside their gifted and typically developing peers.  For further information, CHIME Preschool & Kindergarten Inclusion Program
P.O. Box 280310  Northridge, CA 91328-0310 Phone: 818-677-4979  FAX: 818-677-7804

The Freeburg Early Childhood Program provides year-round, high-quality, full-day education and care to children ages three through first grade, including children with disabilities.  It offers a demonstration of constructivist and developmentally appropriate education that fosters children's physical, intellectual, social, emotional, ethical, and aesthetic development, and includes a multicultural, anti-bias, inclusive experience characterized by mutual respect and a feeling of community. Housed in McElroy Hall, 1913 Heath St., Waterloo IA  50703    (319)-287-9415  E-mail: Rheta DeVries, Ph.D., Director


Research Summary

Total # of Programs Observed: 7
Total # of Classrooms: 15
Total # of Students: 312
# of students with disabilities: 83
# of students with significant disabilities: 54
Total # of Research Observations/Interviews: 296
(Last updated October 14, 2005)

The contents of this site were developed under grants from the U.S. Department of Education (nos. H324D010031 & H324C040213).  However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and no endorsement by the Federal Government should be assumed.  For further information, please contact the project Directors Dr. Christopher Kliewer at christopher.kliewer@uni.edu or Dr. Christi Kasa-Hendrickson at hendrick@chapman.edu.