In order to teach a child with special needs, you have to reach them first, which is why Little Tennessee Valley Educational Cooperative (LTVEC) has been partnering with parents and local school districts for the last 47 years. The recent open house was a not only a chance to thank the community for all their support, but to share more information about the vital programs offered through LTVEC. “We were happy to have our board members, state legislators, and community friends stop by to learn about each of the programs offered by the Cooperative,” said LTVEC executive director, Pam Potocik after the open house.
Recently elected Tennessee state representative Lowell Russell spent time during the open house learning about the special services offered by LTVEC. “I am very glad I attended the LTVEC open house. The agency is doing great things in education,” Russell said, “and we all can learn so much from them.” Of course, we can all learn so much from him too. In 2012, while Russell was serving as a Tennessee State Trooper, his cruiser was hit by a tractor-trailer on I-40. Not only was the vehicle crushed, but then it caught on fire. While Russell escaped the tragic accident with his life, his severe injuries would require him to work through years of intensive speech, occupational, and physical therapy, the result of which has allowed him to accomplish so much.
The way the Cooperative is organized is unique to this area. “Each school system has chosen to partner together to enhance educational services in the region while maintaining each individual system's autonomy,” said Potocik, “and the Cooperative has generally targeted special services based on the needs of its member school systems.” Those services include:
· The AT Center, which provides assistive technologies (AT) that can help reduce barriers to learning for students with disabilities that affect physical, cognitive and/or communication skills.
· The Birth-to-Three Program, which is a nationally recognized program that provides early intervention services to infants and toddlers and education and support to their families.
· The Extended Learning Program, which provides before and after-school programs that focus on hands-on learning, community involvement, STEM activities, daily tutoring, and physical fitness opportunities.
· School Support Services, which provide vision services, speech, occupational, and physical therapy.
If you need any further information about the programs and services offered through LTVEC, please visit the website at www.LTVEC.org or call the office at 865-458-8900.
About LTVEC: Founded in 1971, Little Tennessee Valley Educational Cooperative (LTVEC) is a public nonprofit agency formed by local school systems in East Tennessee. The agency is governed by a board of directors including member school system directors, school board members, and county commissioners. LTVEC promotes collaboration among member school systems to develop needed educational services in the region. The cooperative provides a variety of services to member and non-member school systems in East Tennessee and throughout the state.