Special Education Today Newsletter 2(33)
The past week’s news and info for week that began 16 January 2023
Happy Lunar New Year! It’s the year of the Rabbit. I hope it is a healthy and successful year for all of you readers of Special Education Today.
As was true for the previous week, I was rather un-productive this past week. More about that in subsequent notes. First, brace yourself for the familiar overview of this newsetter’s contents. You’ll find
A status report for the site and the newsletter,
A table of contents for the past week (as mentioned), and
A bit of commentary (including the usual admonitions).
But, first let me provide special thanks to the dozens of people who are paid subscribers. I want to provide a shout-out to one subscriber, in particular; he elected the sustainer level of support.
Over the past week, five new subscribers joined the merry little band of people who subscribe to Special Education Today. SET is now just north of 500 subscribers! Though the number rises and falls, this is progress. From the 180-ish I imported from SpedTalk in May 2021, our community is now approaching 2.5-3 times that number...we’ve grown! Of course, I’d like it to grow way much larger, and if more subscribers switch to the paid version, we’ll be able to do additional things!
Special Education Today by John Wills Lloyd is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
A lot of this growth can be attributed to you e-mail members telling others about SET. Thank you! Please continue. From the data about visits, I can tell some of you apparently forward the newsletter to lots—a dozen or two dozen peeps—regularly. Yay! Please encourage those friends and colleagues to sign up for FREE now (or even, better yet, to start a PAID sub!). Just add a little line of text at the top of your forward saying, “I recommend that you consider joining the SET e-mail list.” Thanks!
And, if you are a paid subscriber, stay alert for a message from me offering you the opportunity to give gift subscriptions to colleagues who you suspect would like to participate in SET. I promise not to pound your in-box with these opportunities, but if you get one please don’t let it go fallow.
It’s wonderful to see readers contributing by sharing what they like and dropping comments. I see you folks who comment often—much appreviated. Special thanks to readers who’ve commented recently (Ed M., Tina C.). I watch those comments closely. They are a bit like opportunities to have conversations with readers, so bring ‘em on!
Thanks, too, to those readers who are sharing on other media: Twitter, metapoop, and others. Facebook, of all places, seems to be referring readers!
Table of recent contents
I was a so slack this past week that I only dropped the regular newsletter (2, 28) and one other post. So, I’ll pad this ToC by including last week’s newsletter. Please remember that you can find the latest SET posts by simply going to the main page at https://www.specialeducationtoday.com.
Special Education Today Newsletter 2(28)—Last week’s news and info for 16 January 2023
Exercise as a component of treatment for depression—Can exercise help adolescents who have depression?
This coming week, I hope to drop a post about parent assistance centers. This post was promted by a recommendation from Tina C. There is a network of these centers throughout the US, funded by IDEA money; it would be good to spread the word about them. I suspect that there are others around the world that should be identified, too. So, I plan to crowd-source a listing of these, soliciting the help of readers in identifying resources with which they are familiar.
Many folks who live in urban areas are probably familiar with small boxes that contain free books and stand in front of neighbors’ houses. There are at least three within a 1.5 mile radius of my house.
Often the little boxes are about 14-18 inches tall, 8-10 inches deep, and 12 inches wide. They usually have little, peaked roofs, though I’ve see some with backwards sloping shed roofs. They regularly have a door that covers the entire front of the box and it usually allows one to see the contents inside. Reach in and grab a book!
I like the idea of sharing books. Once I’ve read a book, I rarely go back to it (except, of course, reference books, text books, and especially, books of poems). So, why not pass it along to someone else?
Well, one reason not to do so, is that sharing books for free reduces the likelihood that the author will receive royalties. It’s probably not the case that all (each and every) reader would have bought a book that she found in a free library. Some might have done so, though, and those non-purchases represent lost royalties for authors.
Another concern I have about passing along free books is that getting such books presupposes others are readers. If you can’t read, you can’t chose to read...you have no choice, so those boxes of free books are a non-starter for you. They may even be worse: A reminder of your problems with reading.
So, I hit upon the idea of seeding the free-book boxes with copies of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by S. Engelmann, P. Haddox, and E. Bruner. Of course, the non-reader probably would not pick that book, but perhaps his parents might.
While I’m on the topic of these boxes, though, I wanted to remark on a similar phenomenon in our neighborhood. Once a week, two neighbors gather donated raw food (50-lb bags of potatoes, boxes with a gross of eggs in each one, boxes of bananas, etc.) and allow neighbors who may need food to take it for free. They also gather women’s, children’s, and men’s clothing and offer the garments for free, too.
About a mile north of where these neighbors live, on a street that cuts through two cemeteries, these is a box that unites these two concepts. Here’s a photo from one of my recent walks.
Atop the post holding the sign saying “Free Pantry,” there is a large “little house” with a door. Inside is, indeed, free canned goods, boxes of pasta, and more.
I hope readers will let me know how things are going. Send me a DM via Twitter @JohnWillsLloyd or write to me directly by simply replying to this newsletter and—automagically—your reply will come to me.
Also, allow me close with other usual admonitions: Please remember to wear your seatbelts; take appropriate COVID-19 precautions (e.g., vaccinations, ventilation, hand-washing, masking where and when needed, etc.); and, of course, teach your children well.
SET Editor guy
SET should not be confused with a product with a similar name that is published by the Council for Exceptional Children. SET predated CEC’s publication by decades.