The Parent Resource Center of the Santa Barbara Unified School District was established in the spring of 2013. Since then, the library-meeting-place-information center about learning differences has become a hub of activity, planning and innovative outreach to the community.
The Parent Resource Center has been visited by hundreds of individuals, including educators, parents, students, philanthropists, community leaders, politicians, and others who are interested in learning more about a wide range of subjects including ADD, dyslexia, autism, mental wellness, parenting, and more.
In addition, there are resources for students of all ages to help them understand differences and learn how to self-advocate, as well as a unique collection of materials and information about how to pick the best colleges and careers for students with differences.
The Parent Resource Center hosts annual Open Houses, as well several training sessions—ranging from assistive technology to executive function issues, special techniques in dealing with autism, and eating disorders. The well-attended monthly Dyslexia Dialogues, hosted by Cheri Rae of The Dyslexia Project, create a sense of community for the families of 1 in 5 students affected with dyslexia.
Dyslexia-related offerings sponsored by the Parent Resource Center have included general discussions; appearances by filmmaker Harvey Hubbell and a screening of his film, Dislecksia: The Movie” and guest speaker-author John Rodrigues; a the showing and discussion of the acclaimed video “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia”; a thoughtful panel discussion of accomplished individuals who have dyslexia, and a presentation by Learning Ally and Decoding Dyslexia members.
The Parent Resource Center has been generously supported with donations of materials, most recently the Orfaela Foundation and Santa Barbara City College, as well as the Kirby Jones Foundation and the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, which have generously underwritten staffing.
The Center has grown from serving by appointment-only to part time availability, and now are pleased to announce that because the Parent Resource Center has become so important in our mission of serving the community, it will have a full-time staff member next school year—and we anticipate another busy year of providing information and resources for those who need them.
For parents of students with learning differences, this center symbolizes a commitment to our kids who have tons of potential—and little likelihood of reaching it in standardized classes, or revealing it in standardized tests.
That’s the real story about his new Parent Resource Center—where parents can learn how to figure it out in a pleasant place—dedicated solely for that purpose. It’s a big deal for a school district to offer information and innovation, and I’m happy to play a part in it, benefit from it, and welcome others to do