Collaboration Brings Help to Children with Autism, their Educators and Families
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif., April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Renowned Tenor Anthony Kearns and Sheila Cassidy, Executive Director of the Wexford Institute, have launched free coursework for educators and in-depth resources in English and Spanish for families to support the education of children with autism. Go to Wexford Autism Center (and El Centro de Autismo de Wexford) www.wexford.org to register for a free account. Funding to provide these free resources online happened through the collaboration of Wexford Institute (a U.S. non-profit) with founding member of The Irish Tenors, Anthony Kearns.
Kearns, known for his extraordinary voice and outstanding performances in concerts and operas, is also recognized for his charity work. Armed with this knowledge, and the coincidence that Kearns is from Ireland's County Wexford, Wexford Institute Executive Director Sheila Cassidy contacted Kearns hoping to assist education through his music in times of massive educational funding cuts. They began the Wexford Tour of concerts in California, Ohio and Connecticut to raise awareness and support for sharing resources online.
Kearns said in a recent interview, "This has become a great collaboration. America has been good to me. This gives me the chance to give back to communities all across the U.S. by helping children with autism through these online resources. Taking the tour international will allow me to assist autism education at home, as well."
Wexford is announcing the free use of the autism resources to its partners and other agencies in the U.S. and internationally. The resources were announced to over 4,000 attendees of the annual conference of the California Association for Bilingual Education.
"Wexford is thrilled to be able to provide these resources free of charge to the public, at a time when school districts have little or no funding for professional development or family education," said Cassidy. "We're looking forward to finalizing schedules for additional concerts in 2011 and 2012 to help us maintain these resources and provide additional support." Cassidy explained, "Many agencies already provide autism resources, and we believe ours will complement those currently available. We are particularly hopeful that these resources will help families and educators identify children with autism at a younger age to get the services they need earlier," explained Cassidy.
SOURCE Wexford Institute