United Way grant helps overcome educational barriers

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | July 18, 2017

Image with caption: Sara Kupzyk, Ph.D.

Sara Kupzyk, Ph.D.

The Munroe-Meyer Institute's Sara Kupzyk, Ph.D., was recently awarded a $66,853 grant from United Way of the Midlands' Karnett Trust. The Karnett Family Trust Grant funds programs that are focused on the care, education and training of children with intellectual disabilities in the Omaha metropolitan area.

Dr. Kupzyk's funded project, the Academic Evaluation and Intervention Clinic and Parent Training Program, will identify effective educational supports to help youth with intellectual disabilities make progress towards their individualized goals. Parents are provided with information and strategies to maximize their child's academic performance.

With the help of this grant, the Munroe-Meyer Institute is able to serve a greater number of youth with intellectual disabilities and provide a 15-week training series to increase parent's knowledge, skills and abilities to access community resources and advocate for their child.

Parents will benefit from learning how to support their child's skills at home, work collaboratively with school personnel, and gain a deeper understanding of special education and access to other resources, including respite care, which can support their family. Increasing parents' access to services, resources, and supports can improve parental well-being and decrease their level of stress. In addition, future school psychologists will gain a better understanding of families, how to navigate services, and collaborate to enhance student educational goal attainment.

The training series will be delivered through a collaboration between MMI Psychology, Family Support staff, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Respite Program and the Nebraska Parent Training and Information Center.

"This new, United Way-supported program will have a lasting impact on the children it serves," said Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Ph.D., director of MMI. "MMI is proud to be partnering with the United Way of the Midlands on this effort, which will help both children with intellectual disabilities and their parents as they navigate the educational system, which can be a challenging task for the youth we serve. Thanks to the United Way, we hope to make their progress a little easier."


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John McKinstra
July 18, 2017 at 9:05 AM

Wonderful news for the Omaha area,

Jon Sikorski
July 18, 2017 at 8:54 AM

Well deserving and such a great service to the community. Exciting news all around!