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Congressman Higgins Announces $100,000 for Parent Network of WNY

8/18/2011- Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced Parent Network of Western New York has been awarded a $100,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Education. The federal funding was awarded through the Parent Information Centers program and the grant is anticipated to continue for 5 years.

“Parent Network of WNY gives families a place to turn for information, support and guidance,” said Congressman Higgins. “This will allow them to continue and expand their reach in the City of Buffalo.”

The Parent Information Centers program is provided through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and is in place to offer information and training to parents of children with disabilities. The program supports awards to assist parents to: understand their children's rights to educational services; understand the nature of their children’s disabilities and their educational and developmental needs; and communicate effectively with personnel responsible for providing educational services.

According to Susan Barlow, Executive Director of Parent Network of WNY, “this grant will focus on our families in Buffalo by improving their understanding of how to support their child with special needs and how to partner with schools and agencies to get the services that will strengthen their child’s abilities.”

Parent Network of WNY will use the grant for the Buffalo Community Parent Resource Center, a project aimed at enhancing partnerships with the Buffalo Public Schools and the Buffalo community to reach “hard to reach” parents and strengthen relationships between those caring for children with disabilities in the City of Buffalo.

Parent Network of WNY is a community resource for families of individuals with special needs and for professionals who work with these families. Parent Network provides parents and caregivers of children with special needs, the tools necessary to allow them to take an active role in their child's education. The organization also provides a wide variety of workshops and seminars and offers all of these services free of charge.