Special People, Inc.
2014-2015 Executive Board
Lisa Hastry, President
Nicole Updale, Vice President
Taryn Stack, Treasurer
Michele Willcox, Secretary
Melaina Conroy, Development Chair
Parents of Special People was formed in April 2004 in an effort to provide a forum for parents and family members to come together and acquire knowledge, support and understanding about the many aspects of special education. The Corporation provides parents a place to obtain an understanding of how various disabilities affect learning and an opportunity to share strategies and experiences in order to improve outcomes for all our children. The organization offers information about state and federal laws that govern special education and helps to explain the procedural safeguards available to ensure the rights of children with disabilities.
Because the group strongly encourages family involvement in a child’s school and PTO, the monthly meetings are scheduled around school events whenever possible, usually avoiding the 3rd week of a month, so parents and caregivers can attend their child's school PTO meeting. PoSP provides both a daytime and an evening meeting at the Aberdeen Municipal Building in the Conference Room and in various local coffee houses in an effort to maximize attendance and help families be informed about our programs.
Each business/evening meeting starts with the adoption of the previous meeting’s minutes, treasurer's report, updates from committee chairs regarding on going projects, new business, a round table discussion on a selected topic and then support. Support meetings are designed to be a forum for sharing issues and concerns. No minutes are taken during support sessions and all participants must agree that the discussions are completely confidential.Workshop meetings have speakers from various organizations and professions.
The daytime meeting is a review of the evening business meeting and focuses mainly on support; no voting will be conducted at the daytime meeting.
While we welcome and encourage new families to attend meetings throughout the year, some meetings will be closed to Dues Paying Members only. Additionally, any Township, Borough, or MARSD employee must request permission from the Executive Board of PoSP before attending a meeting, in an effort to protect our Members privacy.
PoSP has an Executive Board, by – laws and committees. Members pay annual dues, (collected during September & October) which cover our operating costs and provides them with voting rights, priority admission to events, workshops, & speakers, admission to the PoSP Facebook Group and "Member Only" Leagues, and Workshops. All of our fundraising proceeds go directly to providing opportunities to families and children with special needs.
PoSP is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and we receive no public funds. We rely solely on donations and fundraising to provide special needs families with low to no cost opportunities to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities in Special Education, how to navigate Special Education in the MARSD, inclusive recreational and educational opportunities within the MARSD and in the communities of Aberdeen & Matawan. Donations can be made on our Home Page with PayPal or mailed to PoSP at PO Box 302, Matawan, NJ 07747. Our fundraising efforts focus on community based special needs concerns within Matawan Borough, Aberdeen Township and the Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District.
Our fundraising efforts help to support our on going programs, like the Husky Special Olympic Team, MRHS Challenger League, and our Funding Project, which is an opportunity for our dedicated educators and Township and Borough Recreational Departments and Clubs to apply for funds to provide "One Time/Special Event", or "Start Up" funds for the development of ongoing programming and inclusive opportunities within the MARSD, Borough or Township that have not been budgeted for, Workshops & Conferences to help educate our parents and caregivers, Peer Mentor Training Opportunities, Social Skills Groups, Bowling Leagues and other events, leagues, programs and groups that will directly affect and advance a positive outcome for children and adults with special needs to reach their full potential and become independent, contributing members of their community.
Each May, PoSP organizes a "Personal Best Week" in the schools and community to celebrate the achievements of our students, highlight the accomplishments of our dedicated staff and recognize the Matawan Aberdeen community's continued and unwavering commitment to providing education and support to families with special needs.
Each June, the group meets to review the corporation's bylaws and nominate Executive Board Officers, MARSD Building Liaisons and Committee Chairs for election in July, when we vote to adopt any changes to our by laws and conduct our Year End Review.
Every August, the group meets to organize special education orientations in the district schools, put together information for our tables for the district’s “Back to School Nights” and schedule speakers and workshops for the coming school year.