News & Events
Welcome to our News Room. Below you’ll find the most recent information about what’s going on at the Conductive Learning Center, and opportunities for you to get involved.
This school year we are excited to welcome Aquinas College students into our classrooms at the Conductive Learning Center. CLC continues to serve as the lab school setting for students studying to be conductor-teachers through the collaboration of Aquinas College and the International Peto Institute.
Three students have started their first year of study in the program, after completing several observation hours before making the decision to apply for the program. Coinciding with their theoretical courses, they will be working in CLC classrooms ten hours per week, where they will be given hands on opportunities to learn about the various aspects of Conductive Education alongside the conductor-teachers. When they have completed the Aquinas program, these students will have a variety of experiences working with all ages of children with motor disabilities, and in every program offered at CLC, as well as a student teaching experience in a traditional classroom in a local school district.
We also welcome back the five Aquinas students who will be beginning their third year of study in the program. The third year students began the school year with an intensive course delivered by visiting professor, Dr. Balogh from the Peto Institute. These students will visit the International Peto Institute in the spring to tour, observe and experience the programs offered in Budapest, where Conductive Education was founded. The students have been busy planning and working on various fundraisers to help support their travel to Budapest to complete their studies for the year. The perspective gained while in Budapest enriches their outlook and experiences as they move into their final year of training.
Summer Camp 2013 was a year to remember. A total of 30 students participated in the four age groups during this year’s program, which ran from July 8th – August 9th.
Each group had a featured topic which served as a theme and motivation throughout the five weeks, culminating in the final performance. The early childhood group pretended they were “Camping” and explored camping activities, foods they could eat, and plants and animals they might see in the great outdoors. The lower primary group became living exhibits as they experienced, “A Night at the Museum.” Drew, the night watchman had his hands full subduing the dinosaur, monkey and mummy when they came to life and raised a ruckus. The elementary and adolescent groups combined forces as they took a trip down memory lane to make connections between “Pop Culture” of yesterday and today. It was fun to reminisce about the music, fashion and culture of days of yore.
During Summer Camp, each child worked to improve their skills in all areas of development, and the groups showcased their new knowledge, social skills, and physical developments as they performed the capstone skit on the Aquinas College Performing Arts Stage. Highlights from the performance included “Down by the Bay” – a campfire song, the Museum of Natural History coming to life, and a live taping of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”
Many thanks to the Children, Parents, and Staff for their support in making this summer a success! See more pictures from Summer Camp 2013 here.
Applications for the 2014 summer camp will close on February 1, 2014 and can be found on the website at www.conductivelearningcenter.org.
Bryce, 4 years old, spent his first session at Conductive Learning Center (CLC) in this year’s Summer Camp program. Bryce was born 4 months premature, at home, where his parents gave him CPR until emergency responders arrived. Starting life a mere 1 1/2 pounds and 12 inches long, Bryce spent his first 5 months fighting for his life in the Neonatal ICU.
His mother, Katrina, wrote the following in her blog at the end of his summer camp experience at CLC.
“I know I should be overwhelmingly happy to be going home, to be getting back to normal and to be sleeping in my own bed again.
And I am – but the truth is, it’s bittersweet.
I do miss home but I’ve seen the other side, the vast potential that is Bryce, and it’s utterly addicting.
Bryce has been in therapy a minimum of three times per week for the last three and a half years, since he was six months old and just one month out of the NICU.
I believed fully that we were doing everything we could for him, that we were giving him every possible opportunity and that the progress we were seeing was his full potential for change.
I have to admit that while I was hopeful, I was also weary. I came here with an open heart and a doubtful mind. Years of enduring therapy visits and specialist appointments had conditioned me for bad news and little progress.
Sure, I would have loved for Bryce to have come home walking independently but that simply wasn’t realistic. However, I witnessed full blown, absolutely independent steps. FOUR of them! I have seen him make full-scale, across-the-board progress that makes his prior progress seem just silly.
I’ll admit that I was skeptical when I first heard about the CLC program. I was raised to question everything.
But this place (CLC) is the real deal. I’ve personally witnessed subtle, consistent changes in Bryce including:
- Increased walking endurance
- A longer attention span
- Putting hands in front of his face to brace against falling (this is epic and will save us more ER visits for split chins!)
- More consistent use of right hand and use of BOTH hands together (unless this is a problem you battle, you can’t begin to understand how much it changes everything about your day and daily routine)
- Longer periods of stable, independent standing
- More often standing up from the ground completely independently
- Vastly increased vocalizations
- Much, much more intentional “communication” coupled with an eagerness to communicate we’ve never before been privy to
- More social independence
- And more!
Seeing Bryce have the opportunity to exceed his own, and our, perceived limitations, interact with peers and be in a group of children with similar challenges has been life altering. The way he lights up when we run into another child from the CLC almost makes up for the 10 extra minutes that means it will take to reach our destination by letting Bryce get there on his own.
The conductors here have this perfect balance of stern direction and loving affection that results in optimum performance. If it were an option, I would take them home.
Unfortunately, that isn’t an option and so now I begrudgingly prepare for our return home while trying earnestly to figure out how to continue this forward motion and get back to CLC as soon as possible.
The simple fact is that every step of progress, every milestone before CLC came so slowly that it was hard to even celebrate. Bryce didn’t roll over until after his first birthday, he sat up independently just before his 2nd birthday and only began walking with a walker at 2 1/2 years of age.
His progress in five weeks of camp has been incredible and, as I’ve said to people here many times over the last week or so, I’m ready to go home but not ready to stop. And so, to home we go, with a heavy heart and hopeful eye. Thanks CLC!”
The Conductive Learning Center’s, Evening of Celebration, is planned for October 15, 2013 at Thousand Oaks Country Club. This fun filled evening raises funds and awareness for the Conductive Learning Center. The evening will include a silent and live auction with unique, exclusive items and experiences, along with dinner and cocktails. The event has gained a reputation for being a premiere event in Grand Rapids and your support will help children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and traumatic brain injury obtain a greater level of independence. Please plan to join us for this fun evening to support the children at CLC again in 2013 on Oct. 15.
Purchase your tickets for Evening of Celebration online.
Ticket price is $125.00 each.
Contact us at (616) 575-0575 if you are interested in a table sponsorships beginning at $2,000.00 for 8 guests.
Purchase an Individual Ticket