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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.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 11, 2015 – Leadership from Sweden’s Move & Walk Conductive Education program will visit Grand Rapids March 11-13 to observe and learn from the Conductive Learning Center (CLC). CLC, through its partnership with Aquinas College, provides the only Conductive Education teacher training program in North America.
Due in part to lobbying efforts of Move & Walk, Sweden recently endorsed Conductive Education (CE) as the primary treatment and educational solution for children with cerebral palsy. This endorsement, coupled with Move & Walk’s recent expansion from one to five Conductive Education centers across Sweden, has created a need for Sweden to develop its own teacher training programs. The purpose of their Grand Rapids visit is to learn from the CLC and Aquinas collaborative model. Move & Walk representatives will meet with CLC and Aquinas leadership, CLC parents and students to engage in an open dialog about Conductive Education and its future.
Developed more than sixty years ago in Hungary by Dr. András Pető, Conductive Education maximizes the independence and mobility of children and adults with motor disabilities, including stroke survivors, and those with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, acquired brain injuries, and Parkinson’s disease. CE operates from a core belief in neuroplasticity – the lifelong ability of the brain to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences – and on the premise that no matter how severe the disability, people can learn and improve when they are motivated. Conductive Education helps individuals learn their way to independence. CE is a widely accepted practice with proven success across the globe, and is integrated into the community rehabilitation and educational systems in Hungary, Israel, Germany and Great Britain.

Move&Walk CLC (1)
About the Conductive Learning Center of Aquinas College
The Conductive Learning Center (CLC), located in Grand Rapids, Mich., serves children birth to age 26 with motor disorders related to complications of prematurity, cerebral palsy, spina bifida or brain injury. Since 1999, the CLC, a subsidiary corporation of Aquinas College, has helped more than 350 children reach their maximum physical, cognitive and social independence through the application of Conductive Education principles. Through a unique collaboration between Aquinas College and András Pető College in Budapest, Hungary, CLC acts as a laboratory school for Aquinas College’s School of Education, the only teacher-training program in North America to utilize the Conductive Education methodology. www.conductivelearningcenter.org

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 5, 2015 – There are millions of children and adults with motor disorders, across North America, who could be learning how to become more mobile, independent and self-confident with a dynamic learning system called Conductive Education (CE).

On Thursday, Feb. 19, the 37 member organizations of The Association for Conductive Education in North America (ACENA) join together to advocate the power and purpose of Conductive Education. In West Michigan, the Conductive Learning Center (CLC) expands its National Conductive Education Day advocacy and educational events into a multi-day “Believe in Conductive Education” celebration:

• Conductive Education Today: Global and Local Perspectives – Feb. 18, 8-9 a.m.
Donnelly Center, Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Road SE
Informal panel discussion will share basics of Conductive Education (CE), how it migrated to North America from its beginnings in Hungary, and its present reach and impact. Today’s global perspectives on CE will be discussed, as well as implications for CE’s future in North America. Complimentary coffee and pastries.
Register to attend “Conductive Education Today” here

• CLC Discovery Day Tours – Feb. 19, 9:30-10:30 a.m. & 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Conductive Learning Center, 2428 Burton SE
This is a great opportunity for prospective families and community partners to learn more about the programs and impact of CLC. These info sessions, comprised of a short presentation, classroom tour and Q&A wrap-up, will be held two times this day.
Register to attend Discovery Day Tour here

Developed more than sixty years ago in Hungary by Dr. András Pető, Conductive Education maximizes the independence and mobility of children and adults with motor disabilities, including stroke survivors, and those with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, acquired brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease and spina bifida. CE operates from a core belief in neuroplasticity – the lifelong ability of the brain to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences – and on the premise that no matter how severe the disability, people can learn and improve when they are motivated. Conductive Education helps individuals learn their way to independence. CE is a widely accepted practice with proven success across the globe, and is integrated into the community rehabilitation and educational systems in Hungary, Israel, Germany and Great Britain.

Conductive Education has the potential to make a significant, life-changing impact on the mobility and independence of close to 9 million people in the United States and Canada. Millions more will also indirectly benefit – spouses, parents and caregivers – by having loved ones become more independent, motivated and self-sufficient.

“Through Conductive Education, I’ve seen the other side, the vast potential that is my son Bryce, and it’s utterly addicting,” says Bryce’s mom Katrina, noting the tremendous progress made after one four-week session.

“He made full-scale, across-the-board progress that makes his past progress seem just silly. Every milestone before CLC came so slowly, that it was hard to even celebrate,” said Katrina. “But CLC is the real deal. I’ve personally witnessed subtle, consistent changes in Bryce. Among all the other accomplishments – more social independence, an eagerness to communicate, feeding himself with a fork, potty trained – I witnessed full-blown, absolutely independent steps! FOUR of them! Seeing Bryce have the opportunity to succeed on his own, interact with peers and be in a group of children with similar challenges has been life altering.”

“We recognize National Conductive Education Day as a way to raise awareness of this important and innovative educational program,” says Karen Mueller O’Neill, Executive Director of the Conductive Learning Center. “It is our hope and dream to expand CE to all in Michigan – and moreover, North America – who would benefit.”

To find out if Conductive Education is right for you or a loved one, or for more information about the Conductive Learning Center, please contact Andrea Benyovszky, Program Director at (616) 575-0575 or email abenyovszky@conductivelearningcenter.org.

About the Conductive Learning Center of Aquinas College
The Conductive Learning Center (CLC), located in Grand Rapids, Mich., serves children birth to age 26 with motor disorders related to complications of prematurity, cerebral palsy, spina bifida or brain injury. Since 1999, the CLC, a subsidiary corporation of Aquinas College, has helped more than 350 children reach their maximum physical, cognitive and social independence through the application of Conductive Education principles. Through a unique collaboration between Aquinas College and András Pető College in Budapest, Hungary, CLC acts as a laboratory school for Aquinas College’s School of Education, the only teacher-training program in North America to utilize the Conductive Education methodology. www.conductivelearningcenter.org

The Association for Conductive Education in North America
(ACENA) is the representative of the programs and professionals providing Conductive Education services within the North American continent. ACENA acknowledges and promotes the practice of conductive education. www.acena.org

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On Thursday, Feb. 19, the 37 member organizations of The Association for Conductive Education in North America (ACENA) join together to advocate the power and purpose of Conductive Education. In West Michigan, the Conductive Learning Center (CLC) expands its National Conductive Education Day advocacy and educational events into a multi-day “Believe in Conductive Education” celebration:

Celebrate CE – Tues., Feb. 17, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Conductive Learning Center, 2428 Burton SE
CLC Board, staff, families and friends will come together to celebrate National Conductive Education Week with cake, photo booth fun and camaraderie!

Conductive Education Today: Global and Local Perspectives – Feb. 18, 8-9 a.m.
Donnelly Center, Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Road SE
Informal panel discussion will share basics of Conductive Education (CE), how it migrated to North America from its beginnings in Hungary, and its present reach and impact. Today’s global perspectives on CE will be discussed, as well as implications for CE’s future in North America. Complimentary coffee and pastries.
Register to attend “Conductive Education Today” here

CLC Discovery Day Tours – Feb. 19, 9:30-10:30 a.m. & 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Conductive Learning Center, 2428 Burton SE
This is a great opportunity for prospective families and community partners to learn more about the programs and impact of CLC. These info sessions, comprised of a short presentation, classroom tour and Q&A wrap-up, will be held two times this day.
Register to attend Discovery Day Tour here

 

CLC continues to lead the way to develop strong partnerships among North American CE programs. Program Director Andrea Benyovszky recently headed to Canada to consult with March Of Dimes Canada. While there, she observed their child and adult programs, presented to their CE team on spina bifida, discussed the potential of future research studies, and explored possibilities for a partnership with Aquinas College’s conductor-teacher training program.

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Thank you to the generous sponsors of An Evening of Celebration 2014!

LEAD PRESENTING SPONSOR
Meijer

SPONSORS
Steve & Mary Anderson
CapTrust
Keith & Shelly Harrold
Peter F. Secchia Family
Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation
SoundTech Inc
ACME Insulation

SUPPORTERS
Ferris State University
Art & Betsy Hasse
S. Abraham & Sons Inc.
BISSELL Inc.
Best & Friends
Rockford Construction
Herman Miller Cares
Chemical Bank
Hudsonville Ice Cream
Bob & Judy Van Dongen
Dirk & Lisa Buth
Karen & Bill Lawrence
Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge
Mary & Jim Krzeminski
Jacks Family
PNC Bank
Korte & Kowatch
Towner Lund Group of Merrill Lynch
Varnum LLP
Daniel & Pamella DeVos Foundation
Matt & Katie DeCamp
Ross & Thea Hoezee
Paul & Cathy Boyer
Aquinas College
Laminin Medical Products
Custom Sales & Marketing – Rick & Sandy White
Lacks Enterprises
Mike & Sue Jandernoa
Richard H. Brown Foundation
Anlaan Corporation

FRIENDS
Litehouse Foods
J.C. & Tammy Huizenga
Mercantile Bank of Michigan
Jiggs & Nancy Wanty
Dr. Tom & Joan Powaser
Bob & Kathy Price
Larry & Mettie Leigh
Gary & Linda McInerney
West Walker Steel
Morgan Stanley, Mathew J. Pursley
David & Cara Cassard
Word Investments, Ted & Barb Etheridge

CONTRIBUTORS
Irwin Seating Company
Kim & Tom Condon
Haworth
WINE SPONSOR
Henry A. Fox Sales

Karen - HeadshotGRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 7, 2014 – The Conductive Learning Center of Aquinas College has announced Karen Mueller O’Neill as its next executive director. Mueller O’Neill brings significant nonprofit management experience to the Center and assumes the role immediately, succeeding Terry Stelter, who in June stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

“I am deeply honored to lead such an extraordinary organization, one with a strong track record of success in transforming the lives of children with motor disorders, by helping them achieve optimal physical, cognitive and social independence,” said Mueller O’Neill.

“I feel very fortunate to be joining the Conductive Learning Center at this exciting time in its history. The board of directors and staff have done a wonderful job building and sustaining the organization, and identifying hopes and dreams for its future. I look forward to leading the CLC in those next steps through building new partnerships, developing resources and programs, and increasing awareness of the CLC and conductive education – all which will translate to more children and families served in our community and beyond.”

Mueller O’Neill brings both deep, and varied, nonprofit expertise to the position with a professional background that includes leadership roles in media consulting, higher education and the performing arts. For more than two decades, she led the marketing and public relations efforts for the Grand Rapids Symphony. As the Symphony’s vice president for marketing and public relations she worked collaboratively with artistic leaders, the board of directors, committees and community partners to create and execute the strategic plans of the organization. Highlights of her accomplishments include the orchestra’s 75th Anniversary sold-out tour performance at Carnegie Hall, and the development and launch of top performing concert series such as the Picnic Pops at Cannonsburg Ski Area and the SymphonicBoom Series, including Cirque de Noel annual performances and Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Prior to her work with the Symphony, Mueller O’Neill held the positions of director of enrollment research at Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., and a research director at Research Communications in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Mueller O’Neill is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics. She has pursued graduate coursework in strategic marketing and advertising at Suffolk University and is a graduate of Inforum’s Executive Leadership Program.

Board President John M. Ritch said following a three-month search, members of the Search Committee unanimously recommended Mueller O’Neill for the role of executive director.

“Karen Mueller O’Neill is uniquely qualified for this position,” said Ritch. “She has the mind of a businesswoman combined with the passion, creativity and sensitivity required of today’s nonprofit leader.”

As executive director, Mueller O’Neill will oversee the CLC’s day-to-day operations. She will lead its overall strategy and management, direct organizational planning and program expansion, guide fundraising, marketing and public relations efforts, and develop community-wide relationships.

Ritch noted that the Search Committee was impressed by Mueller O’Neill’s prior accomplishments, knowledge of the Grand Rapids/West Michigan community and commitment to organizational success. “We look forward to taking the Conductive Learning Center to the next level with her leadership,” said Ritch.

About the Conductive Learning Center of Aquinas College
The Conductive Learning Center (CLC), located in Grand Rapids, Mich., serves children birth to age 26 with motor disorders related to complications of prematurity, cerebral palsy, spina bifida or brain injury. Since 1999, the CLC, a subsidiary corporation of Aquinas College, has helped more than 350 children reach their maximum physical, cognitive and social independence through the application of conductive education principles. Through a unique collaboration between Aquinas College and the Andras Peto College in Budapest, Hungary, the CLC acts as a laboratory school for Aquinas College’s School of Education, the only teacher training program in North America to utilize the conductive education methodology.

 

View the PDF version of this press release here.

Summertime MemoriesOctober 7, 2014

The 2014 summer camp has come and gone, but the memories of the time spent together live on. While the CLC is certainly seasoned in summer camps, this one led to some firsts. Larger than average, 36 students participated in the camp this summer, with the adolescent/young adult group attending for five weeks, and all other groups joining for four weeks.The students greatly enjoyed their themes of “Kids at Work,” in the younger groups, and “See You at the World’s Fair,” with the elementary and young adult participants.

This year, we were excited to spice up our camp with special visitors providing fine arts programs for our students. We jammed with music instructor Victor McDermott, brushed up on our theatre skills with drama director Todd Avery, created artwork with local artist Shannon Andrus, and stepped into the world of advertising with Christian Taylor. We thank all of these artists and the Grand Rapids Fire Department who came out for a fun-filled firefighter field day with our lower primary groups.

It wouldn’t be summer camp without a final performance by our students, and this year was no exception. A dramatic scene was set as the lower primary groups put to use their new knowledge about firefighting, culinary arts, journalism, and construction in “Trouble at the Pizza Shop.” The elementary and adolescent groups came together to help the audience take a stroll down memory lane as they presented “I Saw it at the World’s Fair.” Extra special sound effects were an added bonus to this year’s performance thanks to Christian Taylor.

Summer ended with students completing many new physical accomplishments and wonderful memories to last until next year.

Summer 1 Small Summer 2 small

How Sweet it is…October 7, 2014

In July, the Conductive Learning Center welcomed students from all over the United States and Canada to participate in its 16th Summer Program since the CLC’s inception in 1999. To celebrate this momentous anniversary, students, staff, families and friends gathered on the campus of Aquinas College on the evening of July 16 for the program’s Sweet Sixteen Party.

The festivities featured a sing-along with special musical guests Victor McDermott and John Lee, as well as a once-in-a-lifetime performance from the “CLC Band.” Other activities included a sweet stroll down memory lane to commemorate members of the “CLC Hall of Fame,” Skype greetings from Dr. Erzsbet Balogh – the former medical director of the International Peto Institute, and games for all ages.  A big thank you goes out to Cookies by Design and Angel Tomac for helping to provide special cupcakes for the end of our Sweet Sixteen Party.
We would like to thank everyone who has been a part of the CLC’s last 16 years. From our students and parents, to our friends and supporters, we appreciate the role you have played in helping make our program and the party a sweet success.

 

16party

With the help of our wonderful guide, teacher and mentor, Andrea Benyovszky, the POHI Class of 2015 was able to travel to the beautiful city of Budapest, Hungary to study at the Peto Institute for two weeks. At the Peto Institute we spent time in the classroom learning about writing and language skills in children with motor disabilities. Along with learning about graphomotor functioning, we also learned about school and adolescent aged students and their needs in a conductive education classroom. We were fortunate enough to learn from a variety of Hungarian conductors and some guest lecturers at the Peto.

During our time at the Institute, our days consisted of observations in the morning and then classes and discussions in the afternoon. It was so wonderful to be able to go into the classroom and see that it is much like what we are accustomed to experiencing at the Conductive Learning Center. It was such a great experience to see many different types of classrooms, not just filled with children, but also adults. Having no prior experience to working with adults before, it was great to get the first hand experience of what those programs looked like. We also observed in the kindergarten and elementary residential groups.

Not only did we spend time at the Peto Institute, but we were also able to go out and explore the city of Budapest. We tried to fit in as much as we could into the two weeks we were there: from the amazing view from the top of St. Stephen’s Basilica, to late night walks along the Danube River. The architecture, food, and scenic views helped to make our trip to Hungary truly unforgettable!

We want to give a huge thank you to the CLC and the families that made the trip to the Peto possible! Thank you to everyone who donated and supported our fundraisers. Also, a thank you to the many that shared their ideas and volunteered their time to help us in our endeavors. We look forward to applying what we learned in Budapest to the classroom this year. We will always remember the time spent in the classroom in Hungary as well as the time spent touring the beautiful city.

The POHI Class of 2015
Carolyn Tuski, Alana Curtin, Victoria Jones, Kelli Sprenger and Lindsey Stelhey

 

POHI Small File Image

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014
Watermark Country Club
5500 Cascade Rd., Grand Rapids, MI 49546

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 of CLC.

Dress: Business Attire

5:45 p.m. Social Hour & Silent Auction
6:45 p.m. Silent Auction Closes
7  p.m. Dinner, Program, Live Auction, Scholarship Drive
9 p.m. Evening Concludes

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. Learn more about sponsorship by viewing our 2014 Sponsor Packet.

Purchase an Individual Ticket



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Attendee Names:
*Please include names of all attending.

Purchase a Table Sponsorship



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Thank you to the generous sponsors of An Evening of Celebration 2014!
LEAD PRESENTING SPONSOR
Meijer

SPONSORS
Steve & Mary Anderson
CapTrust
Keith & Shelly Harrold
Peter F. Secchia Family
Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation
SoundTech Inc
ACME Insulation

SUPPORTERS
Ferris State University
Art & Betsy Hasse
S. Abraham & Sons Inc.
BISSELL Inc.
Best & Friends
Rockford Construction
Herman Miller Cares
Chemical Bank
Hudsonville Ice Cream
Bob & Judy Van Dongen
Dirk & Lisa Buth
Karen & Bill Lawrence
Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge
Mary & Jim Krzeminski
Jacks Family
PNC Bank
Korte & Kowatch
Towner Lund Group of Merrill Lynch
Varnum LLP
Daniel & Pamella DeVos Foundation
Matt & Katie DeCamp
Ross & Thea Hoezee
Paul & Cathy Boyer
Aquinas College
Laminin Medical Products
Custom Sales & Marketing – Rick & Sandy White
Lacks Enterprises
Mike & Sue Jandernoa
Richard H. Brown Foundation
Anlaan Corporation

FRIENDS
Litehouse Foods
J.C. & Tammy Huizenga
Mercantile Bank of Michigan
Jiggs & Nancy Wanty
Dr. Tom & Joan Powaser
Bob & Kathy Price
Larry & Mettie Leigh
Gary & Linda McInerney
West Walker Steel
Morgan Stanley, Mathew J. Pursley
David & Cara Cassard
Word Investments, Ted & Barb Etheridge

CONTRIBUTORS
Irwin Seating Company
Kim & Tom Condon
Haworth

WINE SPONSOR
Henry A. Fox Sales

To provide opportunities for preschool and school age children with motor challenges to achieve optimal physical, cognitive and social independence through the application and promotion of conductive education principles.CLC is a 501(C)3 Organization