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Alpha Resource Center Honors Learningden Preschool

The school receives the 'Imagine a World' award for providing an inclusive environment for all

Erica Ronchietto and Karin Kelemen, along with the staff of the Learningden Preschool, received the Alpha Resource Center’s “Imagine a World” award on Thursday for being an organization that fosters inclusion and support of all people.

The Learningden welcomes children with all levels of abilities, and fosters an environment where children lead the way in their development and growth.

“We think it’s important for children to come together with people different from them,” said Keleman, the preschool’s director. “It teaches them that all people are different, but that we treat them the same.”

Each week, participants from the Alpha Resource Center, who are adults with disabilities, volunteer at the Learningden, cleaning and organizing the play yard.

“Alpha’s participants are happy to be contributing to others in our community, and spend over 100 hours every month in volunteer community service,” said Kim Olson, Alpha’s executive director. “We appreciate organizations like the Learningden that embrace diversity and value inclusion.”

The “Imagine a World” award has been instituted to recognize those who respect and support the inclusion of children and adults with developmental disabilities. For more than 50 years, the Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara has been creating inclusion for people with developmental disabilities. It continues to provide an environment for growth in education, social opportunities, employment and independence.

— Marisa Bourke is the outreach coordinator for the Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara.

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