The ICAA Mind the Gap in Education initiative is our project dedicated solely to matters of education. Every year, we hold a school supply drive. Throughout the year, we may provide consultations, IEP help, educational advocacy, special assistance, workshops, bullying prevention activities, and/or public speaking engagements for education. We also recognize and award educators, schools, or student groups who are promoting the ICAA mission in advocacy, education, inclusion, and supports for all students, with all different abilities. Your support and generosity towards this project goes to help children in schools have a brighter future, access more supports, and realize their full potential through education. July 16th was our first Night out for Education at the local Wendy’s on Mexico Road. We thank everyone who showed up to help us Mind the Gap in education! We hope to see even more of you at our special event with the Dave Glover Show from 97.1 FM. Special thanks to Rachel Morgan and the Adam Morgan Foundation (AMF) for coming by our first night out for education, and being a friend to the ICAA’s efforts over the years.
Continue reading for FAQ’s about ICAA’s Mind the Gap in Education:
What is Mind the Gap?
Answer: Mind the Gap is the ICAA’s educational project. All funds for Mind the Gap will be directed to Mind the Gap events and efforts.
What is so important about Mind the Gap? Why do schools need help?
Answer: Many schools are feeling the crunch of the economy. Even when the economy is great, school teachers often spend their own money to supply their classrooms. More and more students come to school without all the school supplies they need to fully participate. Students with special needs are often further impacted by budget crunches, cutbacks, the economy, or a lack of special supplies needed to enable them to spend more time with peers in classroom settings. This can all be frustrating for our educators, in school therapists, aides, and administrators. This affects children in our schools and can make a huge impact on their overall success in education. We at the ICAA are hopeful, that with the generosity and loving spirit of our community, we can “Mind the Gap” and ensure more kids are off to a bright start in the new school year. This year’s goal is to supply at least 2 Metro area schools with basic and special needs school supplies. See the wishlist here and here from the two Happy Up stores. Thankfully, this year’s school supply drive efforts have caught the attention of the award- winning Dave Glover Show and 97.1 FM, and some local leaders, so we’re extra hopeful to be able to meet this year’s goal.
Where does the money I donate to ICAA go?
Answer: All money donated to the ICAA for our projects and efforts go towards our mission of advocacy, education, inclusion, and support through services, equipment, and charitable giving in the community. Mind the Gap is one of three main initiatives. Mind the Gap is dedicated to educational efforts, A+ Communities is dedicated to community awareness and advocacy, increased safety and accessibility for people with disabilities, and working with Project Lifesaver International. Operation Hope/Project Hope is the project dedicated to charity. Included in this project are annual Hope for the Holidays gift drives, free support meet-ups, consults, advocacy services, informational meetings, and providing supplies/services to local families, or community groups in need of assistance. ICAA Radio is also an ICAA project which informs the community about local, national or international news, services, accessibility, or special cases regarding advocacy, education, health, or general interest. Thousands of people around the world listen in each week, and the feedback has been phenomenal. We have been able to help several families access local services thanks to providers speaking on the ICAA Radio.
How can I be sure my donation is put to use for ICAA efforts in the community?
Answer: The ICAA is a 501(c)(3) charity. For more about what this means, and why it is important, there is some simple information provided here, and here. All of our financial contributions are focused locally. We have very little “overhead”, which means contributions can go right back into serving the community directly. When you donate to a specific project or event, such as our Night for Education, the Meet Dave Glover event, donate products at our bins, or volunteer with a specific initiative, your contribution is directly affecting the success of that endeavor.
Where do the donations from the bins go?
If our school supply drive is as successful as we hope, we will be able to fully supply at least two area schools this year. We want to supply at least two entire schools this year. If we get each barrel filled to the brim, each donation box filled, and 10k generous donors securely donating just 1$ each online, we will be able to provide support, services, and supplies to at least two metro area schools for the entire year through project Mind the Gap!
How will you pick the schools?
Answer: Schools, classrooms, and teachers in need of supplies and support have connected with us throughout the year leading up to the MTG school supply drive. People have called on us, telling us of the needs in the area. The ICAA Board discusses and makes final determination as to which school obtains each year’s donation. If possible, the ICAA likes to publicize the school/classroom recipient on the website, and/or discuss it on the ICAA Radio once the donations have been distributed. There are many, many schools and classrooms in need, and we hope to be able to “Mind the Gap” for all.
Can the recipient be a private school?
Answer: Yes. eligible schools must be accredited private or public, and serve children with autism and other disabilities. A school cannot be eligible if it does not accept students with different abilities, including autism. No exceptions will be made.
Can the school be a high school, or does it have to be EC or primary?
Answer: We care about what the needs are. We do not discriminate based on the ages of children served. We will gladly provide services, supports, and school supplies to any school in need in our community. If you know of an early childhood school, primary, middle, or secondary school in need, do not hesitate to let us know. We will supply as many as possible each year through this effort.
Why does Dave Glover care about “Mind the Gap”?
Answer: Dave Glover has talked about autism on his program on several occasions.
He has also done a lot in the community for various charities on his own and with the show. He has talked to us about Mind the Gap and wants to help out. We think that is awesome! Scott Rupp and other public officials who care about our cause have expressed interest in the Mind the Gap initiative. Areva Martin has been a friend to our overall mission, as have several respected leaders, artists, and activists. We are grateful to all who have taken an interest in our mission over the years, and continue to help make the world a better place with us. Our mission depends on many people like you working together!
When is the MTG School Supply drive each year?
Answer: The school supply drive generally begins in June and runs through August. This year, we end the school supply drive on the 25th of August. We then begin collecting and distributing the donations, which is a lot of fun. If you’d like to volunteer to help with distribution, please let us know ASAP!
Update: Please visit the donation bins at the following locations: Animeggroll in St. Louis, Webster University Winghaven campus, Once Upon a Toy in Edwardsville, Lagoona Magoo Toys in Fairview Heights, IL.
*Pictured: Rachel Morgan of the Adam Morgan Foundation and her daughter, a future leader of America, and two of the ICAA’s most dedicated volunteers; also future leaders. What bright hope is continuously restored when we see the children participate and share so naturally in helping to build a better world. Thank you all!