jacksonville autism parents

March 2024 Newsletter

Februrary 2024 – Mainspring Academy celebrated the month of friendship and love with many exciting celebrations. Miles for Mainspring Virtual Step Challenge participants raised $4300 towards the school’s adaptive physical education program. Parent volunteer Emily Arbogust was announced as the lucky winner of our $1000 vacation getaway to Cinnamon Beach, donated by the Szymczak family. We are so grateful to all of the registrants who made their steps count for the students at Mainspring Academy!

Students exchanged gift baskets full of their classmate’s favorite things during our annual Val Pal Exchange.

Mainspring classes enjoyed many Black History Month activities during our “ABC I Love Me” Self-Love Week and our volunteer-hosted Alma Thomas Art Project. During our “Famous Firsts” week, teachers dedicated fun interactive activities to famous African American historical figures!

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Tuesday, March 5th– Open Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting 9:15am at Mainspring Academy
  • Monday, March 11-Friday, March 15th – Empower Minds of All Kinds: World Neurodiversity Celebration Week
  • Wednesday, March 13th-Friday, March 15th– Spring Portraits
  • Monday, March 18th-Friday, March 22nd – SCHOOL CLOSED for Spring Break

Questions or missing any forms? Check Quickschools! Many questions and requests can also be submitted in the Parent Corner of our website! More Information (Quickschools)> More Information (Parent Corner)>

MSA BIRTHDAYS!

Ms. Emily – March 2nd

Silas – March 9th

Jean – March 18th

Jacob – March 25th

Micah– March 25th

DIFFERENCE MAKERS

Mainspring Academy has been awarded a Fall grant from HEAL Foundation to help us enhance our playground! We are so excited to be able to provide some new equipment to help our students regulate, unwind, and have fun during recess!

On behalf of the Mainspring Academy community of parents, staff, and supporters, thank you for the compassion and commitment you have shown for our students and school. It is the kindness of our donors and volunteers that has helped us to expand in size and quality, furthering our mission to provide quality, individualized education in a safe learning environment for students with intellectual and developmental differences who are often missed.
Thank you for the differences you make.

Hello, It’s me again, Benny the Manatee! World Neurodiversity Celebration Week is March 18th-22nd, 2024. This is a perfect week for a school like Mainspring that “Empowers Minds of All Kinds”!

Please take a look at the resources from the World Neurodiversity Celebration Week Website!There are free webinars for the entire week that you can join or share with friends and coworkers including “Neurodiversity at Work”, “Neuro-Inclusive Language”, “The Experiences of Neurodivergent Girls and Women”, “Creating a Neurodivergent Classroom” and many more. Thank you for helping to encourage acceptance and inclusivity in our community! https://www.neurodiversityweek.com/

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

A few friendly reminders:

(1) All volunteers NOT listed as a student’s parent, guardian, or sibling must complete a Volunteer Application to be kept on file. More Information>.
(2) If seeking parent participation credit, all volunteer hours must be reported via Parent Participation Credit Request Form. More Information>.

There will be a Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting Tuesday, March 5th at 9:15am in the Mainspring Academy Cafeteria to discuss yearbook and Teacher Appreciation Week! Parents interested in joining our volunteer event/holiday planning team can access meeting dates, topics, notes, signups, team updates, and action-day group messaging! Join our Parent Action Committee (PAC) (via Mobile or Desktop App)>

Our two Special Olympics events for the year have been scheduled! Volunteers will be needed from 11am-2pm at the duPont YMCA 7373 Old King’s Rd S, Jacksonville FL 32217 on January for Flag Football/Basketball and April for Track/Soccer. Details on dates and times in the following link. Get on the list>

Curious about Mainspring Academy’s needs and how to support us through donations, pledges, or sponsorships? Check out our Ways to Give Page. More Information>

MERCH

Exciting News! Check back towards the end of August! Link to Mainspring Store Coming Soon!

February 2024 Newsletter

January 2024 – Mainspring Academy held its first biannual Special Olympics event at the duPont YMCA, with the help of parent volunteers and friends at the Jacksonville Sharks and the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department. Congratulations to the 1st place winners of our Basketball and Flag Football Games: Nathan Muzichuk, Ashlyn Arbogust, Maddox Evans, and Taylor Barrett!

Miles for Mainspring 2024 begins this week! Good luck to all of our registrants!

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Monday, February 12th -Sunday, February 18th – Miles for Mainspring 2024
  • Tuesday, February 13th– Open Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting 9:15am at Mainspring Academy
  • Monday, February 12th- Friday, February 16th – Black History Month: ABC I Love Me Week
  • Tuesday, February 13th – STUDENT Val Pals Due
  • Thursday, February 15th – Out-of-Pocket Tuition and Extended Care fees due
  • Monday, February 19th – SCHOOL CLOSED for President’s Day
  • Tuesday, February 20th-Friday, February 23rd – Black History Month: Famous Firsts Week
  • Monday, February 26th– Black History Month: Alma Thomas Art Project

Questions or missing any forms? Check Quickschools! Many questions and requests can also be submitted in the Parent Corner of our website! More Information (Quickschools)> More Information (Parent Corner)>

MSA BIRTHDAYS!

Mr. Dabbs – February 2nd

Katie – February 3rd

Mr. Frank – February 5th

Ms. Sheri – February 6th

Jada– February 9th

Ms. Luisa– February 20th

Ms. Ahyanna – February 23rd

Allan– February 26th

DIFFERENCE MAKERS

Mainspring Academy has been awarded a Fall grant from HEAL Foundation to help us enhance our playground! We are so excited to be able to provide some new equipment to help our students regulate, unwind, and have fun during recess!

On behalf of the Mainspring Academy community of parents, staff, and supporters, thank you for the compassion and commitment you have shown for our students and school. It is the kindness of our donors and volunteers that has helped us to expand in size and quality, furthering our mission to provide quality, individualized education in a safe learning environment for students with intellectual and developmental differences who are often missed.
Thank you for the differences you make.

Hello, It’s me again, Benny the Manatee! Congratulations to all of our Special Olympics participants! It was so fun to see all of my friends compete!

Keep an eye out for our Famous Firsts Week this month! I can’t wait to see all the ways each of our classes will be celebrating historical figures for Black History Month: Honoring the past and Inspiring the Future!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

A few friendly reminders:

(1) All volunteers NOT listed as a student’s parent, guardian, or sibling must complete a Volunteer Application to be kept on file. More Information>.
(2) If seeking parent participation credit, all volunteer hours must be reported via Parent Participation Credit Request Form. More Information>.

There will be a Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting Tuesday, February 13th at 9:15am in the Mainspring Academy Cafeteria to discuss Teacher Appreciation Week! Parents interested in joining our volunteer event/holiday planning team can access meeting dates, topics, notes, signups, team updates, and action-day group messaging! Join our Parent Action Committee (PAC) (via Mobile or Desktop App)>

Our two Special Olympics events for the year have been scheduled! Volunteers will be needed from 11am-2pm at the duPont YMCA 7373 Old King’s Rd S, Jacksonville FL 32217 on January for Flag Football/Basketball and April for Track/Soccer. Details on dates and times in the following link. Get on the list>

Curious about Mainspring Academy’s needs and how to support us through donations, pledges, or sponsorships? Check out our Ways to Give Page. More Information>

MERCH

Exciting News! Check back towards the end of August! Link to Mainspring Store Coming Soon!

Miles for Mainspring 2024

Registration for the Miles for Mainspring 7 -Day Virtual Step Challenge ends Wednesday, January 24, 2024! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW! (REGISTRATION WILL BE CLOSED 1/24/2024 12:00PM EST)

WHAT: Walk 10K steps a day for 7 days to support an adaptive physical education program for 63 special education students at Mainspring Academy. Jacksonville registrants who successfully complete their walks each day will be eligible to win a prize (valued at up to $300) in a daily raffle, and a grand prize for completing all 7 days.

The Miles for Mainspring 2024 Grand Prize includes a 2-Night stay in a luxurious 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom direct oceanfront condo in Cinnamon Beach in the quiet and family-friendly resort community of Ocean Hammock in beautiful Palm Coast, Florida! Cinnamon Beach is a private, gated community that offers 2 pools, hot tubs, a fitness center, a bar/grille, game rooms, and a business center. Once you’ve won this relaxing getaway the owners will send you the calendar and you can reserve your vacation. Donated by the Szymczaks this trip is valued at $1,000. View VRBO Listing here> #MakingMyStepsCount

WHEN: Miles for Mainspring begins Monday, February 12, 2024 at 12:00 AM EST and ends Monday, February 19, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST. Daily prize winners will be announced beginning Tuesday, February 13, 2024 and the grand prize winner will be announced Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

WHERE: This is a remote event. Registrants may join the Miles for Mainspring Facebook Group to submit their proof of steps (beginning Monday, February 12, 2024), as well as to receive event updates. If you do not have a Facebook account, registrants can submit their name and proof of steps to [email protected]

CONTACT: Please contact Sabrena Snow, Director of Student and Community Affairs at [email protected] or (904)503-0344 for more information about Miles for Mainspring.

ALREADY REGISTERED? PLEASE VIEW/DOWNLOAD THE EVENT RESOURCES BELOW!

  • CLICK HERE for Miles for Mainspring 2024 Contest Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions.
  • CLICK HERE to create your Facebook fundraiser for additional raffle entries*.
  • CLICK HERE for Sponsor Pledge Letter and Forms for additional raffle entries*
  • CLICK HERE to make a donation on our website form on behalf of a registrant**.

* Donations must be submitted to the front desk, by mail, or online by Wednesday, January 31st, 2024. Facebook fundraisers must end by Wednesday, January 31, 2024. **Registrants or sponsors must please email Sabrena Snow at [email protected] to let her know a donation is being made on the registrant’s behalf, in order to receive raffle credit.

MILES FOR MAINSPRING CALENDAR

Monday, January 1st – Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 Registration OPEN

Wednesday, January 31st – Miles for Mainspring donation pledge forms and collections for extra raffle entries due by 3:00pm

Monday, February 12th-Monday February 19th, 2024- MILES FOR MAINSPRING VIRTUAL STEP CHALLENGE

Monday, February 12th- Miles for Mainspring Launch Day. Day 1 proof of steps due by 11:59pm.

Tuesday- February 13th – Day 1 raffle winner announced Tuesday afternoon. Day 2 proof of steps due by 11:59pm.

Wednesday- February 14th – Day 2 raffle winner announced Wednesday afternoon. Day 3 proof of steps due by 11:59pm.

Thursday- February 15th – Day 3 raffle winner announced Thursday afternoon. Day 4 proof of steps due by 11:59pm.

Friday- February 16th – Day 4 raffle winner announced Friday afternoon. Day 5 proof of steps due by 11:59pm.

Saturday- February 17th – Day 5 raffle winner announced Monday afternoon. Day 6 proof of steps due by 11:59pm.

Sunday- February 18th – Day 6 raffle winner announced Tuesday afternoon. Day 7 proof of steps due by 11:59pm.

Monday- February 19th – Day 7 raffle winner announced Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday- February 20th- Day 7 raffle winner announced Tuesday afternoon. Grand prize raffle winner for registrants who completed all 7 days, announced in the evening

January 2024 Newsletter

December 2023 – Mainspring Academy and adaptive music teacher Dinah Frilling were thrilled to host their first annual Winter Music Performance. Students presented their favorite Holiday songs they had been practicing during weekly music classes. (Video Below)

December was full of holiday festivities as students walked the halls through staff Christmas Villages, enjoyed cookie recipes from all around the world for World of Cookies for Santa Day, and gathered treats at all of the fun stops at our annual Polar Express event. Thank you to our staff, families, and Parent Action Committee for helping to bring Mainspring events to life!

Don’t forget Friday, January 26th is our Special Olympics Basketball and Flag Football Event. 10-15 Volunteers will be needed to run stations and help take scores. Please see the “Volunteer” section below to sign up!

Registration for our parent fundraiser Miles for Mainspring 2024 is now OPEN until Wednesday January 24th! We are raising funds to help maintain our adaptive physical education program. We are still in the process of finalizing our sponsor list, daily prize list, and this year’s t-shirt design, so please expect those updates on the event page soon! We are so excited to be #makingourstepscount for another awesome year! Register NOW>

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Monday, January 8th- Students return to school
  • Tuesday, January 9th– Open Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting 9:15am at Mainspring Academy
  • Thursday, January 11th – Mid-year parent participation hour totals and reminders will be sent out
  • Monday, January 15th – School Closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Wednesday, January 24th – Miles for Mainspring 2024 Registration Closed
  • Friday, January 26th – Special Olympics Basketball and Flag Football. (Volunteers Needed)
  • Wednesday, January 31st – Intent to Re-enroll 2024 Forms Due
  • Wednesday, January 31st – Last day for Miles for Mainspring additional raffle-entry donations

Questions or missing any forms? Check Quickschools! Many questions and requests can also be submitted in the Parent Corner of our website! More Information (Quickschools)> More Information (Parent Corner)>

MSA BIRTHDAYS!

Ms. Liz M. –January 5th

Adam – January 9th

Ms. Dina – January 9th

Killian – January 16th

Austin – January 23rd

DIFFERENCE MAKERS

Mainspring Academy has been awarded a Fall grant from HEAL Foundation to help us enhance our playground! We are so excited to be able to provide some new equipment to help our students regulate, unwind, and have fun during recess!

On behalf of the Mainspring Academy community of parents, staff, and supporters, thank you for the compassion and commitment you have shown for our students and school. It is the kindness of our donors and volunteers that has helped us to expand in size and quality, furthering our mission to provide quality, individualized education in a safe learning environment for students with intellectual and developmental differences who are often missed.
Thank you for the differences you make.

Hello, It’s me again, Benny the Manatee! I’ve had a wonderful Winter Break making lots of fun memories with my family. Now, I’m ready to go back to learning!

Don’t forget Monday, January 15th is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Have you ever heard of Mr.Jim Letherer? He was an amputee and cancer surviver who marched all 54 miles from Selma to Montgomery while on his crutches next to Dr. King. Jim told reporters “You see the world through a different perspective when you see it from a wheelchair or on a pair of crutches. You look for things that happen to the underdogs, the long shots, those who have to beat the odds just to get the little things that other people take for granted”. There is a life-sized statue of Jim Letherer in a Selma Museum memorial. As we celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, we reflect on how his leadership and influence in the Civil Rights movement gave strength to the Disability Rights movement and the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act almost 30 years later!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

A few friendly reminders:

(1) All volunteers NOT listed as a student’s parent, guardian, or sibling must complete a Volunteer Application to be kept on file. More Information>.
(2) If seeking parent participation credit, all volunteer hours must be reported via Parent Participation Credit Request Form. More Information>.

There will be a Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting Tuesday, January 9th at 9:15am in the Mainspring Academy Cafeteria to discuss Black History Month and Miles for Mainspring! Parents interested in joining our volunteer event/holiday planning team can access meeting dates, topics, notes, signups, team updates, and action-day group messaging! Join our Parent Action Committee (PAC) (via Mobile or Desktop App)>

Our two Special Olympics events for the year have been scheduled! Volunteers will be needed from 11am-2pm at the duPont YMCA 7373 Old King’s Rd S, Jacksonville FL 32217 on January for Flag Football/Basketball and April for Track/Soccer. Details on dates and times in the following link. Get on the list>

Curious about Mainspring Academy’s needs and how to support us through donations, pledges, or sponsorships? Check out our Ways to Give Page. More Information>

MERCH

Exciting News! Check back towards the end of August! Link to Mainspring Store Coming Soon!

December 2023 Newsletter

November 2023 – Students, staff, and parents enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving Feast put together by our Parent Action Committee. Thank you to all of our parent volunteers for providing a beautiful and welcoming lunch that brought the Mainspring community together, reminding us of the gifts we have to be thankful for all year long.

Don’t forget Tuesday, November 28th is our schoolwide Giving Tuesday event and Mainspring Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization! Choose Mainspring as your Giving Tuesday charity! We will be continuing our end-of-year fundraising throughout December. End-of-year fundraising is important for helping us maintain the quality, resources, and programming we are able to provide our students throughout the school year. CLICK HERE to create your Facebook Fundraiser! If you do not have a Facebook, donations can be made on our website (CLICK HERE), or by mail at ATTN: Community Affairs, 6700 Southpoint Pkwy Suite 400, Jacksonville, FL, 32216. Checks can be made payable to “Mainspring Academy”.

JULY 2023 – Mainspring Academy is delighted to announce that the JT Townsend Foundation has extended an invitation to our families who may be interested in receiving individual grants for adaptive equipment. The JT Townsend Foundation mission is to provide hope to the community of people living with disabilities by offering financial assistance for adaptive equipment and services that will improve their quality of life. Grant recipients have received adaptive mobility aids, feeding devices, asistive technology, bikes, carseats, medical equipment, and more. Read JT Townsend’s Inspiring Story Here>

If you would like to apply for a grant for your child, please have your doctor complete a letter of medical necessity describing your child’s need for the proposed equipment. You can then submit the letter and application on their website. If you need assistance with this process, please reach out to Mainspring Administration at [email protected]. We are happy to help! Apply Now>

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Friday, December 1st- Out-of-pocket tuition due
  • Tuesday, December 5th– Open Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting 9:15am at Mainspring Academy
  • Friday, December 8thFood Truck Friday (TBD)
  • Friday, December 8th – Deadline for Event Sponsors for Miles for Mainspring February Parent Fundraiser
  • Saturday, December 9th – Deadline for Mainspring Academy Merchandise and Ornament Orders. Order HERE.
  • Friday, December 15th – Extended Care Fees Due
  • Friday, December 15th – Out-of-pocket Tuition Due including Semi-annual Tuition
  • Friday, December 15th– Winter Music Performance and World of Cookies for Santa Day. Students, staff, and parents are encouraged to wear their favorite Holiday Headwear for the Winter Performance. Schedule: Paige, Callie, Nicole 11:30-12;  Kim, Che, Dabbs  12:05-12:35; Liz, Lisa, Amy 12:40-1:10; Sara, Jeff  1:15-1:45. Sign up HERE for World of Cookies for Santa Day. Parents are encouraged to bake a dozen or more cookies representing another world culture.
  • Monday, December 18th – Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
  • Thursday, December 21st– Early Dismissal and NO AFTERCARE
  • Thursday, December 21st– Polar Express Holiday Pajama Party. Sign up HERE!
  • Thursday, December 21st– Winter Intersession Forms Due for February 5th-February 9th Intersession
  • Friday, December 22nd- Friday, January 5th – SCHOOL CLOSED for Winter Break. Students to return Monday, January 8th

Questions or missing any forms? Check Quickschools! Many questions and requests can also be submitted in the Parent Corner of our website! More Information (Quickschools)> More Information (Parent Corner)>

MSA BIRTHDAYS!

Grace –December 3rd

Aiden – December 8th

Ms. Elise – December 10th

Ms. Stephanie – December 12th

Ms. Che – December 22nd

DIFFERENCE MAKERS

Mainspring Academy has been awarded a Fall grant from HEAL Foundation to help us enhance our playground! We are so excited to be able to provide some new equipment to help our students regulate, unwind, and have fun during recess!

On behalf of the Mainspring Academy community of parents, staff, and supporters, thank you for the compassion and commitment you have shown for our students and school. It is the kindness of our donors and volunteers that has helped us to expand in size and quality, furthering our mission to provide quality, individualized education in a safe learning environment for students with intellectual and developmental differences who are often missed.
Thank you for the differences you make.

Hello, It’s me again, Benny the Manatee! It was so nice to see so many Mainspring families coming together for our delicious Thanksgiving Feast!

December 10th marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which pledges freedom, equality, and justice for all! Many people with IDDs experience multiple risk factors for human and civil rights violations. Disability rights are human rights. Everyone deserves to be included and live a full life in their community — accessing the same public spaces, housing opportunities, education, and work as anyone else. For more information about Human Rights Day, please visit https://www.un.org/en/observances/human-rights-day.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

A few friendly reminders:

(1) All volunteers NOT listed as a student’s parent, guardian, or sibling must complete a Volunteer Application to be kept on file. More Information>.
(2) If seeking parent participation credit, all volunteer hours must be reported via Parent Participation Credit Request Form. More Information>.

There will be a Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting Tuesday, December 5th at 9:15am in the Mainspring Academy Cafeteria to discuss Miles for Mainspring, and our Winter Party! Parents interested in joining our volunteer event/holiday planning team can access meeting dates, topics, notes, signups, team updates, and action-day group messaging! Join our Parent Action Committee (PAC) (via Mobile or Desktop App)>

Our two Special Olympics events for the year have been scheduled! Volunteers will be needed from 11am-2pm at the duPont YMCA 7373 Old King’s Rd S, Jacksonville FL 32217 on January for Flag Football/Basketball and April for Track/Soccer. Details on dates and times in the following link. Get on the list>

A World of Cookies for Santa will take place Friday, December 15th. Parents are couraged to bring in a dozen or more cookies from based on another culture from around the world! Sign up HERE!

Our annual Polar Express Holiday Pajama Party will take place Thursday, December 21st. Sign up HERE!

Curious about Mainspring Academy’s needs and how to support us through donations, pledges, or sponsorships? Check out our Ways to Give Page. More Information>

MERCH

Exciting News! Check back towards the end of August! Link to Mainspring Store Coming Soon!

November 2023 Newsletter

October 2023 – Students and staff ended the month with a fun Fall Festival packet with sensory booths, motor skills booths, bounce houses, Trunk or Treats, and delicious Sno Cones! Thank you to all of our parent volunteers and our friends at Gordon Food Service for helping create such a successful event!

Don’t forget Tuesday, November 28th is our schoolwide Giving Tuesday event and Mainspring Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization! Choose Mainspring as your Giving Tuesday charity! Our end-of-year fundraising is important for helping us maintain the quality, resources, and programming we are able to provide our students throughout the school year. CLICK HERE to create your Facebook Fundraiser! If you do not have a Facebook, donations can be made on our website (CLICK HERE), or by mail at ATTN: Community Affairs, 6700 Southpoint Pkwy Suite 400, Jacksonville, FL, 32216. Checks can be made payable to “Mainspring Academy”.

JULY 2023 – Mainspring Academy is delighted to announce that the JT Townsend Foundation has extended an invitation to our families who may be interested in receiving individual grants for adaptive equipment. The JT Townsend Foundation mission is to provide hope to the community of people living with disabilities by offering financial assistance for adaptive equipment and services that will improve their quality of life. Grant recipients have received adaptive mobility aids, feeding devices, asistive technology, bikes, carseats, medical equipment, and more. Read JT Townsend’s Inspiring Story Here>

If you would like to apply for a grant for your child, please have your doctor complete a letter of medical necessity describing your child’s need for the proposed equipment. You can then submit the letter and application on their website. If you need assistance with this process, please reach out to Mainspring Administration at [email protected]. We are happy to help! Apply Now>

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Wednesday, November 1st – Out-of-pocket tuition due
  • Friday, November 3rd- FLANNEL FRIDAY – Students and staff are encouraged to wear their favorite flannel/plaid clothing.
  • Tuesday, November 7th– Open Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting 9:15am at Mainspring Academy
  • Friday, November 10thFood Truck Friday (TBD)
  • Wednesday, November 15th – Extended Care Fees Due
  • Wednesday, November 15th – Out-of-pocket Tuition Due
  • Thursday, November 16th – Schoolwide Thanksgiving Feast
  • Monday, November 20th-Friday, November 24th – Thanksgiving Break
  • Tuesday, November 28th– Giving Tuesday Schoolwide Fundraiser

Questions or missing any forms? Check Quickschools! Many questions and requests can also be submitted in the Parent Corner of our website! More Information (Quickschools)> More Information (Parent Corner)>

MSA BIRTHDAYS!

Michelangelo –November 10th

Julia R. – November 11th

Ms. Jes – November 12th

Mariah – November 13th

Tanner – November 14th

Ms. Laney  -November 16th

Anish– November 18th

Amanda– November 19th

Ms. Paige– November 22nd

Ms. Olivette– November 25th

DIFFERENCE MAKERS

Mainspring Academy has been awarded a Fall grant from HEAL Foundation to help us enhance our playground! We are so excited to be able to provide some new equipment to help our students regulate, unwind, and have fun during recess!

On behalf of the Mainspring Academy community of parents, staff, and supporters, thank you for the compassion and commitment you have shown for our students and school. It is the kindness of our donors and volunteers that has helped us to expand in size and quality, furthering our mission to provide quality, individualized education in a safe learning environment for students with intellectual and developmental differences who are often missed.
Thank you for the differences you make.

Hello, It’s me again, Benny the Manatee! I had such a blast at the Fall Festival last week! I won tons of cool prizes and I got to jump in the bounce house! MY belly is still full from all the yummy treats I got!

Did you know October is Down Syndrome Awareness month? Many adults with Down syndrome are constantly being met with limiting stereotypes. Portrayal of Down Syndrome in movies and popular media are not a huge help either. While people may use these stereotypes unintentionally, they tend to tear away a person’s beautiful and unique individual identity. “They’re always happy!”, “They’re like children!”, “They can’t have relationships or live on their own”, they’re “Down Syndrome sufferers”, and unfortunately many more. Check out the video below to hear what some of them have to say about these harmful stereotypes and let’s work together to shift perceptions! For more information about Down Syndrome, please visit https://ndss.org/.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

A few friendly reminders:

(1) All volunteers NOT listed as a student’s parent, guardian, or sibling must complete a Volunteer Application to be kept on file. More Information>.
(2) If seeking parent participation credit, all volunteer hours must be reported via Parent Participation Credit Request Form. More Information>.

There will be a Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting Tuesday, November 7th at 9:15am in the Mainspring Academy Cafeteria to discuss Thanksgiving Feast, Miles for Mainspring, and our Winter Party! Parents interested in joining our volunteer event/holiday planning team can access meeting dates, topics, notes, signups, team updates, and action-day group messaging! Join our Parent Action Committee (PAC) (via Mobile or Desktop App)>

Our two Special Olympics events for the year have been scheduled! Volunteers will be needed from 11am-2pm at the duPont YMCA 7373 Old King’s Rd S, Jacksonville FL 32217 on January for Flag Football/Basketball and April for Track/Soccer. Details on dates and times in the following link. Get on the list>

Our Thanksgiving Feast will take place Thursday, November 16th. (Keep an eye out for times and the Signup Genius).

Curious about Mainspring Academy’s needs and how to support us through donations, pledges, or sponsorships? Check out our Ways to Give Page. More Information>

MERCH

Exciting News! Check back towards the end of August! Link to Mainspring Store Coming Soon!

October 2023 Newsletter

SEPTEMBER 2023 – Students and staff celebrated the start of the school year with an exciting Spirit Month! They showed off their cultures, favorite decades and favorite sports teams on themed dress-up days. On our annual Superhero Day, students engaged with local heroes like nurses, doctors, firefighters, and police officers! Staff decorated their doors to show gratitude to the donors, Board of Directors, and volunteers who have helped the school grow. Finally, students, staff, and parents “showed their Mainspring Colors” by wearing their favorite school pride gear!

For families that missed the October 2nd deadline, the Mainspring Online Merch store will be re-opening in the holiday season!

JULY 2023 – Mainspring Academy is delighted to announce that the JT Townsend Foundation has extended an invitation to our families who may be interested in receiving individual grants for adaptive equipment. The JT Townsend Foundation mission is to provide hope to the community of people living with disabilities by offering financial assistance for adaptive equipment and services that will improve their quality of life. Grant recipients have received adaptive mobility aids, feeding devices, asistive technology, bikes, carseats, medical equipment, and more. Read JT Townsend’s Inspiring Story Here>

If you would like to apply for a grant for your child, please have your doctor complete a letter of medical necessity describing your child’s need for the proposed equipment. You can then submit the letter and application on their website. If you need assistance with this process, please reach out to Mainspring Administration at [email protected]. We are happy to help! Apply Now>

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Monday, October 2nd- Out-of-pocket tuition due
  • Tuesday, October 3rd – Open Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting 9:15am at Mainspring Academy
  • Friday, October 13th – Extended Care Fees Due
  • Friday, October 13th – Out-of-pocket Tuition Due
  • Friday, October 13th Food Truck Friday (Tay’s Homestyle Cooking. Click for menu. Please anticipate extra costs for the meal, plus tax. Send order and fee to the teacher by Thursday 10/12).
  • Friday, October 13th – FREAKY FRIDAY SWITCHOFF- Staff are encouraged to dress like they did when they were in school. Students are encouraged to dress like they would if they were teachers.
  • Monday, October 16th – SCHOOL CLOSED TO STUDENTS for Teacher Planning Day
  • Tuesday, October 17th-20th – SCHOOL CLOSED to students unless enrolled in Intersession
  • Friday, October 27th – FALL FESTIVAL – Costumes are welcome!
  • Friday, October 27thFood Truck Friday ( Dagwoods Original 1976 Food Truck – Click for menu. Please anticipate extra costs for the meal, plus tax. Send order and fee to the teacher by Thursday 10/26).
  • Tuesday, October 31st – NO AFTERCARE
  • Tuesday, November 1st – Out-of-pocket Tuition Due
  • Friday, November 3rd– FLANNEL FRIDAY – Students and staff are encouraged to dress in their favorite flannels/plaid/tartan.

Questions or missing any forms? Check Quickschools! Many questions and requests can also be submitted in the Parent Corner of our website! More Information (Quickschools)> More Information (Parent Corner)>

MSA BIRTHDAYS!

Julia M. – October 10th

Tomas – October 11th

Diana – October 11th

Ms. Jen – October 13th

Taliyah – October 15th

Sadie D. – October 21st

Nathan Morales – October 24th

Riley– October 28th

DIFFERENCE MAKERS

Mainspring Academy has been awarded a $9,000 grant from Autism Services Grant Council and the Florida Autism License Plate Program in support of weekly music services. Our students look forward to music and enjoy the opportunities to express themselves through enrichment!

On behalf of the Mainspring Academy community of parents, staff, and supporters, thank you for the compassion and commitment you have shown for our students and school. It is the kindness of our donors and volunteers that has helped us to expand in size and quality, furthering our mission to provide quality, individualized education in a safe learning environment for students with intellectual and developmental differences who are often missed.
Thank you for the differences you make.

Hello, It’s me again, Benny the Manatee! I have had so much fun dressing up for Spirit Month at Mainspring Academy!

Did you know October is AAC Awareness month? AAC stands for Augmentive and Alternative Communication. Many of us can easily make our own choices, say what we need, and speak up for ourselves. How frustrating would it be to not be able to do that or to be misunderstood? From devices to pictures, flip books, sign language, and more, AAC is extremely important in helping many of our students communicate, participate in learning, self-advocate, and express themselves. For more information about AAC Awareness, please visit https://isaac-online.org/english/aac-awareness/.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

A few friendly reminders:

(1) All volunteers NOT listed as a student’s parent, guardian, or sibling must complete a Volunteer Application to be kept on file. More Information>.
(2) If seeking parent participation credit, all volunteer hours must be reported via Parent Participation Credit Request Form. More Information>.

There will be a Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting Tuesday, October 3rd at 9:15am in the Mainspring Academy Cafeteria to discuss Fall Festival and Thanksgiving Feast! Parents interested in joining our volunteer event/holiday planning team can access meeting dates, topics, notes, signups, team updates, and action-day group messaging! Join our Parent Action Committee (PAC) (via Mobile or Desktop App)>

Our two Special Olympics events for the year have been scheduled! Volunteers will be needed from 11am-2pm at the duPont YMCA 7373 Old King’s Rd S, Jacksonville FL 32217 on January for Flag Football/Basketball and April for Track/Soccer. Details on dates and times in the following link. Get on the list>

Our Fall Festival will take place Friday, October 27th beginning at 12:00pm. (Volunteers will be setting up between 11:00-12:00pm. Decorating Team will meet Thursday, October 26th at 3:00pm.). Costumes are welcome!
Get on the list>

Curious about Mainspring Academy’s needs and how to support us through donations, pledges, or sponsorships? Check out our Ways to Give Page. More Information>

MERCH

Exciting News! Check back towards the end of August! Link to Mainspring Store Coming Soon!

September 2023 Newsletter

AUGUST 2023 – After completing and furnishing our buildout, hiring 8 new employees, and adding 2 additional classrooms of students, Mainspring Academy hit the ground running in the first month of school. Students are already learning so much!

Parents, please note administration will rearrange the calendar sometime in October and announce makeup days due to the closures during the preparations for Hurricane Idalia. February Intersession will likely be affected.

JULY 2023 – Mainspring Academy is delighted to announce that the JT Townsend Foundation has extended an invitation to our families who may be interested in receiving individual grants for adaptive equipment. The JT Townsend Foundation mission is to provide hope to the community of people living with disabilities by offering financial assistance for adaptive equipment and services that will improve their quality of life. Grant recipients have received adaptive mobility aids, feeding devices, asistive technology, bikes, carseats, medical equipment, and more. Read JT Townsend’s Inspiring Story Here>

If you would like to apply for a grant for your child, please have your doctor complete a letter of medical necessity describing your child’s need for the proposed equipment. You can then submit the letter and application on their website. If you need assistance with this process, please reach out to Mainspring Administration at [email protected]. We are happy to help! Apply Now>

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Friday, September 1st– Out-of-pocket tuition due
  • Friday, September 1st– SPIRIT MONTH: DIVERSITY DAY – Students and staff are encouraged to dress representing their cultures.
  • Friday, September 1st– Multiple Items Due Via Quickschools:
    • Signed Parent Handbook Acknowledgments
    • Special Olympics Waivers and Permission Slips
    • Fall Intersession Contract and Deposit Fees
  • Tuesday, September 5th – Open Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting 9:15am at Mainspring Academy
  • Friday, September 8th – New Physician Signature Forms Due for all students taking prescription, PRN, OTC, and rescue medications on campus
  • Friday, September 8th – SPIRIT MONTH: FLASHBACK FRIDAY – Students and staff are encouraged to dress representing their favorite decades!
  • Friday, September 15th – Extended Care Fees Due
  • Friday, September 15th – Out-of-pocket Tuition Due
  • Friday, September 15th – Fall Intersession Full Fees Due
  • Friday, September 15th – SPIRIT MONTH: SUPERHERO DAY – Students will be visiting with local everyday superheroes!
  • Friday, September 22nd – SPIRIT MONTH: TEAM PLAYER DAY – Students and staff are encouraged to dress representing their favorite sports teams.
  • Friday, September 29th– SPIRIT MONTH: SHOW YOUR MAINSPRING COLORS – Students and staff are encouraged to dress in their Mainspring merch or wearing our school colors (blue and green). Staff will be finished with their Spirit Doors.
  • Friday, September 29thFood Truck Friday (Please anticipate extra costs for the meal, plus tax).

Questions or missing any forms? Check Quickschools! Many questions and requests can also be submitted in the Parent Corner of our website! More Information (Quickschools)> More Information (Parent Corner)>

MSA BIRTHDAYS!

Jaelyn – September 4th

Sam – September 10th

Olivia – September 13th

Nathan Muzichuk – September 14th

Ilan – September 17th

Molly – September 22nd

Krishna – September 23rd

DIFFERENCE MAKERS

Dozens of Mainspring parents worked together to provide refreshments for planning and help prepare the school for the first day of learning!

Mainspring Academy received generous donations from the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation and US Assure which will make significant differences for our recent expansion, supporting the continuance of our goal to provide the quality resources that will help students with intellectual and developmental differences thrive beyond their school experience!

On behalf of the Mainspring Academy community of parents, staff, and supporters, thank you for the compassion and commitment you have shown for our students and school. It is the kindness of our donors and volunteers that has helped us to expand in size and quality, furthering our mission to provide quality, individualized education in a safe learning environment for students with intellectual and developmental differences who are often missed.
Thank you for the differences you make.

Hello, It’s me again, Benny the Manatee! It’s been the most fun first month of school and my brain has been filled with new things! Ms. Dina even let me get a sneak peak into some of the staff trainings and I learned SO much! Did you know some stress can be TOXIC and actually change the way our brains grow, change, and work? All of us can get stressed from time to time, and that’s perfectly normal! Some children go through a constant type of stress that teaches their brains to be wired for danger.

Very early in childhood, kids learn security. When they are hungry, sad, afraid, or need anything at all, someone usually comes to them and meets their needs right away. Their brains are wired to trust because the world has been a safe place for them!

Some children go through traumas like abuse, neglect, sudden changes of caregivers, and early hospitalization. When they are afraid, hungry, sad, or need anything, someone does not always come to them and meets their needs right away. For them, the world was not the safest place. Trauma can start at home, school, during hospitalizations, or anywhere. This type of stress is called “toxic” because it can actually cause the “fight/flight” part of their brains (the amygdala) grow bigger and faster than the regulating part of their brains (the prefrontal cortex). The prefrontal cortex is in charge of things like focus, impulse control, emotional regulation, environmental awareness and more. So, while it may look like these kids are overreacting, manipulating, or misbehaving “for no reason,” the reality is that there is a huge reason … their brains are wired for danger. Check out Dr. Edward Tronick’s “Still Face Experiment”> & Still Face with Dads> !

Even though trauma can change our brain at any age, the earlier in childhood, the bigger the effect. We learn all about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) too and how the more traumatic experiences children have, the higher they are at-risk for dangerous mental health; chronic/terminal disease; victimization; perpetration; or low-opportunity outcomes in adulthood.

The good news is that building secure attachments with adults like relatives, caregivers, teachers, coaches, or mentors can actually improve these outcomes.

Plenty of studies have shown that children can not learn or thrive where they do not feel safe. This is why making school a safe place is so important to the staff at Mainspring!

Staff learns about building and rebuilding rapport; providing comfort and compassion; building consistency and routine; meeting physiological and sensory needs; empowering with choices and praise; and responding to crises with trauma-informed strategies. Ukeru; TEACCH; Trust-based Relational Interventions (TBRI); Happy, Relaxed, and Engaged (HRE) with the “My Way” Approach; are just some of the different concepts that staff learns and applies to make sure the kids feel safe inside and out!

Being trauma-informed is so important to Mainspring to make sure students feel the security they need to be able to learn!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

A few friendly reminders:
(1) All volunteers NOT listed as a student’s parent, guardian, or sibling must complete a Volunteer Application to be kept on file. More Information>.
(2) If seeking parent participation credit, all volunteer hours must be reported via Parent Participation Credit Request Form. More Information>.

There will be a Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting Tuesday, September 5th at 9:15am in the Mainspring Academy Cafeteria to discuss Superhero Day and the Fall Festival! Parents interested in joining our volunteer event/holiday planning team can access meeting dates, topics, notes, signups, team updates, and action-day group messaging! Join our Parent Action Committee (PAC) (via Mobile or Desktop App)>

Our two Special Olympics events for the year have been scheduled! Volunteers will be needed from 11am-2pm at the duPont YMCA 7373 Old King’s Rd S, Jacksonville FL 32217 on January for Flag Football/Basketball and April for Track/Soccer. Details on dates and times in the following link. Get on the list>

Our annual Sensory Superhero Day will take place Friday, September 25th beginning at 10:00am. (Volunteers will be setting up between 9:00-10:00am). Mainspring students and staff are encouraged to dress representing their favorite superheroes as we engage with the real-life super heroes all around us!
Get on the list>

Our Fall Festival will take place Friday, October 27th. Please check back here later in the month to get put on the list to volunteer!

Curious about Mainspring Academy’s needs and how to support us through donations, pledges, or sponsorships? Check out our Ways to Give Page. More Information>

MERCH

Exciting News! Check back towards the end of August! Link to Mainspring Store Coming Soon!

August 2023 Newsletter

SUMMER 2023 – Camp Mainspring went full S.T.E.A.M. ahead thanks to the generosity of HEAL Foundation, who sponsored a summer of building, discovering, and exploring through adaptive activities for our students with intellectual and developmental differences. Campers used sensory projects to learn about both biological and ecological environments. They even met some new friends Hamba the Gopher Tortoise, Beetlejuice The California King Snake, and Flash the Chinchilla from the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. They trekked through MOSH’s Expedition Dinosaur, learning about primitive technology. Campers conducted experiments practicing concepts of conservation, aerodynamics, and mechanics. They also got the chance to become toy engineers, creating their very own marionette puppets, stuffed bears, and wooden cars. Through art, they applied mathematical concepts like shapes, patterns, and physics. Mainspring is extremely grateful to HEAL for providing opportunities for our students to apply their learning in unique and memorable ways! Learn More About HEAL Foundation>

JULY 2023 – Mainspring Academy is delighted to announce that the JT Townsend Foundation has extended an invitation to our families who may be interested in receiving individual grants for adaptive equipment. The JT Townsend Foundation mission is to provide hope to the community of people living with disabilities by offering financial assistance for adaptive equipment and services that will improve their quality of life. Grant recipients have received adaptive mobility aids, feeding devices, asistive technology, bikes, carseats, medical equipment, and more. Read JT Townsend’s Inspiring Story Here>

If you would like to apply for a grant for your child, please have your doctor complete a letter of medical necessity describing your child’s need for the proposed equipment. You can then submit the letter and application on their website. If you need assistance with this process, please reach out to Mainspring Administration at [email protected]. We are happy to help! Apply Now>

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Tuesday, August 1st– Out-of-pocket tuition due
  • Monday, August 7th – New Parent Orientation and Meet the Teacher
    • Nicole, Callie, Paige, Sara, and Jeff’s Classes
      • 9:30am New Parent Orientation
      • 10:30am Meet the Teacher
    • Che, Kim, Dabbs, Liz, Lisa, and Amy’s Classes
      • 12:00pm New Parent Orientation
      • 1:00pm Meet the Teacher
  • Tuesday, August 15th – Open Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting 9:15am at Mainspring Academy
  • Tuesday, August 15th – Extended Day Fees Due
  • Tuesday, August 15th – Out-of-pocket Tuition Due
  • Thursday, August 31st – Special Olympics Forms Due
  • Friday, September 1st – Spirit Month: Diversity Day
    • Students and staff are encouraged to dress representing their cultures.
  • Friday, September 1st -Out-of-pocket Tuition due
  • Friday, September 1st – Fall Intersession (10/17-10/20) Deposit Fee and Contract Due
  • Friday, September 1st -Signed Parent Handbook Acknowledgment Forms Due

Questions or missing any forms? Many questions and requests can be submitted in the Parent Corner of our website! More Information>

MSA BIRTHDAYS!

Jude – August 2nd

Mr. Josh – August 19th

Drew – August 19th

Ms. Nicole – August 20th

Ali – August 25th

Ody – August 27th

DIFFERENCE MAKERS

This summer, the Florida Department of Revenue Child Support Office generously provided Mainspring Academy a much-needed donation of computers! Technology is not only instrumental in many of our students’ communication, it helps foster an engaging and interactive learning environment for all of our students.

Mainspring Academy received a donation of $75,000 from the Neviaser Foundation, which will make a significant difference for our recent expansion, supporting the continuance of our goal to provide the quality resources that will help students with intellectual and developmental differences thrive beyond their school experience! The Neviaser Foundation has made tremendous impacts for the special needs community in Jacksonville and we are so thankful to be included in their vision!

In preparation for the 2023-2024 school year, parents, staff, Bank of America Community Volunteers, and their Disability Action Network came together to beautify the Mainspring Academy campus. We are so excited to open the additional space for our students. We are looking forward to our students returning “ready to learn” August 9th in a fresh, safe, and comfortable environment.

On behalf of the Mainspring Academy community of parents, staff, and supporters, thank you for the compassion and commitment you have shown for our students and school. It is the kindness of our donors and volunteers that has helped us to expand in size and quality, furthering our mission to provide quality, individualized education in a safe learning environment for students with intellectual and developmental differences who are often missed.
Thank you for the differences you make.

Hello, I’m Benny the Manatee! I’m so excited to join the new school year at Mainspring Academy! Mainspring has so many awesome plans for us this year and it’s really cool to be at a school that teaches us how to be more independent!

Last week was the the 33rd anniversary since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed – a law that protects the rights of people with disabilities in all areas of public life like schools, jobs, transportation, and more. It’s there to make sure people with disabilities have the same chances as everyone else.

Did you know I was named after Dr. Bengt Nirj, a very important disabilities advocate from Sweden? In the 1960s, Dr. Nirj’s ideas influenced a huge self-advocacy movement around the world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD’s).

Self-advocacy means… knowing and speaking up for ourselves!

Back then, many believed people with IDD’s should be kept seperated from everyone else. They did not get to live freely, make their own choices, or have the same chances to show their skills. Dr. Nirj believed people with IDD’s should go out in the community and have the freedom to express themselves, decide for themselves, learn about responsibilities, and have the “dignity of risk”. He believed the public should “normalize” the idea that, just like everyone else, people with IDD’s can learn the skills to be more independent…if only they were taught! He wrote his studies in his paper, “Towards Independence” which he read at the 11th World Congress. His theory of self-advocacy created a movement that spread from Europe all the way to Canada! In 1974, “People First” became the largest and first self-advocacy organization in the United States. Almost 600 self-advocates came from across the nation to be at the first conference. Many people with IDD’s who had never spoken publicly were actually taking the microphone and being heard!!! For the first time, many people discovered that their voices mattered!

Adults with IDD’s are still speaking out today about expectations that made them feel unheard at school, home, or in the community. As parents, teachers, and friends, it’s important to remember the heart of ADA is self-advocacy. By listening to IDD voices , we can work together to create a safer, more inclusive and accepting world for our kids!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

A friendly reminder that all volunteers NOT listed as a student’s parent, guardian, or sibling must complete a Volunteer Application to be kept on file. More Information>

Our first open Parent Action Committee (PAC) Meeting and Welcome Breakfast will take place Tuesday, August 15th at 9:15am in the Mainspring Academy Cafeteria. Parents interested in joining our volunteer event/holiday planning team can access meeting dates, topics, notes, signups, team updates, and action-day group messaging! Join our Parent Action Committee (PAC) (via Mobile or Desktop App)>

Thursday, August 17th is National Nonprofit Day. Clerical staff is seeking parent volunteers throughout August to assist with writing impact statement cards to last year’s donors. All items will be provided. Please email Sabrena at [email protected] if interested! Get on the list>

Our annual Sensory Superhero Day will take place Friday, September 25th beginning at 10:00am. (Volunteers will be setting up between 9:00-10:00am). Mainspring students and staff are encouraged to dress representing their favorite superheroes as we engage with the real-life super heroes all around us!
More Information>

Curious about Mainspring Academy’s needs and how to support us through donations, pledges, or sponsorships? Check out our Ways to Give Page. More Information>

MERCH

Exciting News! Check back towards the end of August! Link to Mainspring Store Coming Soon!