Notre Dame School Celebrates Golden Jubilee

  Notre Dame School of Dallas celebrates 50 years of service to students with special needs during this school year.  The school opened for the 1963 school year and remains the only independent school in Dallas specifically designed to meet the special needs of students with intellectual disabilities. Brooks and Associates is helping the school gain visibility throughout Dallas during this Golden Jubilee. The Story The students at Notre Dame have a variety of disabilities and fall into the range of mildly to moderately intellectual disabilities. The school philosophy is that these students can become contributing members of our community if they receive intensive, individualized instruction. The program includes academics, daily living skills, community-based vocational training, and a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. Everyone connected with the Notre Dame School concentrates on each child’s gifts instead of their challenges, making...

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Hitting the Ground Running

The story of Clemente Rodriguez Entrant:  2013 MetroPCS Dallas Marathon Por favor lea la versión en Español abajo.  By Virginia Brooks, Founder & Principal Note: This story appeared in the following publications. The Mineola Monitor – December 4, 2013 LatinaLista.com – December 4, 2013 Clemente Rodriguez spends his work days 30 feet above ground installing, maintaining and repairing high voltage electric lines. It’s before dawn and Clemente Rodriguez hits the ground running.  He pulls on his work clothes and heads out to meet his power line crew somewhere in East Texas to start a 10-hour day of demanding and sometimes dangerous work.  Clemente is a lineman, and he spends much of his days 30 feet above ground in a bucket truck or climbing power poles to install, maintain and repair high voltage electric lines. It’s a rigorous job.  One that...

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The Luckiest Big Sister of the Year

By Virginia Brooks Great news!  My superhero just won me an award! For the past three years I have been matched as a Big Sister to Miguel D., a 10-year-old boy who lives in Sherman, Texas.  Miguel and I came together through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization in Grayson County, near where I live.  I came into the program expecting a Little Sister, but once I met Miguel, the deal was done. Officially, I’m supposed to be Miguel’s mentor.  We get together weekly to spend time together, talk over things and have some fun.  And fun we do have – lots of it!  For those of you who have forgotten what it’s like to hang out with a grade school kid, I’d highly recommend looking into BBBS in your area.  These past three years I’ve been to Summer...

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B&A in the Community: Bridges Out Of Poverty

Sherman, Texas, like many other U.S. cities, is facing the challenges of changing demographics, an aging population, the loss of clean manufacturing jobs increasingly replaced by lower paying, part-time retail positions, and the persistent problems associates with substance abuse. In search of answers, 23 people from Sherman, representing the city government, non-profit social service agencies, the school system and local churches came together recently in search of aha! moments and holistic answers to alleviating poverty in the area. Hosted by MasterKey Ministries, a local educational outreach providing support to Hispanic children and adults, the all-day workshop, facilitated by Virginia Brooks and co-facilitator Stephanie Tyson from McKinney, was  based on the “Bridges Out of Poverty” framework developed by Dr. Ruby Payne of aha! Process. Key take-aways from the interactive session included the following: Poverty is the extent to which individuals go...

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Blessed People Bless People at the Notre Dame School

By Virginia Brooks, Founder and Principal A lot of people in Dallas were blessed last week – and from a most unexpected source. More than 100 students from Notre Dame School, Dallas’ only independent school specifically designed to meet the needs of students with intellectual disabilities, fanned out across the Metroplex in a day devoted to service to others.  Celebrating their school’s 50th anniversary Golden Jubilee, these boys and girls — sporting tee shirts that proudly proclaim “No limits. Just Possibilities.” — pitched in to pack food boxes for the needy, sort shoes and clothes for ministries to the poor, decorate birthday cards for the elderly, and assemble surgical soap kits and hospital admission packets.  Another 50 students stayed at the school to prepare hygiene packs for the homeless. They traveled in buses to seven locations, blessing the staffs,...

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