Congrats to DSAOC Book Club Volunteer Facilitators for being honored as an outstanding team of volunteers!
Team Name: DSAOC Book Club Volunteer Facilitators
Team Members: Debbie Silverstein and Mark Silverstein
Nominating Organization: Down Syndrome Association of Orange County
Honoree Category: Human & Community
Why Nominated: In 2013, Debbie responded to DSAOC’s call for a volunteer facilitator to start a Book Club for adults with Down syndrome at our Center. This program was a dream of ours for a few years, but finding the right facilitator to help us get it going, ended up being more difficult than we imagined. We needed to find someone that was dedicated and passionate about our population, and about the importance of a Book Club – especially the social component it offered to our adults. Additionally, we wanted a current or former educator. We were thrilled that Debbie fit the model perfectly! She has been working with the special needs population since 1976, and spent her last 15 years at an elementary school teaching a special day class before retiring. She is also amazing in her interactions with our group. After learning more about the role we needed her to fill, she recruited her husband, Mark, to be a co-facilitator. Mark is retired from more than thirty years in education as a general and special education teacher, a school and central office administrator, and an assistant professor at a Midwestern university. Debbie and Mark have truly bonded with our adults in the Book Club program. Helping to kick this off in 2013, this started out as a summer program, and due to popular demand from our participants, and from Debbie and Mark, this is now an ongoing program with 14 participants, and a growing wait list! We now have parents asking for a High School age Book Club, and both Debbie and Mark have once again stepped up to the plate to help us develop this and will also be our facilitators. Debbie and Mark support and attend our events, and most recently volunteered at our Teen/Adult Dinner & Dance, the “Red Carpet Ball”. They are an amazing duo, and DSAOC feels incredibly blessed to have them as part of our DSAOC family.
Please write a note of congratulations below!