UW Experimental Education Unit Receives $100,000 Gift from Robert and Jean Reid Presidential Endowed Fund for Excellence
President Michael Young allocates Support for Family Services
Long-time UW supporters Robert and Jean (BA, 1947) Reid established a Presidential Discretionary Fund in 2001, providing a source of permanent funding for the UW President to use for special projects. Their generous foresight in establishing the Robert and Jean Reid Presidential Endowed fund for Excellence has allowed for several pivotal collaborations and created meaningful change across the UW community.
The most recent allocation from this fund by President Michael Young is $100,000 to the UW Experimental Education Unit (EEU), a comprehensive early childhood center providing inclusive educational services for children with and without developmental disabilities, and their families, from birth through kindergarten. Housed within the Norris and Dorothy Haring Center for Applied Research and Training in Education, the school educates children with developmental disabilities, from autism to down syndrome, side by side with their typically developing peers.
Yet the focus is on community. As school principal Chris Matsumoto says, “The Experimental Education Unit is a place where kids learn that ability doesn’t stand in the way of friendship.”
The EEU hosted President and Mrs. Young for a tour in early 2012. President and Mrs. Young witnessed EEU programs integrating applied research, the training of graduate students and professionals, and world class services being offered to children and families. Perhaps most importantly they were immersed in the philosophy of inclusion, the cornerstone of the Experimental Education Unit.
The gift from the Reid Presidential Endowed Fund for Excellence will establish a family support program to help families adjust to starting at the EEU and to empower them after they’ve moved on to another educational institution. Parents of children with disabilities encounter unexpected road blocks and this program will support these families. Every transition -- from starting the school to working through individual programs to transitioning into a local public school – will be an opportunity for families and school staff to access a suite of training and technical assistance services.
Robert and Jean Reid have supported countless projects through the creation of this Presidential Fund. The funds to EEU will help families learn to be better advocates for their children and supportive of all children with disabilities in the community.