Local Educators Attend 8th Annual Charles Chadwell Special Education Institute on Family Engagement.
On Saturday, April 30th, the Education Department hosted the 8th Annual Charles Chadwell Special Education Institute, which was a free virtual workshop entitled, Supporting Students with Disabilities through Creative School-Family-Community Partnerships, hosted by Sherrie Belton, a parent and family engagement specialist with Richland County School District One. The event was attended by 40 educators from around the state, including students and professors from Furman University, Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina State University, and Bob Jones University, as well as Presbyterian College. General and special education teachers, as well as school psychologists, speech/language pathologists, directors of Special Programs, and assistant superintendents from local school districts, also attended the event.
Ms. Belton discussed family and state legislation regarding family engagement and shared many innovative ways of engaging families that go beyond the typical Parent Teacher Association model in order to meet the unique needs of families. She also discussed the ways that schools can create partnerships with community organizations in order to obtain materials and services for families.
Patricia Hensley, an adjunct professor at Furman University, has attended the annual institute for several years. She stated that the workshop was exceptional, and she liked the fact that it was held virtually, which made it convenient to attend. She explained, “It was well worth the time to attend. Not only was it informational, but it was also interactive which made it more interesting.”
In addition to interactive activities, the participants got to hear from the late Dr. Chadwell’s youngest son, John Chadwell. The annual institute is made possible through the Charles Chadwell Endowment for Special Education, which was established by Mr. and Mrs. Cothran in recognition of Dr. Chadwell’s work as Superintendent of Whitten Center, where their son Billy Cothran was a resident. Dr. Chadwell passed away on April 13, 2022, at the age of 92. At Saturday’s institute, John Chadwell shared memories of his father and played a recording of him reading a poem by Baxter Black, entitled “A Time to Stay, A Time to Go,” set to a montage of pictures from Dr. Chadwell’s life.
The Charles Chadwell Endowment for Special Education also provides scholarships for students interested in pursuing a career in Special Education.