Thomas Obtains $1 Million for MOVERep. Bill Thomas, R-Bakersfield, has obtained a $1,024,000 appropriation for MOVE, a program developed in Kern County that helps severely disabled children and adults gain mobility skills.
The $1 million plus in new funding is in addition to $400,000 Thomas obtained in1999 and another $240,000 in 2001. The money will be used for facilities and program development.
To say I am thrilled would be an understatement” said Kern County Superintendent of Schools Larry E. Reider, whose office administers MOVE. “Thanks to the time and effort of Congressman Thomas, MOVE will be able to make program enhancements and construct classrooms for students and to train professionals. In the short term this will create jobs and in the long-term, train more professionals while providing mobility skills to more children and adults with disabilities.”
MOVE was developed in Bakersfield in the mid-1980s by former special education teacher Linda Bidabe. MOVE teaches severely disabled children and adults to sit, stand and walk. MOVE professionals use special equipment as part of the instruction to help children and adults develop their mobility skills.
Before MOVE, children whose disabilities left them unable to sit, stand or walk, spent the majority of their lives on bean bags. As they grew older and heavier their mobility and movement decreased.
Since it’s founding, MOVE has been implemented throughout the U.S. and overseas. The MOVE curriculum has been translated and published into nine languages. In addition, each June Bakersfield MOVE staff host training for professionals from throughout the U.S. and overseas who want to implement the MOVE curriculum in their communities.
MOVE classrooms for preschool and kindergartners will be built at the Claude W. Richardson Child Development Center at 1515 Feliz Drive in southeast Bakersfield. These classrooms are expected to be in place later this year. MOVE classes are presently held in the Blair Learning Center, housed at Sequoia Middle School. The Richardson Center is adjacent the southeast county complex now under construction.
Classrooms for students and training facilities for first grade and older students will be built at a later date.
Program dollars will be used to update the MOVE curriculum, develop additional training materials and specialized equipment for use by MOVE clients as well as for professional training.
“Bill Thomas has once again demonstrated his commitment to helping people with disabilities move toward an improved quality of life at home and in their community. Thanks to his hard work, our plans to construct the MOVE classrooms and training complex can be put on the fast track, which in turn will allow us to serve more children, adults and professional trainers,” said Reider.
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