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Simpson Receives Grant From Warren County Philanthropic Partnership


Simpson College has received a $3000 grant from the Warren County Philanthropic Partnership.  

The grant funds will help create and install the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) board at elementary schools around Indianola. This project, stemming from Simpson's inclusive Teacher Education courses, enhances inclusivity and accessibility for children of all abilities. The AAC board facilitates non-vocal communication and promotes social interaction by allowing children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), disabilities and non-native English speakers to express their needs, feelings and desires through visual symbols and icons. By providing a means for effective communication, the board supports language development and inclusive play, ensuring that all children can participate fully in playground activities. Simpson's Teacher Education department is committed to fostering inclusive environments, and this installation underscores our dedication to creating welcoming spaces where every child can thrive. Principal at Emerson Elementary, Jon Fitzpatrick, commented on the playground project.

"The implementation of an AAC board aligns seamlessly with our commitment to fostering inclusive play and creating a supportive atmosphere for every child. By incorporating non-vocal communication tools, the playground becomes an even more accessible space for children with diverse needs. This inclusivity not only benefits those who require alternative communication methods but also enriches the experiences of all students, encouraging a sense of understanding, empathy, and acceptance.

The AAC board will play a pivotal role in promoting social interaction among students. Communication is a fundamental aspect of human connection, and this project has the potential to break down barriers and facilitate meaningful interactions between children of all abilities. By providing a platform for non-verbal communication, we are nurturing an environment that fosters friendships, teamwork, and a sense of belonging."

The Warren County Philanthropic Partnership was organized to promote and enhance community based philanthropy in Warren County. The Warren County Philanthropic Partnership recently received a state award to facilitate endowment building and grantmaking.  

The contribution to the foundation was made possible by the Iowa General Assembly.  In 2004 the Iowa legislature passed several bills to encourage foundation building and community-based philanthropy. Among these measures was H. F. 2032, which provided that non-gambling counties, initiating a county-wide community foundation, would be eligible to receive one half of one percent of the state's gross gambling tax receipts. 

Fifty-five grant applications were received, and twenty-three organizations across Warren County shared in the funding allocations.