The Essential Learning Group Celebrates a Decade of Supporting Children with Unique Needs

 Press Release May 29th, 2014

 On Thursday May 22nd, the education community came together to celebrate achievements in supporting children with unique needs during the last ten years, honoring especially Dr. Shari Rosen, inaugural recipient of the Special Education Network in Asia (SENIA) Advocacy Award. The** **award honors an individual that celebrates the accomplishments of people with disabilities, encourages awareness of the abilities and aspirations of people with disabilities and advocates on behalf of exceptional people in Asia.


Over 100  educators, health professionals, local charity organizations, parents and friends attended the event at the Essential Learning Groups’ new Jinqiao Campus, centrally located to address the needs present in the Pudong area of Shanghai. The Center is fully equipped for Clinic services (speech therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, and full educational-psychological assessments, among other things) as well as for ELG’s full-time alternative education program, the Innovative Learning Center.


Dr. Rosen gave a presentation of the history of special needs services in Shanghai over the past ten years.  Dr. Rosen is the co-founder of ELG, the first organization of its kind in China, whose mission it is to work with children and families with special needs using the best practices currently available, partnering with many international schools, hospitals, local groups, parent groups and other organizations that also work to support children in Shanghai and elsewhere.


“It is so gratifying to see so many people here that we have known for so long,” Dr. Rosen said at the event, “Ten years ago there were almost no services for children with special needs.  I’m so proud of ELG and everyone who is part of it, and it inspires me that now many organizations and schools have followed in our footsteps.”


The event included a silent auction of paintings by local Chinese individuals with special needs. As part of ELG’s mission to support local programs, all proceeds from the silent auction went to support HeArts, a local Chinese NGO dedicated to eliminating social prejudice towards those with special needs, through arts, self-confidence rebuilding and social interaction for individuals and their families. Throughout the evening, people bid on their favorite paintings and most where sold during the event.


Among the 100 people present, many work with children directly, while others run groups or organizations that support children and parents. Walk In My Shoes, the parent to parent support group, was there, as well learning support coordinators of various international schools. Principals and administrators of schools and kindergartens were also present, in addition to heads of charity groups and education service providers.

For more information on the Essential Learning Group, contact [email protected] or 21 5206 6273.

For more information on HeArts, contact 21 5108 7109.