Beneficiaries

  • The Humboldt County Special Olympics is pleased to announce that they recently received a generous donation from Families Advocating Autism Now (FAAN), in addition to support received from other groups and individuals throughout the community. 

    “Humboldt Special Olympics is very proud of their partnership with FAAN and appreciates the support they give our athletes,” noted Robert Buckman, Executive Director of the Humboldt County Special Olympics. “Their donation helps provide free year-round athletic training for all individuals five years and older with intellectual disabilities." According to Buckman about thirty percent of the organization’s athletes are autistic.

    FAAN is a local non-profit organization that is dedicated  to improving opportunities for growth and development of individuals diagnosed with autism and providing support and guidance to the education system. 

    “We are proud to make a donation to this very worthy organization. Our organization knows that Special Olympics athletes achieve a better quality of life, increased health, happiness and acceptance. FAAN is a huge advocate for these types of opportunities,” said Fatima Naylor, FAAN President.

    The objective of Humboldt County Special Olympics is to provide athletic opportunities to individuals with intellectual disabilities that instill the confidence needed to succeed in life. Through sports training and competition, Special Olympics is able to empower participants to reach their fullest human potential.

    “I am a parent of two boys that have participated in Special O,” Naylor added. “It provides an acceptance like no other.  You will see true pride in the faces of the athletes and it will make you want to move mountains for them.  Some of our children will never get the opportunity to play on a “regular” soccer team or t-ball team and this opportunity that Special Olympics offers opens up so many possibilities.”  

    For more information or to help the Humboldt County Special Olympics, contact  Executive Director Robert Buckman at (707) 601-5728 or email at Humboldt@sonc.org 

  • Wendy Schulze, teacher with Special Beginnings (PAL) Program with a new iPad Air and accessories.

    Wendy Schulze, teacher with Special Beginnings (PAL) Program with a new iPad Air and accessories

    Fatima Naylor, President of Families Advocating Autism Now (FAAN) presents Wendy Schulze, teacher with Humboldt County Office of Education's Special Beginnings (PAL) Program with a new iPad Air, Life-proof case and iTunes card.

    The PAL classroom was created for preschool-aged students with autism in Humboldt County. Wendy is excited to use the iPad as a resource during circle time for music and singing with her students. Wendy knows the importance of taking time to smile, model, teach and most importantly, listen so she can hear and respond to what each individual child is communicating.

    FAAN is a local non-profit dedicated to providing support to assist the local education system adapt to the growing and changing needs of individuals with autism.

    For more information, please visit our website www.humboldtfaan.org

  • John Bensch, Director with The Studio presented with a new iPad Air and accessories.

    John Bensch, Director with The Studio presented with a new iPad Air and accessories.

    Fatima Naylor, President of Families Advocating Autism Now (FAAN) presents John Bensch, Director with The Studio ( a division of HCAR) with a new iPad Air, Life proof case and an iTunes card.

    The donation will allow the artists more accessibility to make digital art. They will also benefit from the painting and graphic art capabilities that an iPad provides.

    John is passionate about making a safe, and creative space for artists who often have little control over many aspects of their lives. He believes that helping people develop hidden talents is the ultimate reward. The Studio is an open art studio providing materials and work space for adult artists with developmental disabilities. FAAN is a local non-profit dedicated to improve opportunities for growth and development of individuals diagnosed with autism, and provide support and guidance to the education system for special needs of children on the autism spectrum while advocating for individuals with autism in our community.

    For more information, please visit our website www.humboldtfaan.org

  • Robin John with Pacific Union Elementary awarded grant.

    Robin John with Pacific Union Elementary awarded grant.

    Fatima Naylor (right), President of Families Advocating Autism Now (FAAN) awards Robin John (left), special educator teacher with Pacific Union Elementary with a grant to purchase Arcata/Mad River transit tickets for students to explore the community. An additional grant was given to fund various field trips throughout the year.

    Robin believes this will assist her students learn valuable community and social skills. FAAN is a local non-profit dedicated to providing support to assist the local education system adapt to the growing and changing needs of individuals with autism

  • Laurel Stokes receives grant for sensory items.

    Laurel Stokes receives grant for sensory items.

    FAAN Secretary Emily Lewis, right, awards Laurel Stokes the Resource Specialist Teacher at Scotia Elementary with a grant to purchase sensory items for her classroom.

    Laurel plans to set her classroom up with more natural lighting, by placing screens over her fluorescent lights. Laurel has students from grades K-8th who come into her classroom daily. Many come for remedial or academic support, but many just need a calming place to take sensory breaks, which enables them to participate more with their general education peers. By covering each of her fluorescent lights with a screen, her students will benefit from a more soothing, natural environment, and hopefully be able to have an even better location to take a daily sensory break. Congratulations Laurel!

  • Morris & Trinidad Elementaries provided with iPad grant.

    Cotherman accepts FAAN iPad.

    FAAN board member Shannon Maciel, right, presents Angela Cotherman a Speech and Language Pathologist with Morris Elementary and Trinidad Elementary with an iPad. Angela believes the iPad will help her students be more engaged, get repeated practice and feel encouraged with the fun visual and auditory reinforcements of an iPad. Her passion is always helping others feel confident and capable in their ability to communicate.

    FAAN continues to provide opportunities for growth and development of individuals diagnosed with autism, and provide support and guidance to the education system for special needs of children on the autism spectrum while advocating for individuals with autism in Humboldt County.

  • Sarah Cory from Eureka High receives iPad from FAAN.

    Sarah Cory from Eureka High receives iPad from FAAN.

    FAAN board member Shannon Maciel, left, presents Sarah Cory from Eureka High School with an iPad.  As a special educator, Sarah plans to use the iPad as a communication device, a scheduling application, an engaging teaching device, and as an incentive for her students.  Her passion for teaching comes from her belief that every person/student deserves a chance to learn, and that everyone has the same need to be included and valued.

    FAAN continues to provide opportunities for growth and development of individuals diagnosed with autism, and provide support and guidance to the education system for special needs of children on the autism spectrum while advocating for individuals with autism in Humboldt County.

  • Suerie McNeil from Freshwater Elementary provided an iPad.

    Suerie McNeil from Freshwater Elementary provided an iPad.

    FAAN board member Shannon Maciel, right, presents Suerie McNeil from Freshwater Elementary, left, with an iPad.  

    Suerie says as an educator, she embraces every child to provide them with equal opportunity for an education but realize each child has unique and individual needs.  She wants to provide her special need students with the opportunity to access curriculum, movement and music as well as motivation through the use of tactile sensory tactics as well as through technology of an iPad.

  • Shannon Maciel presents Eureka High with an iPad.

    Shannon Maciel presents Eureka High with an iPad.

    FAAN board member Shannon Maciel, right, presents Heather Cooke from Eureka High School with an iPad.  

    Heather plans to use this technology to provide visual instructions, enhanced communication opportunities and to access to American Sign Language resources for her students.  Her passion for teaching comes from her ability to make a positive impact on her students by helping them achieve success, independence, self-worth and self-determination.  
     
    FAAN continues to provide opportunities for growth and development of individuals diagnosed with autism, and provide support and guidance to the education system for special needs of children on the autism spectrum while advocating for individuals with autism in Humboldt County.

  • Local Educators Honored.

    Local Educators Honored.

    *From left to right: Jennifer Fowler (Eureka High School); Angela Scheutzle (Fortuna Elementary); Tina Kastler (Lafayette Elementary); Marie Carrick (Washington Elementary); Jennifer Meyer (Redwood Coast Montessori); Balenda Thrash (Washington Elementary); Carissa Armstrong (HCAR) and Rachel Kieselhorst (Toddy Thomas). Not pictured: Kala Minkley (Grant Elementary) and Robin John (Pacific Union Elementary)*

    Local educators were honored at the 7th annual FAAN (Families Advocating Autism Now) Wine Event on August 23rd at Rosina Vineyards in Redcrest.

    These teachers all have found their true calling in life. They believe there is no greater satisfaction than witnessing the success of a student. Some of the honored educators received an iPad to reinforce academic concepts and to reward students with education programs. Others received funds to purchase Arcata Mad River Transit tickets for students to use to explore the community and sensory items for their classroom.

  • Congratulations Lacey and Kimberly!

    Congratulations Lacey and Kimberly!

    *Top, left to right:  Becky Hooven, Felicia Costa, Kimberly Lillard (Washington Elem), Lacey Johnson (Washington Elem), Emily Lewis and Shannon Maciel.
    Bottom, left to right:  Courtney Burman and Fatima Naylor*

    FAAN board members present iPads and $100 iTunes cards to Washington Elementary teachers, Lacey Johnson and Kimberly Lillard.  Lacey plans to use the iPad in her class to help with social skills development.  She believes this technology is an amazing tool and her students will benefit so much from it.  Kimberly will use this technology as a learning tool and also as a desired item that students can work for and/or earn time on.  She hopes it will be a great motivator for her students and will allow for social interactions to take place and put all students on a common ground.  Congratulations Lacey and Kimberly!

    FAAN is a local non-profit dedicated to providing support to assist the local education system adapt to the growing and changing needs of individuals with autism.

  • Congratulations Melanie Lowry!

    Congratulations Melanie Lowry!

    *Left to Right:  Becky Hooven, Fatima Naylor, Melanie Lowry(Ridgewood Elementary), Emily Lewis, Shayla Verbich, Shannon Maciel and Courtney Burman*

    Families Advocating Autism Now board members present Melanie Lowry, Ridgewood Elementary School with an iPad Air and $100 iTunes card. Melanie says the iPad will allow her to help her students with autism to build individualized visual schedules and help students have more success in their classrooms.  She hopes the iPad will give students the most independence while also allowing the support staff to effectively support routines for them.

    FAAN is a local non-profit dedicated to providing support to assist the local education system adapt to the growing and changing needs of individuals with autism.

  • Congratulations Tammi Wagner!

    Congratulations Tammi Wagner!

    Families Advocating Autism Now board member Felicia Costa(right) presents Tammi Wagner, Teacher at Washington Elementary with an iPad Air and $100 iTunes card.

    Tammi feels that the use of technology is instrumental in many aspects of instruction and curriculum. She will use this technology to access curriculum or activities that support learning in the classroom in order to accommodate and individualize the instruction of her students with autism. Congratulations Tammi!

  • Congratulations Angela Vogt!

    Congratulations Angela Vogt!

    Families Advocating Autism Now board member Becky Hooven(right) presents Angela Vogt, Teacher at Pacific Union School with an iPad Air and $100 iTunes card.  

    Angela believes this technology will be beneficial for her autistic students so they would have a kinesthetic activity to work on while she reads to the class.  She will also use the iPad as a reward system for her students.  Congratulations Angela!

  • Deborah Carpenter, Washington School getting her iPad and laminator.

    Deborah Carpenter, Washington School getting her iPad and laminator.

    Families Advocating Autism Now board member Felicia Costa(right) presents Deborah Carpenter, Resource Teacher at Washington Elementary with an iPad Air, $100 iTunes card and a laminator.  Deborah plans to use the laminator to make her own icons and activities for her students with autism who need alternative ways of communicating what they want and what they know. 

    She will use the iPad in her resource room for her students as well as have it travel from general education classrooms with her students for extra support.  Congratulations Deborah!