Celebrating PWS Awareness Month at Latham: Creating a Virtual Community

June 9, 2020

 

Every year throughout the month of May, Latham’s campus and group homes light up with residents and staff celebrating National PWS Awareness Month. Latham Centers is proud to enhance awareness and education about Prader-Willi syndrome, and although celebrations looked a little different this year, our staff, residents, and professionals came together to shine attention to PWS like never before.

Our staff created a virtual initiative to continue the PWS Awareness tradition. We connected Latham students on campus with those learning from home, as well as children with PWS from across the country ages eight to 22. In Virtual Storytime we celebrated PWS by inviting leaders from across the country to read to our students — you may have read about some of these already in the Virtual Storytime Spotlight Series.

The success of Storytime inspired us to hold a Virtual Social Hour, and the students loved it! Creating a virtual wheel with 60 questions like, “Would you rather be covered in fur or covered in scales?” and “What is your favorite place to go on vacation?” and “What is your best talent that you could teach someone?” gave every student the opportunity to talk and laugh with one another. Parents wrote about how incredible it was to see this level of engagement—with kids coming together from all around the country.

Latham Centers will host its second Virtual Social Hour on Wednesday, June 17th at 5 pm EST for kids with PWS under the age of 22. If you’d like to learn more, please email AshleyPouliot@LathamCenters.org.

Katrina Fryklund, who coordinates Virtual Storytime, noted, “We are so delighted with the positive outcomes of our virtual connection initiative in celebration of PWS Awareness Month. We can’t thank our guest readers enough for making this experience so exciting for our virtual participants. We thank the participants for their open hearts, and for their willingness to meet people from across the country. Now more than ever, we feel the incredible connection within the PWS community.”

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