Every dime raised for 4th NJ Walks For TS at Mendham will help educate teachers and students about Tourette

MENDHAM – When hundreds of children and families affected by Tourette Syndrome (TS) and associated neurological disorders such as OCD and ADHD converge upon Borough Park on November 23 for the 4th annual NJ Walks For TS at Mendham, they’ll be walking and running with a purpose.

They’ll know that each dollar raised by themselves, family members, friends, coworkers and even people they’ve never met will be earmarked for the education of New Jersey students and teachers through the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders’ (NJCTS) School In-Service Program.

There are multiple components of NJCTS’ School In-Service Program, which advocates for the 1 in 100 children with a TS diagnosis. Tourette Syndrome affects every aspect of a child’s life, especially in the classroom and socially with peers.

Faculty and peer in-services are presented to educators, guidance counselors, child study teams, administrators, school nurses and support staff by trained TS professionals. Peer Advocate and Youth Ambassador in-services are presented to students by NJCTS-trained teenagers and young adults. And workshops are available year-round at more than 20 colleges and universities around the Garden State.

“Our School In-Service Program has presented a clear, relevant message about Tourette Syndrome and how it should be properly addressed in the classroom to thousands of New Jersey students, teachers and other educators over the past several years,” NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Melissa Fowler says. “And we present strategies, techniques and possible accommodations not just for kids with TS, but for all children dealing with neurological disorders.”

It costs more than $300 – including the speaker, training and appropriate materials – to produce a single school in-service. NJCTS is hoping donations associated with NJ Walks For TS at Mendham will continue coming in so that it can maintain its ongoing standard of excellence in delivering in-service presentations.

According to Fowler, a $100 donation will put a significant dent in the cost of obtaining a trained professional speaker. A $50 gift can train a peer advocate. A $25 donation represents the cost of producing the materials and literature needed for a faculty or peer in-service. And a $10 gift would supply a Peer Advocate with training materials. Every little bit helps, Fowler adds.

“To keep the In-Service program alive and well, we need your assistance,” says Fowler, who will be available at NJ Walks For TS at Mendham to further discuss NJCTS’ In-Service Program. “If your child, or one that you know, has been positively affected as a result of an in-service presentation, what better way to give back than to support similar presentations for other students in need?”

More information about the School In-Service program – including testimonials from many prior presentations – please visit www.njcts.org, the TSParentsOnline and Teens4TS blogs, or email NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Melissa Fowler. You can also register for or donate to NJ Walks For TS at Mendham.