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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2004 News Archive > ACU class teaches VBS for developmentally disabled children
ACU class teaches VBS for developmentally disabled children

ACU class teaches VBS for developmentally disabled children

For immediate release
June 4, 2004

Undergraduate and graduate students in the Communication Disorders Division at Abilene Christian University are teaching a vacation Bible school for developmentally challenged children as a part of their class project. The students are working with King David's Kids, a non-denominational ministry for developmentally disabled children.

"King David's Kids is a support ministry for families with children that have developmental disabilities such as autism, Down's syndrome, cerebral palsy, Pierre-robin and other physical and mental disabilities," said Dr. Malesa Breeding, associate professor of communication disorders.  "Students learn best through experience, especially with autism, which is a scary topic.  The more students are lectured to about autism, the more they feel like they don’t know.  Each child is different, and this ministry is an opportunity for students to think critically outside of a classroom."

The vacation Bible school takes place at Broadview Baptist Church June 3 – 4 and June 8 – 10 from 1 p.m.– 4 p.m. with a parents' night that is open to the public on June 11 at 6 p.m.  Students staffing the VBS are enrolled in Breeding's summer class Special Topics in Autism.

The two main goals of the class are the complete integration of theory and practice and the integration of work and ministry, Breeding said. 

"We want our students to leave with their ministry right in front of them," Breeding said.  "Their work is their ministry and the King David's Kids program allows them to experience this." 

Twenty-six children are enrolled in the VBS, which is twice the number in attendance during the summer of 2003.  The theme of the program is taken from the Bible verse 2 Timothy 2:22 that says:  "Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts."

"It is enthralling to watch the progress of the kids over the whole week of VBS," said Kimberly Zamarripa, senior speech-pathology major from Harlingen.  "I love working with these kids because it's so intriguing.  Not much is known about autism, but when you are finally able to get inside of their world, and you see their happiness it makes all of the hard work worth it."

Breeding, along with ACU education professors Dana Hood and Jerry Whitworth, will teach a class during ACU's Summer Workshops on the topic of teaching children with disabilities.

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