Empowerment Program At Work


May 10, 2012
Students of the Kennedy Krieger Institute had their art work proudly displayed and sold at the Living Classrooms in Baltimore, MD as part of the EmpowerArt program.


October 2011 - Empowerment Program Initiatives
Plush teddy bears were distributed by students in Kennedy Krieger's Lower and MiddJe School and its High School Career and Technology Center to children seen in the Institute's Specialized Transition Program, its Center for Autism and Related Disorders, and--in two of its community initiatives--PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs and the Southeast Early Heard Start. Each of the events was a huge success, brightening both the day and the spirits of children with a variety of physical and developmental disabilities.

At each of the Institute's several Empowerment Program initiatives, the children were engaged and their instructors noted that both giver and recipient were able to truly benefit from the experience. Children were elated with joy from receiving a plush bear to call their own and to help them through the challenges they face, and students distributing the bears experienced the joy of giving and helping someone in need.


<-- GO BACK to List of Schools in the Empowerment Program.

“This is a unique opportunity, where the clients who are often the recipients of goodwill, are now empowered to enhance the lives of others.” -Derek Saker, Director of Communications, OHEL
“Children can also be ‘benefactors.’ The program teaches children that when they do an act of kindness, they receive something in return. When children give away a teddy bear, they receive a teddy bear to take home. The principle seems quite simple, but the result is truly amazing. Children at SLCD identified charitable organizations in other states and countries. They wrote letters to the children in these other programs and sent teddy bears to ‘make other children feel better.’ Despite severe developmental disabilities, each child had something to say about giving a gift. ‘I sent my teddy bear to a little boy in Mexico. He doesn’t have parents. I have a mommy and a daddy. He must be very sad.’ Children’s insights are precious. Letters were then received from the children who received the teddy bears.”
-Long Island Press
“Children from the school who give one of these bears away also get to keep one for themselves. It is a great way for students to feel good about making a difference in someone’s life.”
“The feeling the children get when they take that physical bear and that card they created to someone else is very empowering.” -Joseph Sprung, Founder and CEO, Bear Givers
“I was proud to make someone happy. It made me feel good inside to help someone else.” -Taylor, Student, South Florida Jewish Academy