The Herald Dispatch – Johnson Visits Early Childhood Center

The Herald Dispatch – Johnson Visits Early Childhood Center

Sheridan, OH 3/10/15 –  It isn’t every day that U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, is asked where he goes to school.

But Monday was different for Johnson, who was asked that question as he toured the Lawrence County Early Childhood Center in Sheridan during Developmental Disabilities Month activities.

“Children are our future,” Johnson said Monday. “We have to make sure to give them the opportunity to reach their dreams.”

Children with developmental disabilities need to be given every opportunity to succeed, he said. “This was all very special.”

The Early Childhood Center on County Road 1 serves about 85 children with developmental disabilities from birth to age 6 and 65 to 70 Head Start students, said Paul Mollett, superintendent of the county’s developmental disabilities board.

Johnson got a first-hand look at the activities at the Early Childhood Center and read a book to students in one of the classes.

“I love the fact he was aware it is Developmental Disabilities month in Ohio,” Mollett said. “His presence highlights the work being done for inclusion.”

A number of activities are planned in the county this month as part of Developmental Disabilities month, Mollett said.

“Our budget is in good shape, but agency mandates are changing about adult education,” Mollett said. “We’re looking at how we can transition to having smaller, community-integrated programs. Service workshops aren’t seen as the best service delivery work models for adults” with developmental disabilities.

Currently, the county board provides services for adults in Coal Grove, Mollett said.

The board serves about 500 county residents with developmental disabilities, including about 200 adults. It also serves students at the Open Door School in Ironton.