FLORENCE – The Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of North Alabama received a $3,000 grant from the Alabama Lifespan Respite Network for the development and maintenance of the Children’s Respite Program. The ALRN is a program of the United Cerebral Palsy Centers of Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley.

The Respite program is open to local parents of special needs children and their siblings, to a monthly event during the fall and spring. The first event is set for 6pm on Friday, February 14 at the Baptist Campus Ministries on the UNA campus. Pickup will be at 9pm.

“The ACON-HP Children’s Respite Program provides a valuable service to families in our local community and to our UNA students,” said Dr. Rachel Winston, Associate Professor of Nursing and Nursing Project OPEN Director. “Families of children with special needs gain a service that addresses their specific needs, and UNA students are afforded valuable medical, educational exposure, and interactive activity planning experience.”

The ACON-HP collaborated with Breaktime, a volunteer organization that serves special needs families in the Shoals to identify families that might benefit from the program.

The Respite events will include food, crafts, activities, entertainment, sensory friendly games, and prizes for the children who attend. The time will also allow parents to have a break from the stress often associated with caring for a child with special needs.

For details on the event or to reserve a spot in the program, please email respite@una.edu.