Happy Holidays!

20. December 2010 14:54

Many warm wishes from the Next Steps at Vanderbilt staff to all.

Here's a great elf video to cheer up your day: http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/view/TTPSBiIw3oRqQF6VMhr9

A BIG thank you goes out to my husband, Matthew Byrne, for getting the "elf yourself" video together so we were able to show it during our final presentations on Friday, December 17.

Another very successful semester has come to an end.


December update!

17. December 2010 13:32

Group photo taken at Montgomery Bell State Park

Rachel, Sean and Liz presenting at the TN Council on Developmental Disabilities staff retreat that took place at Montgomery State Park

Hello, readers! A lot has been going on and we've accomplished quite a lot in the past few weeks. The Ambassadores (peer mentors) commitment for the fall semseter came to an end on the 3rd of December so that they could focus their energies on finishing off the semester strong. The Next Steps students also finished their fall semester internships that same Friday. So, from December 6th through December 17th the Next Steps staff have been keeping the students busy through community outings and events.

Happy holidays to all and cheers to another successful completition of a school semester. Laughing

 Enjoying lunch at the Farmer's Market

L-to-R: Jeanne, Rachel, Andrew, Edward

L-to-R: Andrew, Rachel, Michael (AKA the 3 Amigos)

L-to-R: Chrissy, Steven, Hallie

 This is what our schedule looked like:

Monday, December 6

9AM: Start the day in Hank-Ingram Classroom

Review schedules

10AM: Go to the MTA Hub to get everyone an ID ($5 needed!)

12PM: Lunch at the Farmer’s Market

1:30PM: Visit/tour the Frist Center to see the Impressionism Exhibit

3PM: End of Day

Note: Students prepare and bring your own sack lunch


Tuesday, December 7

9AM: Enjoy breakfast at the Commons

10:30AM: Catch the metro bus to 100 Oaks and go to Michael’s

Purchase poster frames, Christmas crafts, photojournal materials

12PM: Go back to the Apartment

Enjoy sack lunches

1PM: Frame posters and work on Christmas crafts

3PM: End of Day

Note: Students bring Commodore Card for breakfast or cash, prepare and bring your own sack lunch


Wednesday, December 8

9AM: Meet at the Commons

9:15AM: Walk to the Rec Center

Enjoy the pool, basketball courts, racquetball courts, weights and indoor track

11AM: Get changed and dressed

Walk to Sarratt/Rand

12PM: Lunch at Rand

1PM: Enjoy the Sarratt Holiday Art Festival

3PM: End of Day

Note: Students bring sack lunch from home that you prepare, Commodore Card or Cash


Thursday, December 9

9AM: Meet at the Commons

9:15AM: Take the bus downtown

Visit the downtown library

Get library cards made (Davidson County Residents only)

11AM: Take the bus down Charlotte

Eat lunch at Costco

12 PM: Trip to Strike & Spare (bowling!)

Play arcades

Take the bus back to campus

3PM: End of Day

Note: Students bring cash for lunch or prepare and bring your own sack lunch


Friday, December 10

9AM: Meet at the Commons

9:15AM: Stop by Cohen to check out the faculty art exhibit

9:45AM: Grocery Shopping – kitchens: Village at Vanderbilt and Hank-Ingram

(Menu: Chicken salad, wheat bread, grapes, crackers, celery, onions, mayo, banana pudding, lettuce, vanilla wafers, bananas, whipped cream)

12:30-1:00 Andrew, Chrissy, Michael and David present to Williamson Co. Venture Group –MRL 241

1:00 - 2:40 Enjoy the rec center

3:00 - 4:00 Final physics lab


Monday, December 13 (Snow storm!!!)


Tuesday, December 14 (Hallie and Edward at TTC)

Meet at 9:00

Grocery/holiday shopping at Walmart on Charlotte Ave by 9:30

(Menu: Sweet potato casserole, Stuffing, Rotisserie Chicken, Green Beans, Rolls, Angel food cake with light icing, hot apple cider)

11:00 begin cooking lunch at the apartment

1:00-5:00 Sarratt Art Studios to work on the semester photojournal

                Work on holiday cards for seniors

                Play games to mix things up

5:30 Dinner at Logan’s

7:00 Movie night/games at the Kennedy Center (MRL 241)

                Popcorn, hot chocolate, apple cider

9:00 End of evening

Students bring $$ for holiday shopping if you still have some gift buying to do. Also, bring money for dinner at Logan’s.


Wednesday, December 15

9:00AM: Meet at the Commons

Take the bus to Green Hills

9:30AM: Be at the Green Hills YMCA for the tour

Set up for the event

11AM: Start of the Senior Christmas Party

Help serve and then enjoy the food

Event ends at 2 PM

Head back to the Commons

3PM: End of Day

Contact person: Anita Rich (256-9622 x70520)

YMCA 297-6529 (Harriet)

Students bring money for the bus to and from Green Hills area.


Thursday, December 16  (Hallie and Edward at TTC in a.m.)

9AM: Meet at the Commons

9:30AM: Explore the Hill Center

10 AM: Meet Linda (Whole Foods Marketing Team Leader) and take a tour of the Whole Foods and get educated on organic foods

11AM: Lunch at Zoie’s Kitchen

12:15PM: Head out to Ft. Negley

1 – 2 PM: Tour with Bob Henderson

Note: Students bring lunch $$


Friday, December 17

9AM: Meet at the Commons

9:15AM: Head out for Grocery Shopping

10:15AM: Bake day at the Apartment and gift wrapping lesson with Mary Beth

Enjoy the last Friday Food Foray

1:30 – 3 PM: Share presentations (from Alice’s technology class) to parents and Ambassadores at the Kennedy Center in room 241 (Baked goods will be available!)

3PM: End of FALL 2010 Semester!

Best Buddies TN Champion of the Year Event:

L-to-R: Emily M.(Next Steps Ambassadore), Edward, Rosie L. (Next Steps Ambassadore), Jeanne


Email to Ambassadores

14. December 2010 14:50

Dear Ambassadores,


I hope you’re staying warm and cruising through finals and final papers!! We’re thinking of you and sending many warm wishes your way.

There are a few things in this email that I promised to send to those who were unable to make the final Circle Meeting. So, here goes my final email for the fall 2010 semester.


Things I reviewed during the final circle meeting:


1)      How did the semester go? What can we do better?

Here are some of the comments I heard back:

a.       Each circle needs an “email communicator” who would be responsible for sending reminders for evaluations, monthly circle meetings, minutes from meetings and occasionally how are things going and helpful tips emails to the circle

b.      More social events where:

                                                               i.      Each circle gets together with their Next Step student

                                                             ii.      ALL circles get together with ALL the Next Step students (pot luck socials, pizza party socials…etc.)

c.       At the beginning of each semester Tammy will sit down with each academic tutor, Next Step student and the parent that helps their child with their school work to review the independent learning contract and the students expectations for the VU class

d.      Recruit more male Ambassadores by sending out blast emails through IFC


2)      If you are still on campus on Friday, please be sure to note that the Next Steps students will present their final power point presentations on December 17th in the Kennedy Center room 241 from 1:30 – 3 PM.  All are invited to join!!


3)      Final evaluations: If you have not returned these to me, please email them back!


4)      Lastly, I definitely wanted to let everyone know personally, but I have decided to go back to school starting from this January. My last day with Next Step is January 5. Working and getting to know each of you and the Next Step students has been an incredible experience for me. I have loved every moment of getting to work with you!! I will be staying in the Nashville area, so please feel free to stay in touch. My email will remain the same. I will continue to write recommendation letters/reference letters through winter break, so let me know how I can help.


Cheers and Happy Holidays!



What we did on Thanksgiving Break

3. December 2010 17:58

Andrew: I went to my uncle's house in Shelbyville, TN with my family and watched the Pariots game and the Pariots WON!!!! I slept a lot. I played video games, went to a lot of Vandy games. I went to the football field with my internship supervisor at the Police Department. I also got to see the football players walk on the field. I had dinner with my parents at a resturant. I played my playstation 3. I played Madden football game on it. It was fun!!!! On Wednesday I cooked sweet potatoes with my sister for Thanksgiving and it was awesome!!!!!!

Rachel: I went running at the Hendersonville Streets Mall and I ran 5 miles with my family. I also beat my family in the race. I also went to St. Anne's gym at the school and spent time with  my mother's side of the family. Michael came and spent time with me and my family. I also went to see the seventh and last installment to the Harry Potter movies. The next day I went to go to another movie called Morning Glory with my family and it was fun! On Saturday night we went to go eat after church. On Sunday I watched Christmas movies.

Elizabeth: I spent Thanksgiving with my parents, my brother, and my sister-in-law. We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and then we watched a lot of football games. We also ate a lot. That night we all watched Iron Man 2 and it was a lot of fun! I went to Thanksgiving dinner  at my house and had great food. I went to eat lunch with my brother, and my sister-in-law. Also, David  came to have lunch with us.I slept in on  Saturday.



About Next Steps

Next Steps at Vanderbilt is a 2-year certification program for students with intellectual disabilities, providing individualized Programs of Study in the areas of education, social skills, and vocational training.

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Blog is updated and maintained by Kelly Wendel, Program Coordinator.

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