How CoPEC came about
"When I began working with children over a decade ago, I realized quickly that many parents struggle to pay for regular NeuroMovement lessons for their children.
I felt that my work failed its purpose if it was only accessible to well-off families or parents with a sponsor or money from a lawsuit. I knew of mothers, who were confident and creative with fundraising for their child’s lessons, nevertheless more often parents were unable to raise funds.
Over the years I heard from many parents how stressful the financial aspect of getting lessons for their child was. I thought there must be a better way. One day, during a Children Mastery Training with Anat Baniel, which I attended as a support staff volunteer after completing my training, the concept of Community Program for Exceptional Children and its different program parts suddenly emerged as a clear idea in my head.
I was excited and, within a couple of months, I solicited the participation of two other practitioners. Chris and Celana Pearson, the parents of a child I worked with offered us their office space for the community lesson intensive weekends. I contacted Oakland USD and received permission to distribute program flyers. August 2016, we began to host a community lesson intensive weekend once per month, where children received lessons for a very low fee and CoPEC affiliated practitioners maintained a sliding scale in their private practices.
Parents over again expressed immense gratitude for this somatic learning opportunity for their exceptional children. We often see children, who no longer receive services from state - and federally funded agencies because they do not show sufficient progress.
Nevertheless, with NeuroMovement lessons and parent coaching the kids make progress. In 2018 just before New Year, the Community Program for Exceptional Children was registered as a public charity, and 6 months later received tax-exempt status. During those years CoPEC grew steadily, more practitioners joined, largely donating their time, and more families received services.
During the pandemic the program came to a halt, although we started up with parent coaching via Zoom which became an invaluable part of our services. I also continued to participate in the children’s IEP meetings. From August 2021 CoPEC practitioners returned to rendered in-person lessons, and our community weekend lesson intensives started back up in February 2022."
Gabrielle Allen, Director of CoPEC