Office of University Communications & Marketing

Grant to Provide Programming for Special Needs Children

Feb. 5, 2020



Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256-606-2033 or 256-765-4392 

FLORENCE, AL – 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 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at the Baptist Campus Ministries on the UNA campus. Pickup will be at 9 p.m. 

“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, in order to identify families that might benefit from the program. UNA’s College of Education and Human Sciences worked with the ACON-HP to develop a framework for “Learning through Play” and to provide additional student volunteers. 

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

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

About The University of North Alabama 

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA 

Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/