Teach Me Too launch: A Christmas present to our community

On Christmas Eve, Teach Me Too will launch a new online library of educational videos  specifically designed to help children with Down syndrome develop skills in speech, language and cognition, free to access for all.  A Christmas present to our community and a silver lining of 2020.

The library comprises of 20 short videos made by specialist teachers and a speech and language therapist. Each video is 10-15 minutes long and can be watched independently, or supported by an adult. 

The programme is aimed at the stage of learning rather than the child’s age, engaging children from as young as 2 years old through to others in their early teens. Each video focuses on a key concept and is supported with additional resources to allow parents, teachers, and therapists to understand the techniques used, and use them outside of the session if they wish to.

Thanks to the incredible fundraising efforts of our community over the past 6 weeks and the generous backing and support of company Quality Compliance Systems, it has been possible to launch Stage 1 of the library on Christmas eve, with Stage 2 following in early 2021.

Jo Aiyathurai – Charity manager at 21 Together, who run the Teach Me Too project and parent to Bethan who happens to have Down syndrome says:

‘For too long now, children with Down syndrome have been lost in a system that doesn’t fully understand their needs or value the huge potential for learning that exists within our community. Research has shown us that certain approaches to teaching and learning can be very effective with our children.

No matter what your background, income or education, every child deserves the chance to benefit from these resources. Anyone can introduce the child to these videos. They are accessible anytime, anywhere. 

Our overwhelming aim is to stop seeing these skills as ‘Early Years’ and start seeing them as ‘Early Skills’. Skills we need to develop to move onto the next stage, not tied down to an age group or even a type of provision. As a community we have such a wide variation of needs. This resource makes learning accessible to those younger children taking their first steps into education without shutting out those older children who also deserve the chance to keep on learning.’

Becky, mum to 3 year old Esther, says:

‘I was sceptical at first about how much she would engage with the videos, but she sat there, transfixed and engaging; answering the questions, copying along.  I drank my cup of tea warm (a rarity) and when the video finished she turned to me and asked for more.  Her younger sister enjoys joining in too.  

The videos have given us our first introduction to things like Numicon and solidified her knowledge in other areas. It has given me confidence to try new activities at home.  More importantly it has shown me how attentive she can be if she is engaged, something that we have struggled with in appointments.’

So how can you access the video library?

Everyone who has registered their interest in the project will receive a video daily from today until Christmas Eve, when the whole of stage 1 will be launched, free to access to all, forever. Register your interest at www.21together.org.uk/teach-me-too.

For more information about the project, check out our previous interview with Jo, manager of 21 Together here.