Important Dates

  • University of Iowa Spring Break – March 13-17
  • UI REACH 2nd Annual Golf Outing and Fashion Show Fundraiser – May 5
  • UI REACH Convocation – May 6
  • Des Moines ReConnect – June 3-4
  • Chicago ReConnect – July 29-30

UI REACH ReConnect Fund

We are excited to announce the UI REACH ReConnect Fund! The idea for this fund developed thanks to ideas from several of you that have attended ReConnect events in the past. You indicated you would be interested in providing an extra hotel room or ticket for those that don’t necessarily have the means to attend the events. To get this fund started, we are extremely thankful to Mike and Kate Williams (daughter, Fran, Class of 2015). They have generously offered to match donations up to $5000.

Please support the UI REACH ReConnect Fund, and we hope to see you at one of our events this summer in either Des Moines, IA or Chicago!

Shout Out Corner!

Big thank you to our Winter ReConnect hosts!!

  • Susan Sheinkop – Northbrook, IL
  • Nancy Hayes – Roselle, IL
  • Julie Tindell – Des Moines, IA
  • Pam Straka – Dubuque, IA

Independent vs. Interdependent

Wow! Students leaving UI REACH are excited (and perhaps a bit anxious) about the upcoming graduation and what happens next. We recognize that this is a stressful time. UI REACH staff are working closely with students to alleviate some of their fears and help them through this transition process.

In Life Skills IV, REACH staff are discussing with students the concepts of independent vs. interdependent living. Staff are stressing to 2nd Year students that while they are continuing to build life skills to help make healthy adult decisions and live safely on their own, they will likely always have support and services from others in the community.

Instructors discuss that all successful adults have many interdependent supports, including people we may not know well. For instance, movers and repairmen are people we rely on for things we can’t do on our own. These are helpful and important supports, in addition to your friends and family.

To help students feel supported and confident in asking for the assistance they need, please use the term INTERDEPENDENT frequently!

Kim Wolf
Alumni Update

Name: Kim Wolf

Year Graduated: 2012

Current Town: Eldridge, IA

What are you doing now? I Graduated from Palmer Chiropractic College with a degree in Applied Sciences of Chiropractic Technology. Now I am looking for a job!

What do you do for fun? I like hanging out with my friends and also attend a yoga class where I practice strength poses with a small eclectic group of women.

Advice for current students and families: Students, enjoy your time at a Big 10 university and take all the opportunities you can while at school! Families, relax and understand your child is safe and is having a fantastic experience. Your child is learning how to become more independent and is developing great friendships!

Friendly Reminder Regarding Internships

Internships are a great way for students to try out positions to determine if they enjoy them, or if the tasks in a specific career are realistic for them. Each internship position lasts only for one semester. We are grateful for the availability and opportunities that our internship employers have provided for our students. One important fact to keep in mind is that our internship sites are not intended to turn into paid jobs or volunteer opportunities for UI REACH students post-graduation. They have purposely been developed for educational internship experiences, and we hope to be able to use them for next year’s students who will begin their internships in the fall. Internship supervisors at the job locations have requested that parents not contact them directly. We respectfully ask that students and parents please do not ask internship employers about turning the internships into positions post-graduation.

Great Gains Made in Expressive Writing!

UI REACH students in expressive writing class
UI REACH students are working hard to become better writers! For the 2016-2017 school year, all UI REACH students are taking part in an Expressive Writing course. Expressive Writing is an intensive direct instruction program designed to build and enhance foundational writing skills. The course meets twice a week for a 45-minute lesson.

In their first week at UI REACH, students took a placement test to determine their course section for the Expressive Writing course as well as to establish a baseline for research purposes. Before students left for winter break, they took the same placement test to determine if any growth had been made by the mid-year mark, and the data really revved up enthusiasm for the second semester! Overall, UI REACH students demonstrated a greater understanding of and consistency in using proper writing conventions and grammar. Dr. Erica met with students for one-on-one conferences to share the exciting results as well as to discuss individual writing strengths and areas for improvement. Second semester Expressive Writing courses are well underway, and we can’t wait to see what the data show at the end the school year!

Internship Experiences

UI REACH internships
  1. Nathan’s love of golf made a great fit for a new internship site this semester at Golf USA.
  2. Nick enjoys cataloging various books at the University of Iowa Special Collections Library.
  3. Tom prepares for his interview with the University of Iowa Maintenance Store.
  4. Tyson utilizes his passion for human services at Access To Independence.

Student Perspectives

What class have you enjoyed the most so far this semester?

Brian R.

"Creative Arts class is my favorite. I like being creative!" -Brian R.

Tayler K.

"My favorite class so far is Expressive Writing, because I like to write in the workbook!" -Tayler K.

Zach W.

"So far I have enjoyed my theater community learning group and my transitions class!" -Zach W.

Tom S.

"I have enjoyed my Spanish community learning group. I'm glad I took it. Me gusta español!" -Tom S.