The Wiley Center for Speech and Language Development is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing intense speech and language stimulation to children with communication delays. Our programs and services are developmentally appropriate and utilize an evidence based practice approach in the provision of services. We respect the significance of cultural diversity among our families and value the uniqueness of each child.
The Wiley Center’s educational environment facilitates each child’s development toward their full potential. We are committed to delivering superior services in a nurturing and loving environment. Participation by parents and other caregivers is considered a valuable and necessary component of our programs and services.
16th Annual “Making a Difference in the Lives of Children” Celebration
On December 1, 2012, we hosted our 16th annual “Making A Difference in the Lives of Children” Gala at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. We had in excess of 300 well-wishers and supporters. The room was beautiful and the energy was electric.
For the first time ever, our guests were introduced to our children, students with autism spectrum disorders, who opened the program and introduced our board President, Ruthanne Bright. The students, staff and families prepared a special tribute to Dr. Wiley which chronicled her 33 year in business and her selfless dedication to countless families in Los Angeles and literally around the world. Families come from Dubai, Japan, China, Indonesia and England to participate in her stellar programs. The children concluded with a special song dedicated to Dr. Wiley “Wind beneath my Wings.”
This year we acknowledged and celebrated 4 of the thousands of grandparent caregivers who are selflessly raising their grandchildren in the absence of their parents. Our honorees, ranging in age from 62 to 81 years of age, allowed us to take a glimpse into their lives by sharing their stories. We surprised them all by giving them early Christmas and which included bundles of toys for the children, gift cards for the teenagers, trips, hotel stays, chauffeur driven limousine service donated by EJ Jackson of Jackson Limousine and cash totaling $10,000.00.
The 2012 “Making A Difference” were given to actress and activist Tisha Campbell Martin for her efforts in autism awareness and advocacy as well as the Achievable Foundation, a nonprofit, which provides a safety net to children and their families with developmental disabilities. New this year was the Joyce Livingston Humanitarian award which was given to educational advocate, Brenda Parks, M.A. who for years has provided free educational services to children in the foster care system.
The evening was brought to a close by guest auctioneer and comedian Michael Colyar who successfully raised money to provide scholarships to our children in need. We ended the program with legendary R&B singer Johnny Gill who got the crowd on their feet as he sang some of his greatest hits.
Also in attendance and on his feet as well was American Major League Baseball outfielder Barry Bonds. Our 2012 co-emcees were actor William Allen Young and KABC 7 Eyewitness New anchor, Ms. Leslie Sykes. Come January 2013, we will begin to plan once again for our 17th annual “Making A Difference in the Lives of Children Gala.”