The team of Heartland AEA staff who serve children receiving Early ACCESS services in Ankeny recently received more than a thank you note from a family whose son has received services.

Julie Kohles (School Social Worker), Ronell Carr (Speech-Language Pathologist), Kristin Jones Shelton (Early Childhood Special Education Consultant), Kristin Hansen (Occupational Therapist) and Faye Allen (Physical Therapist) received a donation of over $1,000 in toys and materials from the Russelburg family and friends in honor of their son Drake’s third birthday. The toys and materials will be used by the team to further serve kids like Drake who need developmental assistance. This generous donation was a way for the family to say thank you for the support they’ve received over the years and to help support current and future families whose children will receive AEA services.

“Drake has an undiagnosed neuromuscular disorder and has received multiple services from multiple amazing team members at Heartland Area Education Agency,” said his mom, Alissa Russelburg. “These ladies are impressively dedicated to helping the children they serve and oftentimes supply toys, tools and materials on their own to ensure that each child has the resources they need to be successful. They have loved and supported Drake beyond all of our expectations, and we are so grateful to them. Thank you all so much!”


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