Save the Date!
SFCD's Annual Gala and Auction
Friday, October 4, 2013 6:00pm - 10:00pm
The Galleria at San Francisco Design Center
Wine, Cocktails, Hors d'Oeuvres, Dinner
Awards Ceremony, Auction, Entertainment
SUMMER 2013 SPECIAL EVENTS
For all Support for Families special events, call us to register: 415-920-5040
Next Friday Night Movie Night:
"The Adventures of TinTin"
June 14, 2013
5:30pm - 7:30pm
1663 Mission St, 7th Flr, SF, CA 94103
Join us for a free family-friendly movie while munching on fresh-popped popcorn, pizza, and healthy snacks in our offices. Refreshments for kids and adults will be provided. Our playroom will open too! Doors open at 5:30pm, movie starts promptly at 6pm. To register, call 415-920-5040.
Family Access Art Workshop & Impressionists on the Water Tour
Saturday, July 20th, 11:00am-1:00pm
Legion of Honor, 100 34th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94121
Please call us at 415-920-5040 to register. For questions about Access Programs at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which includes the de Young and Legion of Honor, please contact Rebecca Bradley, firstname.lastname@example.org | 415. 750-7645
Family Access Art Workshop and Gallery Adventure
Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St, SF, CA 94103
Sunday, August 11th, 2013 2:00-4:00PM
Families with children of all ages and abilities are invited to join a hands-on art workshop and an interactive multi-sensory tour of the Beyond Belief: 100 Years of the Spiritual in Modern Art exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Come as a family and create your very own miniature 3-D sculpture and explore the world of modern art in the CJM gallery! This program is presented in partnership with the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
SPRING EVENT RECAPS
Annual Information & Resource Conference: March 23, 2013
Click here to see photos on Facebook
Over 400 parents and professionals attended, along with 83 exhibitor agencies, keynote speakers, over 100 volunteers, and over 30 workshop presenters for 25 morning and afternoon workshops. Stay tuned for 2014!
Access to Adventure: May 4, 2013
Click here to see photos on Facebook
Our biggest family special event of the year, Access to Adventure, was a major success! It was a beautiful day on Saturday, May 4 at the Music Concourse Bandshell at Golden Gate Park. Cohosted by Support for Families and SF Recand Park, this free annual event included performances (including Steppin' Out dancers, above), over 30 exhibitors with accessible activities, a raffle, and a free lunch.
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The Affordable Care Act in California: "Covered California"
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a long, complex piece of legislation that is attempt¬ing to reform the healthcare system. California's name for the new Affordable Care Act is "Covered California".
What is Covered California?
The ACA/Covered California is meant to be simple and affordable for individuals and families to purchase high-quality health insurance and to access financial assistance to pay for coverage.
Legal residents of California without access to afford¬able health insurance through their employer or another government program will be eligible to purchase health coverage through Covered California.
More importantly, Covered California is meant to make it more affordable to get high-quality health insurance that can't be canceled or denied because of a pre-existing medical condition or if you get sick.
Through Covered California, both individuals and small businesses can compare different health insurance plans. Individuals can learn if they qualify for federal financial as¬sistance that can lower the cost of health insurance. They will also be able to find out if they are eligible for health programs like Medi-Cal. In addition, employers with fewer than 25 full-time workers will be able to find out if they qualify for a small business tax credit that can help cover the cost of providing employee health care.
Health Insurance Offered Through Covered California
Covered California will also offer "Qualified Health Plans" that are the same high-quality health plans available on the private market today. These Qualified Health Plans are guaranteed to provide essential levels of coverage and consumer protections required by the ACA. These plans will be offered in categories based on the percentage of covered expenses paid by the health plan.
The health plan choices offered by Covered California will be as good as you can get anywhere – even if you are not eligible for a subsidy. Health insurance companies must offer the same products at an identi¬fied price whether they are offered through Covered California or in the open market.
In addition to these traditional health plans, Covered California will offer what is called "catastrophic coverage," which helps protect a person from financial disaster in the event of a serious and expensive medical emergency.
Catastrophic coverage is not designed for day-to-day medical expense such as doctor visits, prescription medicines or even emergency room visits. It is designed to cover excessive medical bills that occur above the limit that you would be able to manage financially.
Covered California will provide catastrophic coverage those up to age 30, or those individuals who can provide a certification that they are without affordable coverage or are experiencing hardship.
Levels of Coverage: Comparing Plans
Starting in January 2014, all health insurance newly sold will fall under four basic levels of coverage: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. This ranking system will make it easy to compare different health plans.
As the cost of plan increases in value, so does the percent of medical expenses that a health plan will cover. These expenses are usually incurred at the time of health care services – when you visit the doctor or the emergency room, for example. The health plans that cover more of your medical expenses usually have a higher monthly payment but you will pay less whenever you receive medical care.
You can choose to pay a higher monthly cost so that when you need medical care, you pay less. Or you can choose to pay a lower monthly cost so that when you need medical care, you pay more. You can choose the level of coverage that best meets your health needs and budget.
How Much Will it Cost?
The cost of health insurance depends on how much cov¬erage you choose to purchase and whether you qualify for financial assistance like tax credits that can be paid to the private health plan you choose through Covered Cali¬fornia to lower your monthly payment. Covered California is the only place where you can use these tax credits to make insurance more affordable. Many Californians who have lower incomes will also benefit from lower costs in whatever plan they choose.
Enrollment in health plans through Covered California will begin in late 2013 and continue until March 31, 2014. You must purchase health insurance during this open-enrollment period in order to obtain coverage in 2014.
If you do not enroll during this period, you will not be assured a health plan will cover you – either through Covered California or in the private market. If you have a life-changing event such as the loss of a job, death of a spouse or birth of a child, you are eligible for special enrollment within 60 days of the event. The next open-enrollment period will be in October 2014 for coverage in 2015.
For more information about Covered California please visit www.coveredca.com (available in many languages, including English, Spanish and Chinese.)
Permission for this article was received through the Covered California website.
Pip Marks is the Manager of Family Voices of California, a statewide collaborative of locally-based parent run centers working to ensure quality health care for chil¬dren and youth with special health care needs. To sign up for our statewide listserv or free monthly webinar trainings, please visit www.familyvoicesofca.org.
More Resources about Covered California
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A Big Congratulations to Our New Mentors!
Support for Families is happy to announce that during this past school year, the Parent Mentor Program hosted an eight month training session for both the English and Spanish speaking parents seeking to improve their Special Education knowledge and self-advocacy skills.
Our seventeen newly trained mentors received training on what Special Education is and is not, who is eligible, the types of services that can be provided, timelines, the six principles of IDEA, placement, procedural safeguards, least restrictive environment, inclusion, etc.
Congratulations mentors, you're a wonderful group of parents and we appreciate your enthusiasm, energy, knowledge and time. Your participation in this program, allows our agency to help serve a number of families in need. We can't do it without your help!
Interested in becoming a mentor…
We encourage you to participate in our upcoming Special Education Series scheduled to begin in September. This training offers English and Spanish speaking parents the opportunity to learn about their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals Disability Education Act (IDEA) and to learn how to navigate this system with the support and knowledge of sharing with other parent mentor volunteers.
The Parent Mentor trainings are FREE. Limited childcare is available with pre-registration. To learn more about the Parent Mentor Programs, please call Joan or JoAnna:
Joan E. Selby (English)
Phone: (415) 282-7494, Ext. 113
JoAnna Van Brusselen (Spanish)
Phone: (415) 282-7494, Ext. 141
Note: Registration with Joan (English) or JoAnna (Spanish) is required. Thank you.
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Calling All Parent Leaders...
by Joe Goyos, Education Manager
What exactly is a parent leader? Are you one or would you like to be one? Do you ever (or could you ever):
- Get together with other parents to start a new program or group in your community
- Help a friend or neighbor to read a confusing school or doctor's letter
- Talk to a new parent about your experiences
If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are that you are or have begun the process of becoming a Parent Leader. The Georgia Department of Education defines a parent leader as one who is able to "provide support to parents, students, teachers and constituents in their community with the objective of obtaining positive outcomes for their kids and in turn the children of others."
Studies show that children benefit when their caregivers are involved in educational and health decisions, so all parents should consider getting involved in their child's medical and educational issues. (Epstein, J. (2001). "School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools.") There are several avenues for parents who want to take on a greater role, including school level, district level, citywide, and statewide leadership opportunities. Here are some examples of places where you can get involved:
Support for Families Parent Mentor Program: This program trains families to be parent leaders. For more information visit our website, call us or check out page 3 of this newsletter. www.supportforfamilies.org, (415)282-7494
San Francisco Unified School District Community Advisory Committee for Special Education (CAC): The CAC's purpose is to advocate for effective Special Education programs and services, and advise the Board of Education on priorities in the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). Meetings are held monthly at Support for Families on the 4th Thursday of every month from 6:30-8:00. www.cacspedsf.org
The Parent Advisory Council (PAC): The San Francisco Board of Education created the PAC as a formal way to include parent perspectives in the district's decision-making process. PAC members actively reach out to engage families in district policy discussions and to represent parent concerns to district leaders. The PAC also supports parents to participate in school site and district-level governance. The PAC holds a regular meeting once each month during the school year. Meetings are open to the public and dates are posted on their website. www.pacsf.org
Parents for Public Schools (PPS): For more than 12 years, PPS – San Francisco has been assisting families and working to ensure quality public schools for all children in our city. They help parents at each stage of the journey, from introducing them to the enrollment lottery process, to developing parent leaders in the schools and at the district, to improving systems at SFUSD and much more. They work to ensure that the full range of parent voices from every community is part of policy-making at the District and Board of Education. www.ppssf.org
Parent Teacher Groups (PTA/PTO/PTSA): PTA (Parent Teacher Association) and PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) are very similar groups. However, the PTA is supported by a state and national PTA and so funds are also sent to these offices to help sustain the program. A PTO is local and does not pay dues or other fees to a national organization. PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) adds student representation to their group. Check with your school to find out what groups they have and meeting times. California State PTA website: www.capta.org
School Site Council: The school site council is a group of teachers, parents, classified employees, and students (at the high school level) that works with the principal to develop, review and evaluate school improvement programs and school budgets. The members of the site council are generally elected by their peers. For example, parents elect the parent representatives and teachers elect teachers. Each school has one so check with your child's school about meeting days and times.
Area Boards on Developmental Disabilities: Area Boards were created by state law in 1969. The mission of the area boards is to protect and advocate for the civil, legal, and service rights of individuals with developmental disabilities, and to ensure that their services and supports are of the highest possible quality and designed to increase the independence, inclusion, productivity and self-determination of each individual throughout their lifetime. Area boards are federally funded affiliated offices of the CA State Council on Developmental Disabilities. The area board for the SF Bay Area is Area Board 5. www.scdd.ca.gov/areaboard5.htm, 510-286-0439
San Francisco Unified School District's Board of Education: The Board of Education is responsible for establishing educational goals and standards; approving curriculum; setting the District budget, which is independent of the City's budget; confirming appointment of all personnel; and approving purchases of equipment, supplies, services, leases, renovation, construction, and union contracts. Meetings are held every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 555 Franklin St, San Francisco 94102.
Family Voices of California (FVCA): FVCA is a statewide collaborative of locally-based parent run centers working to ensure quality health care for children and youth with special health care needs. FVCA provides information and a forum for parent centers and families to advocate for improved public and private policies, building partnerships between professionals and families, and serving as a vital resource on health care. www.familyvoicesofca.org
Hospital Family or Patient Advisory Councils: Most hospitals have Family/Patient Advisory Councils. At council meetings, patients and families of patients participate in helping shape how hospitals interact with families. These groups also give input about the hospital's service delivery, provide feedback about policies and procedures, assist in planning for new facilities and services, and participate in the education of health care professionals and hospital personnel. Family Advisory Councils have helped shape hospital policy in the area of patient visitation, medication management and employee/physician education about family-centered care. Check with your hospital about when their group meets and how to get connect with that group.
The State Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC): The council is comprised of parents of children with disabilities, early intervention service providers, health care professionals, state agency representatives, and others interested in early intervention. The ICC provides advice and assistance to DDS regarding the statewide system of early intervention; about achieving the full participation, cooperation and coordination of appropriate public agencies in the state; and a forum for public input. www.dds.ca.gov/EarlyStart/ICCOverview.cfm
For more information about these groups or how to get connected to them, call our warmline at (415) 920-5040 and one of our Community Resource Parents will help!
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Universal Design for Learning: Creating a Foundation to Support the Learning of All Children
What is Universal Design for Learning? UDL, as it is sometimes abbreviated, has its origins in the field of architecture. After the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar legislation were adopted, buildings began to be retrofitted with ramps, elevators, etc. to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Later findings showed that many others, such as mothers with strollers and elderly people, also benefitted from the changes. Architects soon realized that it was much more economical to build accessibility into the designs of new buildings rather than to retrofit the changes at a later date.
In the early 90's educators began to realize that there are similarities between individuals accessing buildings and children accessing learning through books, (e.g., altering font size, increasing page contrast, and using audio, read-aloud, or video). And similar to designing accessible components in new buildings, they found that it was more cost effective to apply UDL strategies in creating environments, curriculum, activities and an assessment system that meets the needs of the greatest number of children during their design than waiting to make changes later.
Universal Design for Learning, then, is an approach used in many classrooms that allows children to create, explore, and manipulate materials that will foster learning. Because children bring a variety of learning styles, strengths and needs into a classroom, teachers need to create experiences for children that allow them to access the curriculum in as many ways as possible. UDL is comprised of 3 elements which allow teachers to frame learning experiences and classroom environments so they are accessible to all children.
"Multiple Means of Representation"
In order to support the many ways children learn, teachers need to introduce and share concepts in formats that make sense to the children. You might begin a discussion with your team by asking how everyone is currently relaying information to the children. It gives you a starting point from which you can move out in many directions. You might think in terms of the five senses to reach learners in different ways. Be aware that multiple formats are most effective when they are presented simultaneously; still, not all formats are needed every time or in every activity. The learning goals may be embedded across activities and daily routines, but it is important that somewhere, somehow, sometime, children can experience what they are supposed to be learning in different formats.
"Multiple Means of Action and Expression"
The second element of UDL refers to the opportunities that we give to children that allow them to show us what they know and what they are able to do in different ways. We want an accurate picture of children's understanding of concepts, right? Then we need to allow children to show us what they know in ways that work for them but also allow us to get a more accurate assessment of their knowledge and skills.
Giving children multiple means of expression is not just about having many ways for children to share what they have learned. It's also important to give them options as they begin to organize and evaluate for themselves by setting goals and monitoring their progress. On the National Center on Universal Design for Learning (NCUDL) website you can read more about these executive functions.
"Multiple Means of Engagement"
This element of UDL focuses on building children's motivation and interest in a concept by providing the children with choices on how they want to engage in the concept and at what level and by helping them engage for a sustained period of time and be persistent in their learning efforts.
Just as children have preferred learning styles, they also have preferred ways to engage with activities. And these "rules of engagement" change with the type of concepts involved and as the children's interest in the activity changes. Teachers need to be prepared to support all different kinds of learning preferences. It is important to remember, however, that one of the most powerful interest motivators is the relevance the concept has to the child's personal life. A child who lives in an Ohio city is likely to be interested in cars, buses, and trucks, because he or she sees them every day and rides in them to go to and from home on a daily basis. A child living on a farm in Ohio might also be interested in cars and trucks, but also tractors and other farm vehicles because they are used by adults nearby, and the child sees them often. You can use that interest to motivate children to learn multiple concepts that are connected to transportation and vehicles—for example, math, language, and science.
It is not only important to be relevant and interesting. It is also important that all learning activities and areas connect with the concepts you are teaching—for example, people use different kinds of vehicles and transportation— so that the concept persists across time and place. Activities need to vary on levels of challenge and support so that some self-regulation is being encouraged. The longer a child is able to engage with a concept, the more connections and deeper the learning can occur.
More information about Universal Design for Learning, including a video and checklist, can be found at www.northampton.edu/Early-Childhood-Education/Partnerships/Building-Inclusive-Child-Care/Special-Education-Related-Resources.htm
Adapted with permission from the Ohio Resource Center's Resources for Early Childhood (REC), Early Childhood Building Blocks: Universal Design for Learning in Early Childhood Inclusive Classrooms by Julie Bertling, Merrie Darrah, Diana Lyon, and Sarah Jackson, all rights reserved, copyright 2013, rec.ohiorc.org.
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Support for Families Annual Report Summary
The Support for Families Annual Report for 2012 is now available on our website (click here for the full Report) and at the Support for Families offices!
Our 30th Anniversary issue summarizes SFCD's growth as well as the major accomplishments of the past year. Some highlights:
- In 2012 Community Resource Parents (CRPs) provided individualized information and support to 792 families and 377 professionals, making more than 8,000 phone, e-mail or in-person contacts.
- Support for Families provided 396 workshops, trainings, and clinics in 2012 on a wide variety of topics based on needs expressed by families. Attendance totaled more than 2,600 parents and professionals.
- 101 active volunteer Parent Mentor volunteers provided individualized assistance and outreach.
- More than 400 other volunteers contributed 4,000 hours of services.
- 284 (unduplicated) family members and professionals attended one of the 18 Support Groups active in 2012.
In follow-up surveys, families told us about the impact of Support for Families on their lives:
- 96% reported that they felt less isolated, less stressed and/or better prepared to solve problems.
- 92% obtained appropriate information about options, services, laws or resources.
- 96% felt better prepared to advocate for their child's needs using positive parent-professional collaboration.
- 92% believe their child received more appropriate services because of the information or help they received at Support for Families.
The report includes some wonderful family photos taken by Veronika Gulchin and Jessica Hobbs, and quotes from families about how Support for Families has helped them. Our Annual Report also summarizes the agency's finances. (The complete annual audited financial statement is available at our offices.) And we are honored to list the names of more than 500 individuals, couples, groups and businesses who made gifts to Support for Families in 2012 to sustain our work!
Please click here for the PDF, stop by the Family Resource Center, or call the office to request a copy of the 2012 Annual Report.
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Special Education Services - Assignments and Contact Information (5/6/13)
Download PDF Version [pdf]
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Reviews from the Joan Cassel Memorial Library
Autism in the Family: Caring and Coping Together
by Robert Naseef
Robert Naseef has several roles in his life: a father of a son with autism, a husband, and a psychologist. This book is part practical guide for families, part text book and a large part of a memoir of his life with his son, Tariq. There are many family stories and photos. I especially like the section about the needs of siblings. It is well written and easy to read in sections. There is a comprehensive table of contents , references, resources and an index. We have other books by this author in our library.
A Family’s Quest for Rhythm: Living with Tourette, ADD, OCD and Challenging Behaviors
by Kathy Giordano & Matt Giordano
We have many memoirs in our collection. This one is special because not only does one of our staff members personally know the authors but it is very well written too. It is also unique as the chapters are written by Kathy, Matt and Tony and are dedicated to friends and professionals who helped them on their extraordinary journey through a difficult time. Tony and Kathy’s son, Matt is now the star of an award winning short DVD titled: 75 Watts. Matt is also the owner and president of the company, Drum Echoes, Inc. He facilitate drum circles across the country. I really liked the chapter that addressed taking away his drums, that he loved, as punishment for bad behavior. Matt’s mom refused to do this. Read this book.
A Room of Golden Shells: Works by Artists and Writers with Down Syndrome
Compiled by Woodbine House
This is a celebration of artists , who happened to be born with Down Syndrome. One of the painters is our own Kellie Greenwald. The 100 works of art include poems, prose, ceramics and colorful examples of drawing, painting and the use of many mediums. Woodbine House took special care with the quality of printing and preceded each work of art or writing with the author’s photo and biography. The book is well organized and it is easy to find an artist, a type of art, a special poem using the table of contents and the index.
Sensory Integration: A Guide for Preschool Teachers
by Christy Isbell & Rebecca Isbell
The title of this book may seem to limit its audience to professionals, but the book presents a multitude of uses for parents and caregivers as well. It does a good job of breaking down the terms sensory integration and sensory processing into smaller pieces for easier understanding. It takes these pieces and shows how the reader can make a room or classroom more sensory friendly. The part I found very helpful was the chapter about building your own sensory friendly materials at very low cost. It has a complete table of contents, appendices of useful information and resources and an index.
Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism
Edited by Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham, & Carol Greenburg
I think of this as a guide to parents of children with Autism. It is a collection of short essays by parents and professional and the people living on the spectrum. They start where everyone does at the diagnosis and then go through the issues to adulthood. The last chapters consider the special education laws and IEP. The book includes a clear table of contents, Resources, biographies of the authors and editors and an alphabetical index. You’ll find a lot of updated and practical information in this book.
Understanding Families: Supportive Approaches to Diversity, Disability, and Risk, 2nd Edition
by Marci Hanson & Eleanor Lynch
This book is the second edition of a well-used textbook so it does not target parents. Since the library is used by staff, students and a variety of professionals, a review of this new edition is in order. The authors have structured each chapter as a lesson plan. It begins with the diversity of family structures and the need for family-centered care. Many forms of diversity are described and types of intervention are discussed. The chapter on changing roles within the family made me think about the family in our society. The importance of the family-professional relationship is stressed throughout the book. There is a table of contents and index.
Reviews by Elaine Butler, Librarian
Each of these books has been personally researched and requested for review purposes by me for introduction to you, the reader.
Support for Families maintains the Joan Cassel Memorial Library which is a lending library for families and professionals, comprised of multi-lingual books, reference materials and media related to children with disabilities and special health care needs. The library is open during regular business hours.
If you have the title or author of a book you’d like to read, please go to our website and do a search. Go to this link and enter the title or author or subject and click search. If we have the item, call us and the librarian will hold the item for you until you can come to the office to pick it up. Try the online catalog or come and browse the shelves by category, new items added weekly.
Visist our library online at: http://www.supportforfamilies.org/library.html
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Support for Families gratefully acknowledges gifts from the following individuals, groups and businesses, received Feb 1, 2013 through April 30, 2013. We apologize for any omissions or misspellings; please contact us so we can correct our records.
AAA Community Safety Foundation
Ara & Edna Dumanian Foundation
Bill Graham Foundation
Harold L. Wyman Foundation
Tributes and Memorials
In Honor of Barbara Carlson's Birthday:
In Honor of Juno Duenas:
In Memory of Albert Moisio:
Deidre & Robert Hayden
Workplace Gifts (2012 Campaigns):
Nersi Boussina, Morgan Stanley
Jeffrey Garrison, United Airlines
Rodolfo Ibarra, AT&T
Michel Kapulica, Ernst&Young
Goli Mahdavi, Bryan Cave LLP
Angela Wong, Chevron
For the Information & Resource Conference:
Provident Credit Union
Wilma & Fernando Orozco
For the Family Voices of CA Health Summit:
CA Children's Hospital Association
California HealthCare Foundation
Cowger & Associates
Health Net of California, Inc.
Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital
Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health
Memorial Health Services
Miller Children's Hospital
Patient & Family Center Care Partners Inc.
Sift Cupcakes & Desserts
Teofilo Esperanzaz, Jr.
For Access to Adventure:
Aquarium of the Bay
Bay Area Music Therapy
California Academy of Sciences
FLAX Art & Design
Kijeong Jeon Designs
On the Level Walking Tours
Players Sports Grill
For the Kaiser Half Marathon & 5K:
The Pamakid Runners Club
Yee Tung Ivery
Andrew Soto Vega
Lynne Marie Su
Mona Chierici Wood
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