Chess Capt American EditedT. Chess Mitchell: Staff member at NDSC and Expert on Movies

Chess has recently reviewed Captain America for our friends at NDSC.
These are his findings:

NDSC: How many stars would you give Captain America out of 5 stars for excellence?

Chess’s answer: 5 stars = Action Packed!!

NDSC: Why did you want to see Captain America?

Chess’s answer: USA – RED, WHITE & BLUE baby! Proud to be an American and wanted to see the movie about Captain America.CaptainAmerica

NDSC: Which part of the movie did you enjoy the most?

Chess’s answer: Return of Captain America’s old friend.

NDSC: Is Captain America a good movie to watch for a Family Night?

Chess’s answer: Good for grown ups and teens but not for little kids. Action packed violence might be hard for little kids.

NDSC: Final thoughts from Chess on Captain America . . .

Chess’s answer: True friendship can survive anything!

The-LEGO-Movie-WallpaperT. Chess Mitchell: Staff member at NDSC and Expert on Movies

Chess has recently reviewed The Lego Movie for our friends at NDSC. His findings are a bit surprising! Read to find out why.

NDSC: How many stars would give The Lego Movie out of 5 stars for excellence?

Chess’s answer: 1 star = not so good

 

NDSC: The Lego Movie has been pretty popular. What made you give it only 1 star?

Chess’s answer: I was not impressed with the main character Emmett. Also was not a fan of “Bad Cop” character.

 

NDSC: Was there a part of the movie you did like?

Chess’s answer: When the master builders and superheroes showed up in the movie.lego-movie-1

 

NDSC: Would you recommend The Lego Movie for younger children?

Chess’s answer: Yes, better for kids rather than grown-ups.

 

Final thoughts from Chess?

Chess’s answer: Believe in your heart is something good from the movie.

 

Chess Photo

T. Chess Mitchell: Staff member at NDSC and Expert on Movies

Chess has recently reviewed RIDE ALONG for our friends at NDSC. These are his findings:

 

NDSC: How many stars would you give RIDE ALONG out of 5 stars for excellence?

Chess’s answer: 5 stars = It was so Funny!

NDSC: Who was your favorite in the movie?

Chess’s answer: Kevin Hart, for sure the best one. Ride Along

NDSC: You saw this movie with your friends as a group. Did they like the movie too?

Chess’s answer: Both guys and girls liked the movie.

NDSC: What about you? Would pay money to see the movie again?

Chess’s answer: Well, yeah! :)

NDSC: Final thoughts from Chess on RIDE ALONG

Chess’s answer: Great action film, great for those who like police movies and cool car chasing.

Chess PhotoT. Chess Mitchell: Staff member at NDSC and Expert on Movies

 

Chess has recently reviewed Muppets Most Wanted for our friends at NDSC. These are his findings:

NDSC: How many stars would give Muppets Most Wanted out of 5 stars for excellence?

Chess’s answer: 5 stars = Excellent & FUNNY!

NDSC: Who did you go see the movie with?

Chess’s answer: My mom and my dad when I was in Florida. Muppets-Most-Wanted-wallpapers-3

NDSC: Which part of the movie did you like the best?

Chess’s answer: Seeing some of the famous actors and singers that show up in Muppets Most Wanted. 

NDSC: Would you recommend seeing Muppets Most Wanted in the theater or renting it on DVD later?

Chess’s answer: It’s a great movie to see either way. Some enjoy seeing in the theater, others prefer home. 

NDSC: Final thoughts from Chess?

Chess’s answer: Muppets Most Wanted had two Kermits—“One good, one evil” says Chess. Fun to watch both of them.

 

T. Chess Mitchell: Staff member at NDSC and Expert on Movies

Chess has recently reviewed Robocop for our friends at NDSC. These are his findings:

 

NDSC: How many stars would give Robocop out of 5 stars for excellence?

Chess’s answer: 5 stars = Very Excellent! So Awesome!

 

NDSC: Which part of Robocop was especially cool?

Chess’s answer: The Motorcycle & Robocop is a cool actor too.

 

NDSC: Which part of the movie did you like the best?

Chess’s answer: Lots of Action and shooting of the bad guys. Rated PG 13 so not too scary but best for older kids, 13 and up.

 

NDSC: Would you recommend seeing Robocop as a date night or as family night?

Chess’s answer: Totally a Date Night movie! I took my girlfriend.

 

NDSC: Final thoughts from Chess:

Chess’s answer: Family is Important! Watch to see what Robocop does for his wife and son.

 

In December 2012, a Fulton County Grand Jury returned an eleven count indictment against former special education teacher, Melanie Pickens, for allegedly abusing children in her care. She was charged with Cruelty to Children and False Imprisonment in connection with the physical abuse of five Hopewell Middle School students.

The alleged abuse occurred between 2004 and 2007. According to the investigation, the victims, most of whom were non-verbal, were either pushed, shoved into lockers and/or left in isolation for hours on end. The alleged abuse of one student was discovered in 2007 by school officials and then reported to the Department of Family and Children Services. The case was initially handled as a human resource matter, centering on the abuse of that child.  A civil suit involving that single victim led to the discovery of four other potential victims. The case was eventually brought to the attention of law enforcement and a criminal investigation was launched. The case was forwarded to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in May 2012.

According to the indictment, Pickens restrained and isolated students in a dark room, slammed students face-first into lockers and walls, and screamed into their ears. Pickens allegedly loudly played back a recording of one child’s cries directly into his ear. The Professional Standards Commission revoked Pickens’ teaching certification and Pickens resigned in 2007.

On February 4th, 2014, Judge Henry Newkirk granted immunity to Pickens, after hearing three days of testimony from people who witnessed her actions at the school. Judge Newkirk acknowledged the allegations, but said Georgia law protected teachers who were disciplining students.

At the National Down Syndrome Congress, we are stunned by this week’s ruling. Both the leadership and membership of our organization are outraged by Judge Newkirk’s decision.

As we followed news reports of Melanie Pickens alleged abuse of students in her care dating back to 2004, we applauded the Fulton County School System in investigating and removing her from Hopewell Middle School, and believed the revocation of her teaching certification was appropriate.

Then, following a criminal investigation and indictment, we looked forward to justice being served in a criminal court. We are truly shocked at the decision to dismiss by Judge Newkirk, and find it hard to fathom the decision he made.

As the oldest national organization advocating for people with Down syndrome, the National Down Syndrome Congress is deeply disturbed by this decision, and the ramifications it can have for all students with disabilities.

Clearly, the abuse inflicted upon these students would not be considered as appropriate disciplinary techniques by any reputable behavior expert. As the school system’s physical therapist who worked with the victims noted, the abuse of the children was not protocol for disciplining students with disabilities.

Just as blood-letting is no longer an accepted medical practice, it is beyond our imagination that these acts could be considered “carrying out her teaching duties” in good faith. For Judge Newkirk to rule in this manner, despite expert testimony, gives the impression that he considers individuals with intellectual disabilities to be less than human and not deserving the same protections afforded others.  All students have the right to be safe in their school environment. We believe this despicable conduct must be addressed criminally. We hope and trust that a higher court will overrule Newkirk’s outrageous decision.

Chess recently reviewed “The Grudge Match” for our friends at NDSC.  He is  excited about this movie. Check out his findings:

NDSC: How many stars would you give “The Grudge Match” out of 5 stars for excellence?
Chess’s answer: 5 stars = so funny!

NDSC: What was special about this movie that you enjoyed so much?
Chess’s answer: The tie in to the ROCKY movies was cool.

NDSC: Which part of “The Grudge Match” did you think was the best?
Chess’s answer: Kevin Hart wrote the movie and I liked that a lot.

NDSC: Would this be a good movie to see over the long holiday weekend?
Chess’s answer: Yes, it’s a good movie so it should still be at the movie theaters.

NDSC: Final thoughts from Chess on “The Grudge Match”. . .
Chess’s answer: Old guys got it done right! ?

T. Chess Mitchell, Staff member at NDSC and Expert on Movies Chess has recently reviewed the Holiday movie FROZEN for our friends at NDSC. These are his findings:

NDSC: How many stars would you give Frozen out of 5 stars for excellence?

Chess’s answer: 5 stars = Excellent!

NDSC: Which character in the movie did you most related to and why?

Chess’s answer: The two girls because they overcome hard stuff as family.

NDSC: Was there an especially funny part of the movie you enjoyed?

Chess’s answer: Olaf the Snowman was funny & Sven the Reindeer was funny too.

NDSC: Would you recommend seeing FROZEN as a holiday movie or one that you can watch anytime of the year?

Chess’s answer: It is currently the #1 holiday movie so you should try to see it soon.

NDSC: Final thoughts from Chess?

Chess: “LOVE will thaw a frozen heart.”

 

For immediate release
Contact:
Anca Elena Call
Global Down Syndrome Foundation
720-320-3832 or acall@globaldownsyndrome.org

 

 Global Down Syndrome Educational Grants Provide $155,000 to 14 Innovative Programs
for Parents, Professionals and People With Down Syndrome Across U.S. & Puerto Rico
 

 

Eight grant recipients announced on International Day of Persons with Disabilities 

 

DENVER & ATLANTA (Dec. 3, 2013) – Medical professionals, self-advocates and parents of people with Down syndrome will have access to 14 innovative educational programs across the U.S. and Puerto Rico through $155,000 in Global Down Syndrome Educational Grants.

This year’s grants, varying from $6,000 to $10,000 and benefiting eight local Down syndrome organizations, are being announced today, International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In 2012, six organizations received grants from the program, which is a collaboration between the Global Down Syndrome Foundation (“Global”) and the National Down Syndrome Congress (“NDSC”).

“We are so pleased to be able to help local Down syndrome organizations and build capacity in our community,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, executive director of Global. “These organizations have great ideas that truly provide value to people with Down syndrome. They just need some encouragement and funds in order to deliver.”

Grant recipients detailed their ideas, budgets and goals for educational programs as part of their applications, which were reviewed by Global and NDSC for thoroughness, potential and sustainability. More than 50 applications have been submitted through the program.

“We are highly impressed by the quality and the quantity of the grant requests and are excited by how this year’s grants will help improve the lives of people with Down syndrome through greater awareness, better medical care and educational support,” said David Tolleson, executive director of NDSC. “These programs will improve access to technology, promote critical life and job skills, and teach the community about all the contributions that people with Down syndrome can and do make.”

The 2013 grant recipients are:

  • Down Country (Missouri, Illinois, Iowa) — “I Learn / I Speak / I Care” is designed to give rural residents access to cutting-edge education and information through workshops, and provide technology to rural schools.
  • Down Syndrome Association of Brazos Valley (Texas) — “Keys to Success” will create a computer training program, including a computer lab, to help students with Down syndrome acquire computer skills for everyday life, as well as job security and independence.
  • Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida — “Global Down Syndrome Regional Seminar Series” will be a quarterly program for self-advocates, their families and medical professionals in various locations across central Florida.
  • Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma — Full-day workshops will serve as learning tools for parents who have children with Down syndrome in hopes of empowering them to advocate strongly for their children at school, in extra-curricular activities and in the workplace.
  • Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond — “Learning Program” will provide programming for children with Down syndrome ages 4 to 7, supplementing their formal instruction in school with additional help in literacy and math.
  • Down Syndrome Association of Memphis & the Mid-South — “Self Advocate Council Delegation” will help people with Down syndrome to have a voice and to speak up for themselves by preparing PowerPoints for public speaking, planning their own social events, and planning volunteer efforts and fundraising ideas.
  • Puerto Rico Down Syndrome Foundation — “Increasing Access” will be an educational pilot program for adults with Down syndrome that involves developing a curriculum and helping at least 20 adults with reading, writing and math skills.
  • Red River Valley Down Syndrome Society (Texas) — “After School / After Work Recreation Center” will build academic, emotional and social skills for people with intellectual disabilities and their typical peers through enrichment classes, workshops and peer interaction. 

About the Global Down Syndrome Foundation
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education and advocacy. Formally established in 2009, the Foundation has the primary focus of supporting the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home in the U.S. committed to research and medical care for people with the condition, and the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado, the largest multi-disciplinary team in the U.S. providing medical care for people with Down syndrome. Fundraising and government advocacy that corrects the alarming disparity of national funding for people with Down syndrome is a major short-term goal. The Foundation organizes the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show — the single-largest annual fundraiser benefiting people with Down syndrome. Programmatically, the Foundation organizes and funds many programs and conferences, including the Dare to Play Football and Cheer Camps, Global Down Syndrome Educational Series, and Dare to Play Soccer Camp. The Foundation is an inclusive organization without political or religious affiliation or intention. 

About the National Down Syndrome Congress
Founded in 1973, the National Down Syndrome Congress is the oldest national organization for people with Down syndrome, their families, and the professionals who work with them. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocacy organization, the NDSC provides free technical support and information about issues related to Down syndrome throughout the lifespan, as well as on matters of public policy relating to disability rights.  Best known for its annual convention – the largest of its type in the world – the National Down Syndrome Congress is a grassroots organization recognized for its “family” feel, its “We’re More Alike than Different” public awareness campaign, and its outreach to individuals from diverse backgrounds.

 

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Just in time for family viewing over Thanksgiving, Chess has reviewed Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2!

T. Chess Mitchell: Staff member at NDSC and Expert on Movies 

These are his findings: 

NDSC: How many stars would you give Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 out of 5 stars for excellence? 

Chess’s answer: 4 stars = Funny, but could have been funnier.

 NDSC: Who was your favorite character in the movie? 

Chess’s answer: The policeman was my favorite character in this movie. 

NDSC: You saw this movie with your friends as a group. Did they like the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and do you think they would watch it again? 

Chess’s answer: I enjoyed seeing the movie with my friends. That was part of the fun. Some of my friends may watch it again, others may not as they liked it, but did not love it. 

NDSC: What about you? Would you watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 again on a date with your girlfriend? 

Chess’s answer: Well, yeah!!  

NDSC: Final thoughts from Chess on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. . .  

Chess’s answer: Decent movie, fun for families to watch together.