Special Education Teacher Launches Private Coaching, Consulting Service

Special Education Teacher Launches Private Coaching, Consulting Service
Special education teacher Gina Russell is hoping to provide access beyond the school setting for students and families. Submitted Photo

BERLIN – A local educator is looking to give children and their families the tools they need for development through a new consulting service.

Last year, Gina Russell launched Tiny Sparks, a private coaching and consulting service for childhood development. Serving children ages 18 months to five years, she said her company aims to help young kids with unique needs reach their full potential.

“I’ve been told by families that I’m a safe place to land,” she said. “There’s no judgement … It’s for parents looking for that individualized help.”

Russell, a special education teacher with Worcester County Public Schools, launched Tiny Sparks last year. In her free time, she offers individualized early intervention services to young children with unique needs and those with and without a formal diagnosis.

“I had a lot of families saying we’re on a waitlist and we need more help,” she said. “I strongly believe in access for people, and I hate to see people waiting. Families were asking for more, so I gave them more.”

Simply put, Tiny Sparks offers consultation services and individualized, virtual coaching sessions that focus on basic learner skills, language and communication, and overall development. She said Tiny Sparks will also provide customized materials such as visuals and communication boards.

“It’s very individualized,” she explained. “I’m going to take the guesswork out and individualize the plan to meet the needs of the child.”

Russell, who was the 2019 Worcester County Teacher of the Year, said coaching sessions are conducted virtually, which provides flexibility. She said sessions are 45 minutes long.

“With virtual coaching, I’m also able to work with families all over the country,” she said.

Russell noted that families wishing to use Tiny Sparks will receive a complimentary, 20-minute consultation call. From there, parents complete a baseline assessment of their child, and a plan will be created based on parent priorities.

“I’ve also been able to direct people to other resources if Tiny Sparks is not the right fit for a family …,” she said. “I feel good about being able to say what resources are available.”

Russell said Tiny Sparks is a great option for families seeking more support when it comes to their child’s learning development. She said more information can be found online at www.createtinysparks.com, and through the company’s Instagram and Facebook pages. The website contains testimonials from individuals who have found success in utilizing Russell and her services. Those interested can also reach Russell directly at [email protected].

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.