The Children’s Center for Communication and Development is a non-profit that provides cost-free communicative and developmental transdisciplinary services to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers while educating, training and supporting families, university students and professionals.
The Scianna family is on a mission. They know first-hand the joys, but also the trials of being parents to a child with a disability, and they are determined to be a voice for families like theirs in Mississippi.
Kenny and Vicki Scianna’s daughter, Blair, passed away five years ago, but her legacy lives on in the countless people she touched in her 29 years of life. Blair was nonverbal, but had no problem expressing her abundant love, joy, wit, and wicked sense of humor with all who met her. And thanks to her loving parents, she continues to touch others who never had the honor of meeting her.
The staff and families at The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at The University of Southern Mississippi are fortunate to now count themselves among that group. Recently, the Madison couple established The Scianna Family Children’s Center for Communication and Development Blair Scianna Memorial Endowment.
The Sciannas know the importance of early intervention in the lives of children with disabilities. They know how essential those first years are in a child’s life, and they know how rare it is to find quality, affordable, comprehensive early intervention in Mississippi.
“The Children’s Center provides an invaluable service to these families and their children,” said Kenny Scianna. “We’ve had an opportunity, with our daughter, to look ahead in life and see what an adult looks like with disabilities, who has been through a program where they were able to learn and be cared for and loved.
“I know what a difference it made in her life and I can only imagine if we looked at many of the adults who went to The (Children’s) Center, you would find that they made a huge difference in both their lives and their families’ lives.”
The Sciannas were inspired to set up this endowment in an effort to help The Children’s Center continue doing life-changing work every day. But beyond that, they have issued a challenge to others who hear their message.
“We decided to make this gift a challenge gift because we wanted to give other people the opportunity to learn more about the center,” said Vicki Scianna. “And more than anything we want to give people the opportunity to believe in this center and to believe in the hope and the future that they can give these children.”
The Children’s Center is a nonprofit that provides cost-free innovative therapies to children under age 5 with complex communicative and developmental disabilities.
“We are so fortunate to have crossed paths with the Sciannas, and so honored to be the recipients of this endowment,” said Sarah Case-Price, director at The Children’s Center. “Their passion for this work has been clear from the first time we met. They are on a mission to make it so that every child has the opportunity to live their best life. And their commitment to the cause is unending. Their mission and their hearts are so aligned with ours, and we’re so grateful for their support and their friendship.”
To learn more about the Scianna Challenge, see the video below. To take part in the Scianna family challenge, visit usmfoundation.com/sciannachallenge.