By Pat Prescott

This Saturday at Cal State Dominguez Hills hundreds of special needs kids and their families will pick up free back packs filled with a wide assortment of school supplies during a fun filled day organized by SIERF, the Sensory Integration Education Research Foundation. Kathy Sutton, CEO of SIERF, Torrance Mayor Pat Furey and Ron Frierson, who will emcee the event, joined us to talk about the event and the work that SIERF is doing in our community to support special needs children and their families.

Sensory integration includes a number of disorders that cause those who have them to overreact to ordinary situations. those conditions include autism, ADD, ADHD and more. They all have a sensory component to them. SIERF provides services for people affected and their families. Their newest program teaches police officers how to recognize and deal with these individuals.

This is the fifth year that SIERF has sponsored the event, called Preparing Our Children For The Future. It’s more than your typical back to school back pack giveaway. SIERF adds another component for special needs k8ids with lots of different activities geared to their needs. Mayor Furey says that prior to becoming Mayor, he worked with the Children’s Services Division of LA County and his wife also worked with special needs kids. They are expecting over 800 people at the giveaway. As mayor of the largest city in the South Bay, Mayor Furey helps to get the word out and to access resources to contribute to the back packs.

Ron Frierson will emcee the event this year. He is a corporate executive who also sponsors a few youth programs in his home state of Michigan so youth causes are important to him. He also hosts a political talk radio show.

Back to School time is very stressful, especially if you don’t have the tools you need for success in the classroom. Giveaways like this help to provide a level playing field. Last year they even gave tablets to some of the kids who have communication issues. This year will be even better. Great sponsors like California Pizza Kitchen, Southern California Gas Company, Wells Fargo, Kincaid’s and Lakeshore Learning help to make it all possible. Low income and special needs families are eligible to apply for the backpacks. For more information about the event and to apply for a backpack, visit

Preparing Our Children For the Future
5th Annual Back To School Giveaway
Saturday August 13, 2016
11am – 2pm
California State University Dominguez Hills
Loker Student Union Building
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson, CA 90747


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