Marvin’s Club aims to ensure social skills development for all students by providing an engaging social curriculum, intensive support for children with social learning challenges and training for school staff. This powerful combination creates supportive and inclusive communities, all while supplying the tools students need to build relationships and succeed in their educational career and beyond. Marvin’s Club was piloted in 2012 as a unique partnership between Developmental Connections and school PTA/PTOs.
In 2014, Marvin's Club proudly received the "Recognition in Excellence in Supporting Special Education" award by Loudoun County Public Schools.
— Parent of a 3rd grader
It's a dedicated session after the school day. Finding time for social skills development during the highly academic school day can be very challenging. By partnering with school PTA/PTOs, Marvin’s Club carves out a block of time after school in a fun, club-like format.
Students work with familiar teachers. Students make faster progress when working with adults they know and trust. These adults also know these students’ styles and preferences, which further enhances the learning experience. Marvin's Club has a 3:1 teacher-student ratio.
Marvin's Club takes place in the school environment. Unlike local therapy centers, Marvin’s Club participants engage in social learning activities in their own schools – the place where they use their social skills the most. This ultimately helps with generalizing their skills to school and other environments.
We use the best-in-class resources for social development. We use the Social Thinking® curriculum by Michelle Garcia Winner and other curricula that offer a dynamic approach to improving social ability, one that mirrors the nuances and complexity of true social interactions, instead of teaching rote skills.
The after-school program is primarily designed for students who lack social intuition largely innate for their neuro-typical peers. These students may not pick up subtle or even obvious social cues and often lack self-awareness about their social abilities. Other students might be painfully aware, but simply don’t understand the social agenda and can’t keep up with its dynamic nature. Marvin’s Club follows the general guidelines set forth by Michelle Garcia Winner regarding the use of Social Thinking® for different populations:
Students with social cognitive deficits who have near-normal to well above average verbal and nonverbal intelligence AND who have a reasonable level of understanding that each person has a different set of thoughts, even if they cannot apply this knowledge.”
While some participants might have a formal diagnosis (autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, etc.), others may not, and a diagnosis is not required to participate in the club.
Eighty-five percent of students (grades 1-5) improved their social ability, measured across 10 social dimensions.
The average student performance increase across 10 dimensions was 32%.
*Based on an 18-week program