Peer Model Program

The Harold Lewis Center Peer Model Program

The Harold Lewis Center provides early childhood education for young children with disabilities.  Individualized programs and services are developed for each eligible child and may include Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and/or Adapted Physical Education to meet the identified needs of the child. The preschool program provides educational programs for children from three to five years of age using developmentally appropriate practice.  The concept of developmentally appropriate implies that activities are individually planned according to each child’s age, ability level, and method of learning.  Young children learn best through play.  Learning activities and materials are real, “hands on”, and relevant to the lives of young children. The preschool curriculum is aligned with the Pre-K Academic Content Standards developed by the Ohio Department of Education.

The Harold Lewis Center welcomes peer models as well. Peer models are typically developing children age 3 to 5 displaying strong skills in socialization/leadership, communication/language skills, and are toilet trained. Peer models should also be able to independently listen and follow teacher direction and interact with peers using cooperative play strategies within the classroom environment.  The intent is for the child with special needs to learn appropriate language and social behavior from the peer model, while the peer model learns about disabilities and how children with delays are more like themselves than they are different. 


This program is a 4 day-a-week half day program. Transportation is provided within Union County. Peer models pay a monthly fee for supplies and transportation as determined annually by the Union County Board of DD.


Other eligibility factors for enrollment of peer models:

  1. Age 3 to 5 years, be below six years of age on the thirtieth day of September.
  2. Availability of space. If all peer spots are filled, a waitlist will be created.
  3. Selection determined by the following rank order
    1. sibling of current enrollee
    2. child/sibling of Union County Board of DD Staff Member
    3. children selected from the community
  4. Provision of a record of immunizations, verification of birth and a medical exam.


If you have any questions, please contact Arlene Porter the Harold Lewis Center at or (937) 645-6714.


If interested in the Peer Model Program, please complete the Peer Model Intake Form on the Forms link and return it to HLC.



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