Press Releases

Montgomery County Down Syndrome Interest Group Receives Grant from Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Foundation

April 4, 2018

(April 4, 2018) — The MDRT Foundation has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Montgomery County Down Syndrome Interest Group (MCDSIG) for The Learning Program™, a research- based educational model and resource to empower parents as advocates for their children, improve academic outcomes and to train parents as first educators to supplement traditional education to their children.

MCDSIG has been delivering The Learning Program™ since 2013 and has educated more than 40 children and their parents. The program runs from September through June at Saint Rose of Lima School in North Wales, PA and it complements formal instruction in literacy and math. It also has movement and occupational therapy components, and educates parents and their children in parallel sessions. The curriculum is licensed from the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County, California.
MCDSIG LP currently offers curriculum for:
Pre-K/Level 1 (age 4-6 years old)
Level 2 (Kindergarten/1st grade)
Level 3 (2nd-4th grade)
Level 4 (4th-7th grade)
Each level has 12 kids participating. The children are introduced to the monthly concepts in a classroom run by trained special educators and volunteers with a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio.

“MCDSIG is so thankful for MDRT Foundation’s support. This grant will help fund the printing of the children’s literacy materials, enable us to purchase manipulatives for math and handwriting activities, and allow us to give the special education teachers and therapists a small stipend for their valuable time,” said Sandy Katz, MCDSIG board member and parent who coordinates and participates in The Learning Program.
MDRT Foundation member and managing partner of NetWorth Asset Management, Drew Shumski, helped sponsor MCDSIG’s grant submission since he’s seen first-hand how it has benefited a family friend, and he believes that “lack of resources shouldn’t stop good programs from happening.” Representing the MDRT Foundation, Shumski, presented the grant to MCDSIG’s Learning Program participants on March 24.

“The Learning Program enables parents as first educators to build a strong bond with their children, and build the foundation for meaningful learning based on the cognitive strength of their child with Down syndrome,” says parent educator, Jackie Buchner, who has a 8-year-old daughter with Down syndrome.

Through its global grants programs, the MDRT Foundation is committed to building stronger families and communities around the globe. This year, the MDRT Foundation will award over $1 million in MDRT member-endorsed grants to more than 200 charitable organizations worldwide.

About the Montgomery County Down Syndrome Special Interest Group:

Montgomery County Down Syndrome Interest Group is a nonprofit organization that offers support, education, training and guidance to individuals with Down syndrome and their families and friends in Montgomery County, and aims to increase social understanding and acceptance of people with Down syndrome. For more information is available at
Twitter: @MCDSIGinfo
About the MDRT Foundation:
The MDRT Foundation was created in 1959 to provide MDRT members with a means to give back to their communities. Since its inception, the Foundation has donated more than $32 million in more than 70 countries throughout the world and in all 50 U.S. states. These funds were raised by MDRT members and industry partners. For more information, visit

About MDRT:
Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 62,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 500 companies in 69 nations and territories. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. For more information, visit