Family Toolbox

CACSE, in partnership with the St. Mary’s County Library, is now offering the CACSE Family Toolbox!

The Family Toolboxes are a series of tote bags containing educational tools that are commonly used in the classroom and in the home to assist in caring for and teaching children with special needs.  Often, families, educators, and other specialists spend time and money on a variety of tools that could be beneficial but are not actually the right tool for their child.  The Family Toolbox totes provide an opportunity to “try out” these tools to determine if they are beneficial to your child before a purchase is made.  The Family Toolbox tote bags are currently available for check out through the St. Mary’s County Library and the Southern Maryland Regional Library Association network by using the COSMOS online catalog system.  

Current Family Toolboxes offered include: (as of August 2015)

  • Sign Language Baby Signing Time Volumes 1 – 4 in DVD, as well as flash cards, books, and supporting materials
  • Sign Language Signing Time Volumes 4 – 13 in DVD, as well as music CDs, and supporting materials
  • Mathematics Addition and Subtraction, with flash cards and manipulatives
  • Two sets of Handwriting tools with sensory support, including a Tran-Quill writing kit, grips and tips, tactile letters and writing paper
  • Time Learning kits for children and youth, including desk clock and watches, interactive items and software
  • A Sight Words kit for Reading Support, including focus and flash cards, beginning readers, and manipulatives

See this document for the current list:  Family Toolbox Introduction- Updated 7-5-15

See this flyer on how to locate the Family Toolbox bags in COSMOS:  CACSE Family Toolbox flyer 2017 full sheet version

NOTE:  Any item marked with a asterisk (*) on the bag inventory card may be kept for a borrower’s personal use, such as CACSE brochures, writing paper, etc.  Please be sure to check all items against the inventory card prior to returning the tote bag to the library.  Borrowers are responsible for the following:  Return of the tote bag and all contents undamaged by the due date established upon checkout, Payment of late fees at the rate of 25 cents per day, and Payment of replacement costs (see prices on inventory cards) for any items that are lost or damaged.

NOTE:  Please note that these items cannot be purchased through CACSE or the St. Mary’s County Library.  Items can be found at retailers and purchased independently; see website listed on inventory card in each bag or contact CACSE if you would like more information on how to order a particular item.

Want to see more items in the Family Toolbox??

CACSE is excited to continue this project, including providing more Family Toolboxes, items for educators such as Sensory Boxes and appropriate furniture and assistive technology, and Teacher Toolboxes to our “Rise Up Award” winners!  But we need your help in suggesting items you wish to see us offer in the future!  Know of an item that worked particularly well with your child and think other children might benefit?  Needing a particular item you’ve seen your teacher use but you’re not sure how well it would work in the home?  Let us know about it! Family Toolbox items could be great books or media, educational toys, assistive devices or special equipment for the home, assistive technology, calming devices or something that helps with sensory processing, items that facilitate communication or social interaction, adaptive physical education equipment, or anything else you can think of!  Got some suggestions?  Let us know!

Ideally the items should be applicable to the needs of several children with special needs, and should be able to fit in one of our clear tote bags.  Dimensions should currently be limited to 19 inches wide x 14 inches high x 6 inches deep.  However, if you have a larger item to suggest, or a particular need for your special child, please suggest it!  We may be able to provide such an item in the future.

We also are trying to reach a variety of ages and needs, from baby/toddler to young adult, and with all ranges of mobility, communication, and intellectual processing.  We are currently looking for items that will fit the needs of upper elementary, middle and high school students.  Please provide any suggested item’s name, a brief description and intended use, and a website it is found on where it might be available for purchase. Send the information to us at smccacse@yahoo.com and we will follow up as soon as possible!