Support FODL Birmingham and become a member HERE


Our Goal, Vision & Commitment

Our Calendar & Meeting Notes

Volunteer, Participate or Donate

Upcoming Meetings

  • October 14, 2021

  • November 4, 202

  • December 2, 2021

  • January 13, 2022:

  • February 3, 2022

  • March 3, 2022

  • April 7, 2022:

  • May 5, 2022

  • June 2, 2022





Anxiety Flier Pages 1 & 2

School Bus & Children

Kids come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors with brains that work in all different ways. 

Unfortunately some differences  may  cause  problems in school. Kids who struggle need help but it’s not always easy to find.


Friends of Different Learners is a group of parents with children from preschool to adult who have been through the trenches and have years of experience navigating the Birmingham Public School District.  We are a safe, judgement free place where families can share their concerns about their child’s challenges and we offer support, acceptance, advice and guidance. 


Whether you need a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a supportive ear or information, we are here to help you figure out…

  • Why does my child struggle? 

  • How/who/where to go for an assessment?

  • How/who/where to find help?


Friends of Different Learners can Help!

We don’t have all the answers but we will help and guide you to find assistance if your child struggles with: Reading, Writing, Math, Making Friends, Bullying, Behavior Issues, Organization, Emotional Regulation, Sensory Overload

Click HERE to download our Mission Statement.

Friends of Different Learners is proud of the many volunteers who lend enthusiastic support, strong leadership, and heartfelt advocacy to our organization and community.  Countless hours and boundless energy allow our many annual projects like the Appreciation Awards, Camp & Resource Fair, Disability Awareness Workshop, and LINKS to continue to flourish.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee serves as the administrative unit of Friends.


Carrie Chapie & Stacie Makris


Vice President

Hilde Swain



Samantha Linden



Contact us if interested


Past President

Jessica LaRose

Committee Chairs

Social Media

Catherine Henne-Lewandowski

Building Reps & LINKS

Tricia Olevnik

Camp & Resource Fair

Disability Awareness Workshop

Denise Moore

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee consists of past presidents and executive committee members selected annually by the current Executive Committee to serve in an advisory capacity.

Peggy Branch
Terri McCardell
Diana Moak

Denise Moore

Susan Nanry

Suzanne O'Leary

Karen Selby

Kathy Sinclair-Pearson      

Debby Suris
Cheri Taunt
Cindy Trotta
Aryn Zwierzchowski

Building Representatives

The Annex

Catherine Lewandowski 


Amy Slosar

Berkshire Middle School

Carnella Johnson

Beverly Elementary

Jen Moore

Bingham Elementary

Sara Grezlik

Derby Middle School

Carrie Chapie

Greenfield Elementary

Jessica LaRose

Groves High School

Alicia Acey

Harlan Elementary

Gloria Dunn



Stacie Makris

Pembroke Elementary

Deanna Predium

Pierce Elementary

Trish Olevnik

Quarton Elementary

Carrie Chapie


Seaholm High School

Catherine Lewandowski


West Maple Elementary

Renee Blohm 


Friends was created, then known as Friends of Different Learners, as a...

Friends created the DAW...

Friends begins bringing awareness about...

Friends brought in the links program

Friends convinced Birmingham Public School System to pilot Sign Language in the High Schools.



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