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About Us

The Daniel M. Center for Behavioral Change provides hard-to-find services for children diagnosed with an emotional and/or behavioral disorder. Our private school, Positive Expectations Academy, is supported by the McKay Scholarship Program through the Florida Department of Education. Families also look to us for extended/after-school care, respite care, and parent training and support.

Our specialized staff provides a positive, safe and caring environment for each child. We tutor children with learning deficits, coach social skill development, and work to change inappropriate social behaviors.

The board of directors of the Daniel M. Foundation is comprised of a dedicated team of individuals and professionals with varied experience to ensure the highest quality of care is provided. Fifty percent of our board members have children who have these disorders.

[tab: PHILOSPHY]

This poem articulates our philosophy and inspired our starfish logo.

It Matters
By Anonymous

As I walked along the seashore,
This young boy greeted me.
He was tossing stranded starfish
Back to the deep blue sea.
I said, “Tell me why you bother.
Why waste your time this way?
There’s a million stranded starfish.
Does it matter, anyway?”

And he said, “It matters to this one.
It deserves a chance to grow.
It matters to this one.
I can’t save them all, I know.
But it matters to this one
I’ll return it to the sea.
It matters to this one
And it matters to me.”

I walked into the classroom.
The teacher greeted me.
She was helping Johnny study.
He was struggling I could see.
I said, “Tell me why you bother.
Why waste your time this way?
Johnny’s only one of millions,
Does it matter, anyway?”

And she said, “It matters to this one.
He deserves a chance to grow.
It matters to this one.
I can’t save them all, I know.
But it matters to this one.
I’ll help him be what he can be.
It matters to this one
And it matters to me.”

I walked through the capitol.
Some parents greeted me.
They were helping legislators
Remember children in all they do and see.
I said, “Tell me why you bother.
Why waste your time this way?
Your issue is one in millions.
Does it matter anyway?”

And they said, “It matters with this one.
Children deserve a chance to grow.
It matters with this one.
There are other causes, we know.
But it matters with this one.
We must help children be all they can be.
Because it matters to everyone
What our future turns out to be.

[tab: FOUNDER'S STORY]

The Daniel M. Foundation was founded in July 1997 by Linda Melton, out of sheer frustration and a strong desire to help other families of children who struggle with mental health challenges. She was joined by parents, concerned citizens and professionals who recognized the need for these specialized services.

As executive director and a parent, Linda understands that when children struggle at school, families hurt as well. She introduced services out of care and concern for family preservation. First-hand experience led to Saturday respite care, designed to give families a relief from care-giving. After-school and summer camp programs allow children to practice social skills in a safe environment.

The foundation is named for Linda’s son, Daniel M., whose difficult experience in public school inspired the creation of a private school for children with diagnosed emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities. The school first opened in 1999.

Renamed the Daniel M. Center for Behavioral Change in 2010 to better reflect the foundation’s mission, the center now offers K-6 education with an individualized curriculum designed to foster learning and behavioral change. Linda remains actively involved on a day-to-basis as the center’s most vocal advocate and tireless administrator.