Looking ahead with Executive Director, Risa Paskoff:
Picture the following: a place that provides year round recreational programs to children and young adults ages 5-21 who have varying disabilities. In addition to a summer camp component and a monthly recreational program during the school year, there are classes such as yoga, cooking, fitness, and swimming for these individuals. Parent and child classes would be offered as well. The programs would be similar to what is offered at the local Y or community center.
Now picture the following: a place for individuals ages 22-30 to engage in meaningful activities with their peers during the year. In addition to classes being offered, similar to what is described above, there would be opportunities to volunteer at other non-profit organizations. In this way, they would be not be seen as recipients of services but rather as those who are making a difference in others’ lives. These individuals would also have the opportunity to interact with animals (feeding and grooming) as well as growing herbs, flowers and vegetables. Graduating from high school is a transition for everyone; however, for the individual who has a disability, the transition may be more challenging. Many of this/her support services disappear and too often, parents or the caregivers are the ones who need to explore and create somewhat of a schedule for their 21 year old child (if they remain in high school until the age of 21). One parent said the following to a member of our Administrative Team, “My son gets up in the morning but with no purpose. I want him to feel like he has a purpose. I want him to see his friends and to socialize with his peers”.
It might sound like a dream… and it was and continues to be, but we are moving in the right direction and hoping to get there soon. Providing age appropriate programs to this population is our goal and we know that we will reach that goal. After 23 years, it is time for us to have our own space, a place to call our home.
Thank you for taking a look ahead with us! Follow Aaron’s Acres on social media and catch the latest on the blog for updates about upcoming plans, programs and other news as it becomes available.