As we find ourselves in the heart of summer, we hope everyone is taking time to unwind and enjoy the longer days and warm weather. The past few months at SARAH Inc. have been filled with engaging activities, program achievements, ongoing efforts to improve employee experience, and unwavering advocacy for necessary funding increases for nonprofits in Connecticut.
During this legislative session, numerous voices were heard, helping lawmakers see the vital role played by nonprofits in addressing crucial social issues, supporting vulnerable populations, and fostering positive transformations. While our dedication and perseverance helped lead to some gains for Early Intervention and Adult Services, it is clear that our work to keep advocating for adequate funding increases must remain a priority.
Thank you to everyone that contributed to our advocacy endeavors. Your support reinforces our ability to continue providing high-quality services to children and adults in our communities. We wish everyone good health and an enjoyable remainder of the summer!
Denise Daviau, CEO
Disability Pride Month 2023
SARAH Inc.’s Adult Employment Services provide support to over 100 individuals. Supported workers are active in a variety of ways throughout the community. Each adult receives personalized services and supports to meet their individual needs. The program staff guides each adult through every stage of the employment process, including resumes, interviews and internships, on-site job coaching, and continuing skills development.
The warm weather has been a fantastic time for individuals in all of our Employment programs to gather and engage in fun activities and continue to foster a sense of community and camaraderie.
Branford Community Outing
In May, Employment Services ran its first outing at Foote Memorial Park in Branford. The outing allowed individuals to come together, enjoy a picnic-style lunch, and participate in fun activities such as dancing, kite flying, and catch. One of the highlights of the outing was recognizing individuals’ achievements. Employment Services awarded certificates to those who have either graduated from the Transitional Program or secured employment. This gesture acknowledges their hard work, dedication, and progress in their personal and professional journeys.
In the Spotlight: Larry Pepper
Last month, one of our very own, Larry Pepper, was interviewed by Lee Howard from The Day about his lifetime of achievement! His story, among others, is in an article titled “Focusing on capabilities helps people with autism find their place”
As a longtime SARAH Inc.-supported individual in our Individualized Supported Employment program, Larry happily maintains employment four days a week. In his interview, he said, “SARAH is known for opening every door to making independence possible.”
Aside from enjoying meaningful employment, he leads a very active life and even has won 22 gold medals in the CT Special Olympics! Larry is also an accomplished pianist and shares his passion for classical music. He shared his talent during the interview by playing from memory. Click below to enjoy the full article.
Throughout this spring and summer, our day programs in Westbrook, North Haven, and Madison have been filled with engaging, educational, and dynamic activities and lessons. These activities continue to enhance the lives of the individuals we serve, fostering a positive and thriving atmosphere.
High Hopes Equestrian Program
Thanks to the Westbrook Foundation’s generous support, participants from our Westbrook and Madison Enrichment Programs have been enjoying a remarkable opportunity every Friday – the High Hopes Therapeutic Riding program. This engaging initiative not only allows individuals to connect with horses but also provides a nurturing environment for the development of vital social and emotional skills. The High Hopes program has truly become a catalyst for personal growth and emotional well-being, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of the individuals.
Nourish & Nosh
This May, individuals from our Madison and Westbrook Enrichment Programs attended the Nourish and Nosh series, which takes place in our program. Nourish and Nosh provides enlightening and educational weekly lessons, such as learning about the digestive system. Through interactive activities, they witnessed the food journey from the mouth to the small intestine, gaining valuable insights into the digestive process. This immersive learning adventure led to a deeper understanding of digestion and how food impacts our health. It highlighted the significance of making informed dietary choices for a healthier life overall. Thank you to the Madison Foundation and their generous support towards this program.
Throughout May and June, community heroes visited the SARAH Inc. day programs to showcase what they do to protect our communities. Our first community hero is Captain Randell Chittenden from the Branford Fire Department. Captain Randell Chittenden visited our North Haven Enrichment program to teach the importance of fire safety and his duties at the fire department.
The second community hero is Sergeant Campo from Bridgeport Police Department. Sergeant Campo visited our North Haven Enrichment Program to teach individuals how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe by calling 911. Individuals afterward got the opportunity to sit in Sergeant Campo’s police cruiser.
Next is a mother and daughter duo Jen Kollmer and Olivia Kollmer, from Deep River Emergency Medical Services. Jen and Olivia visited individuals in our Westbrook Enrichment Program to discuss what to do in an emergency. They brought some equipment they may see in an emergency or if they find themselves needing an EMT.
The last community heroes are members of the North Haven Fire Department. They visited individuals from our Madison and North Haven Enrichment Programs to discuss the importance of fire safety, and they had the opportunity to get a closer look at the fire trucks.
SARAH Inc. wants to thank our community heroes for their service and for taking the time out of their day to visit the individuals at our day program locations.
KIDSTEPS Early Intervention Services
Summer is a time to embrace joy and the creation of cherished memories. The KIDSTEPS Early Intervention Program remains steadfast in delivering high-quality services to children and families across Connecticut. Our team of dedicated professionals, consisting of highly skilled therapists, collaborates closely with families to assist them in achieving their objectives.
Our services are provided in natural settings such as family homes, childcare facilities, and various community locations. This approach enables us to meet families where they are most comfortable and engaged in their daily routines. By sharing these familiar environments, KIDSTEPS staff can establish strong partnerships with caregivers, empowering them with effective tools to ensure continuous progress and lasting success.
We love hearing from families about all of the successes they have because of our dedicated KIDSTEPS Birth to Three program staff. Here is a recent testimonial from one of our families.
“In a world that is primarily black or white, Isaac prefers grey. He struggled with tasks that you or I may view as easy or basic. Birth to Three has helped Isaac learn how to safely function in society, and provided him with an overall better quality of life.”
How to Request an Evalution
To request a Birth to Three early intervention evaluation, you can:
A.) Call the toll-free intake phone number at Child Development Infoline at 1-800-505-7000
B.) Complete the online referral form on the Birth to Three System website, www.birth23.org
C.) Download the referral form from the Birth to Three website and fax your referral to 1-800-571-6853
If you would like a specific services provider to do an evaluation, you can request them by name during the intake process. Otherwise, your child will be assigned to the program in your town that is next on rotation. If you have any questions, please contact us at 203-453-7592.
Thank you Donors & Supporters!
Individuals at SARAH Inc. are enjoying a summer filled with educational and recreational fun, with many thanks to the generosity of donors and supporters.
We are thankful for the following KIDSTEPS Birth to Three supporters: the Chelsea Groton Foundation, the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, and the Workers Compensation Trust. Their generosity contributes to our expanding Birth to Three initiatives.
Additional thanks go to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Madison Foundation, The Westbrook Foundation, and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven for their recent support of our mission overall as an agency.
With your gift, you can make a difference today for children and adults with differing abilities. Interested in making a gift? Click here. Thank you!
SARAH Solutions Podcast: The Parent Perspective Series
In the latest episode of Parent Perspective, Jen and Tesha were fortunate to have our guest Paula Schaeffer as our guest discussing her experience as a parent during the elementary years. In the third episode of this series, Schaeffer explains her experience bringing her son from pre-k to elementary school. She expresses her struggles yet gives excellent recommendations to any parent with a child settling into elementary school.
Join Our Team
If you have any questions about an open role, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] before you submit your application. We look forward to hearing from you!
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