Hometown Care, Centered on You

Issue #67

May 2014

iCircle's
Community Connection

Message from the Board

As we enter the Memorial Day holiday weekend, let us all take a moment to remember those who served in our military and gave their lives for the freedom of our country. We also give thanks to all of the men and women who have served or are currently serving. We are forever grateful for your service and your sacrifice.

Beginning in June, iCircle will host its next series of provider meetings for our network. Please be sure to RSVP for the meeting you are planning to attend (see below for the full schedule). Thank you!

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

New Inclusive Child Care Service

For more than 20 years, Stepping Stones Learning Center (SSLC) has been a leader in providing inclusive opportunities for children and youth from throughout the greater Rochester area. Beginning with its inclusive early childhood classroom and related services program, SSLC provides educational services in the areas of special education, speech, occupational, physical and music therapies as well as social work, behavioral, psychological, respite, social skills and Autism services. Having initially serviced children from birth to age 5, SSLC now provides programming from birth to age 21, currently servicing more than 500 children and youth. With demand for its growing programs and available space at its current location being highly limited, SSLC embarked on a campaign to purchase and renovate the former Irondequoit Chase Pitkin building as its new home. Construction and renovation began in November with an anticipated opening in the fall of 2014. This new state of the art space will allow for all of SSLC’s programming to grow as well as introduce new offerings. Chief among these is the establishment of the regions first fully inclusive child care center and before and after school programs.

“Very often a parent/guardian of a child with special needs struggles to find appropriate care for their child, as many times, existing child care centers and before and after school programs lack the support and knowledge to appropriately meet the needs of their child.,” stated Mariellen Cupini, CEO/Founder of Stepping Stones Learning Center. “This in turn can lead to many issues, including those surrounding behavior. As a result these children are often dismissed from the program, which in turn creates great stress within the family and can have implications of a parent/caregiver’s employment status”. In response, SSLC has designed a fully inclusive child care center and before and after school program. The child care piece is embedded within the existing inclusive early childhood program led by NYS Certified Teachers. In essence a toddler/preschool age student could participate in an inclusive early childhood/Pre K classroom for half the day and then be in the same class as a child care student the remaining portion of the day; a unique option for our region. The before and after school child care program will be for school age youth up to age 13 with additional program options for adolescents ages 13-21 during the after school hours.

The new SSLC facility itself will be family-friendly and child-centered. It is centrally located in a commercial plaza that includes a Wegmans and many other retail options, and is just seconds from Rt. 104, making it very accessible. Among its many unique features include a secured entrance requiring two monitored electronic admissions. It also includes curriculum driven inclusive toddler and preschool classrooms, certified teaching staff and a full time nurse. In addition, all children and families will have access to the expertise of our therapeutic staff, including physical, occupational, speech, behavioral and Autism therapists. These are all highly unique within the child care community. A very exciting element is the transformation of the former Chase Pitkin lumber yard and garden center attached to the side of the building. This extremely large, fully enclosed space is partially covered by a roof providing an abundance of shade and will hold specialized infant, toddler, preschool and school age play areas. The area can be accessed without ever having to go outside the building itself, a crucial safety and classroom management feature. In addition to the outdoor play areas, the facility will also house a large centrally located gymnasium allowing for a variety of gross motor activities and family events.

 For more information on this exciting new option for the children, youth and families of our region, contact Rachel Chalmers at 467-4567 or rchalmers@steppingstoneslearning.com.

Congratulations and best of luck to Stepping Stones Learning Center as they finalize this wonderful new facility, set to open this September!

 

Program Spotlight: Dazzle's 100,000 Voices

Dazzle School of Visual and Performing Arts is an active consortium of programs that nurtures and promotes cultural artistic education and promotion opportunities to Medicaid waiver enrolled individuals. Through community collaboration, Dazzle helps offer an array of cultural resources to the community that inspires the arts. Bringing world-class instruction and talent to the Rochester community and the individuals empowered by Dazzle, they help develop discipline, confidence, and appreciation for the arts in people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. Dazzle provides opportunities for community inclusion such as field trips SUNY Brockport, local art exhibits and festivals, and other cultural events.

Dazzle offers many inclusionary programs, one such program is a six month collaborative video making program called 100,000 Voices, with the University of Rochester and WXXI public broadcasting. This program teaches individuals how to write, create, shoot, produce, edit and present their own videos. It is a hands-on production program that involves shooting video, editing and training led by leading experts in the field! The program started in February and will end this month with a celebratory gala with limo transportation to and from.  

“We have a lot of exciting opportunities for individuals on the horizon that support our mission of nurturing, promoting and demonstrating the visual and performing arts through education and performance.” stated Anne Harvey, Executive Director of Dazzle. “Stay tuned for some awesome development and surprises from Dazzle.”

For more information and to learn more about opportunities at Dazzle please call 585 288-0050 or visit their website at www.dazzleschool.org.

 

Reminder!

Please RSVP to one of the upcoming provider meetings by emailing info@icirclecny.org or calling 1-844-iCircle.

Thank you for your Support!

Sincerely,
iCircle Services

Mission: iCircle Services is a service portal where individuals with developmental disabilities and their families can self-direct, advocate, and secure the supports and services that best fit their needs. We are guided by individual choice, inclusion, diversity, cultural competence, respect, community, learning and empowerment for those we serve.

Vision: iCircle Services will establish a comprehensive, sustainable, trusted, and compassionate system of supports and services that will help empower families and individuals with developmental disabilities to promote their happiness, independence and inclusion as productive members of our community.

Contact Us:
Phone: 1-844-iCircle (424-7253)
Email: info@icirclecny.org
Website: www.icirclecny.org


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