ACCEPTS, Inc

Summer Social/Scholarship & Supervision
Awarded
$2,500

ACCEPTS, Inc  provides alternative communication training to youth and adults with autism  and related disabilities. There are two programs in which the grant  will support: 1) a Weekly Social Skills Typing Group and 2) The Scholarship  and Supervision program. The Social Skills Training Group will meet 1  hour a week for 8 weeks, and allow communicators the opportunity to type with  one another. In addition, it will provide an opportunity for  Facilitators and Coaches-in-training to work with new communicators in a  structured, supervised environment.  During the social skills group,  facilitators will gain knowledge to apply in facilitating current  communicators. The scholarship program offers families the opportunity to receive discount  coaching from coaches-in-training who are supervised by an accredited  trainer.

Ability Tree First Coast, Inc.

CampAbility Special Day Camp
Awarded
$1,250

CampAbility is an educational and recreational summer services program for elementary-aged children with Autism and other intellectual/developmental/physical  disabilities, provided in a fun and safe environment. We also offer summer  camp sessions to the siblings. By doing this, we hope to help alleviate the  burden on parents by keeping their children in one location, provide comfort  to the camper with special needs by having someone familiar nearby, and  include the sibling(s) by offering them companionship with other siblings who walk in their shoes.

Angelwood, Inc.

Angelwood Career Development & Education Center Arts Program
Awarded
$1,051.20

Angelwood’s  Career Development and Education Center is a dual focused program providing  Employment Services and Adult Day Training. Angelwood offers employment  services through the Florida Department of Education, Vocational  Rehabilitation and through the Agency for Persons with Disabilities via  referrals.  
   Supported Employment- This program targets persons who need added structure  and support to achieve and maintain competitive employment in their community.  Supported Employment Coaches work with each individual with all aspects of  finding, applying for, obtaining, and retaining a job. This includes  necessary social, independent, and work skills they will need on the  job.  They are also assisted with  creating a resume as well as taught important skills such as proper work  attire, hygiene, etiquette. Once a job is obtained, the Supported Employment  Coach is there to help with any area of need, such as: training, work place  problems, and help with co-worker and supervisor communication, etc.
   Adult Day Training (ADT) – Our adult day program provides supervision and  training for adults with cognitive or physical limitations to learn work  related skills and to experience the joy and rewards of productivity while  also enabling them to earn money. The curriculum builds on work-related  skills that translate into the business world. The goal is that the program  participants are provided a variety of ways to develop skills that will help  them gain greater independence in hopes of one day finding a job in the  mainstream workplace. Participants learn important skills such as stocking  inventory, counting money, shredding office papers, and learn cleaning and  maintenance tasks. In addition, they also produce original works of art,  handmade soaps, scarves, beaded jewelry, and note cards. Items may be  purchased at area craft shows, gift stores and other venues. One special  addition to our arts-based program is The Bells of Angelwood, a hand bell  choir that preforms in the community and has recently partnered with Brooks  Rehabilitation and Jacksonville University for a community concert.

Arc of the St. Johns

Summer Camp
Awarded
$1,500

The grant will be applied to the after school program summer camp and some equipment purchased will be shared with The Arc of the St. Johns Community Campus. The program will provided the individuals with meaningful summertime activities. The staff will use peer-reviewed strategies to enable students with behavioral issues associated with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities(I/DD) to be work towards building skills with the aim of reintroduction to a classroom environment with peers of similar ages and interests, and to have meaningful access to the community in the form of recreational activities, civic responsibilities, and social interests.

BASCA, Inc.

Community Inclusion
Awarded
$2,500

BASCA's request is to fund a portion of our Community Inclusion program.  We provide various low, no-cost, outings  during the year.  However, we believe  it is important for individuals with differences to occasionally participate  in broader community enrichment activities.  

Bit of Faith Ranch Inc.

Adaptive horse backing lessons/activities and other outdoor recreational, social events
Awarded
$2,500

To provide free  or minimal cost equine-assisted and other recreational activities for  contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social  well-being of persons with Autism and their families.  Individuals will participate in either  adaptive riding sessions or ground activities on an on-going basis with the  aid of side walkers and/or horse handlers.   There will also be recreational ranch events where larger groups will  be able to socialize i.e. BBQ, barnyard yoga etc.

BridgeHaven Academy

Summer Camp/Enrichment Program
Awarded
$2,500

BridgeHaven  Summer Camp Program will provide enrichment experiences utilizing technology  and communication for individuals affected by autism.  Our campers will be able to participate in  thematic summer camp programs with a low staff/camper ratio enabling us to  provide physical, emotional, and therapeutic support for each camper. We are  a unique camp/school that utilizes typing as a viable means of communication  for nonverbal individuals with autism.   Summer camp is the opportunity for typers across Jacksonville to come  together and participate.  We are the  only facility that offers typing and support for individuals who use this  means of communication.  If for some  reason, we cannot have camp on our campus due to COVID 19, we would use the  grant to pay our teachers to offer private sessions with each camper.  They would be able to provide the same  thematic activities and enrichment in their individual sessions with our  students, as well as even offering some virtual opportunities.

Collage Day School

Hands-On Curriculum Development (STEAM)
Awarded
$1,000


Collage Day School’s Learning Enrichment Achievement Program (LEAP) is a  program designed to optimize instruction during the school day for students  with differing abilities in the domains of curriculum and learning,  social/emotional, communication, and independent functioning. Students  receive instruction from a teacher(s) trained in various modalities and  learning methods to ensure the needs of each student are met. Students work  with the teacher and support staff to create a prescriptive schedule allowing  students to progress with individual learning, social emotional,  communication, and independent functioning goals. Weekly progress monitoring  is provided to ensure that students are on track to achieve all of their  goals.

Daniel Memorial, Inc.

Daniel Academy Yoga and Mindfulness Enhancement Program
Awarded
$1,500

One signature agency program at Daniel Memorial is Daniel Academy, our specialized  elementary private school (K-7) dedicated to providing intensive academic and  behavioral for children who have been diagnosed with emotional, learning,  intellectual and developmental disabilities across a wide spectrum, including  autism.  The 43 students enrolled at  Daniel Academy are the very children who have fallen through the cracks in  the public education system because their needs have not been met at critical  developmental junctures.

The school exists because studies show that the farther that disabled  and/or economically disadvantaged children fall below their peers during  elementary and middle school, the more likely that they will drop out of  school by age 16, thus limiting their options to transition to independence  as adults.  Daniel Academy seeks to  improve the outcomes for these children through enhancements such as  mindfulness yoga, art, music, and social skills development. Many children  receive on-site mental health services. The school has fully integrated the  evidence-based “Trust-Based Relational Intervention” model to establish  strong bonds between school personnel and the children.

The purpose for this grant request is to fund weekly yoga classes for all  children during the  2020-2021 school  year. While the Florida Department of Education scholarships provide  sufficient funds for core services, such as academic instruction and facility management, grant funds are needed for critical enhancements that are known  to make significant impact of the student body. We know from the literature  and from prior experience that children that are exposed to yoga and  mindfulness, especially those with intellectual and developmental  disabilities, experience a reduction of pain, anxiety, aggression, obsessive  behaviors, and self-stimulatory activities. While their strength and  flexibility also improves, the most important benefit is the improved ability  to regulate emotions (thus decreasing stress and anxiety). Subsequently, they  are able better able to establish the strong peer, family and other adult  bonds that are critical for normal childhood development.

Growing Together Behavioral Center

GTBC Summer Outings Summer 2020
Awarded
$1,000

Growing Together  will once again use our summer funds for field trips for our students.  We will take one field trip per week as an  entire school, and will also take our oldest students out on one community  outing per week.  Community outings  will consist of trips to Publix, Walmart, Chick Fil A, and the  laundromat.  Field trips for everyone  will include some fun and some fun-educational locations such as Velocity/Fit  Flight, Cummer Museum, MOSH, O2B Kids and more!

Henderson Haven, Inc

Summer Programs/Service Bear Project
Awarded
$2,000

10-week summer program. Funds will help provide learning in a fun environment while promoting age-appropriate social skills. Each week we will provide participants with an awesome fun summer experience. We will utilize community resources and volunteers to enhance the experience.

Families report better behavior, improved social skills, and a drive to want to achieve more. Participants in the activities get to experience summer  fun activities many children take for granted, as well as continue to work on academics. They explore new activities and begin to ignite passions for recreational fun that carries over into the rest of the year. This kindled  passion in these students leads to students gaining independence and thus less dependency on families and the State of Florida for support. We help each student discover their gifts and talents and develop them into job and living skills.

We are also working on a Service Bear Project to provide weighted stuffed  bears to assist with behavioral needs at home, assist with bed-time issues as  well as providing support when a family is out in the community.

Hope Haven

Camp Hope
Awarded
$2,500

Camp Hope is a  summer camp enrichment program tailored for children and youth ages 3-22 with  special needs, including developmental, intellectual, physical, and  social/emotional challenges. Siblings and peers without special needs are  welcome.  A camp session operates  Monday-Friday from 7:30 am-5:30 pm and includes field trips, sports, arts and  crafts, and academic and social skills development.  Because it is based on Hope Haven’s campus,  families can add the benefit of therapy to a child’s day, including speech,  OT, PT, counseling, or applied behavior therapy.

Hope Therapy, Inc

Scholarship Program
Awarded
$1,250

Hope Therapy  provides Healing with the Help of the Horse for special needs children with a  wide variety of diagnoses, including autism, developmental delays, Down  Syndrome and more.  During the Covid-19  pandemic, we have developed a specialized teletherapy program to keep our  patients moving forward in their therapy goals.  Thus far we have experienced a high rate of  success and patient satisfaction, and plan to continue teletherapy and some  in-home visits as long as necessary.
      Horses For Hope ~ In partnership  with Ronald McDonald  House, Hope  Therapy also visits hospitalized children facing life threatening illness and  debilitating chronic conditions. The children are able to interact with our  ponies, feeding and petting them for a bright spot in their otherwise  challenging day.  Each child receives a  small plush toy pony in remembrance of the occasion, with a tag that reads,  ‘good for one free pony ride at Hope Therapy’.   Their smiles tell the story, as faces  light up with anticipation and a goal is set for their future. The idea of a  free pony ride and a toy to remind them rekindle hope,  providing incentive to view the future in a  more positive light.  

     

Indigo Art Therapy Studio

Summer Art + Mindfulness Groups
Awarded
$1,750

During the  summer, Indigo Art Therapy will be offering adaptive Art + Mindfulness Groups  for individuals with autism. We will be providing separate groups for kids  and teens, either virtually or in-person, depending on student needs and  recommended public health practices.

Jacksonville School for Autism Inc

2020 Summer Enrichment
Awarded
$2,500

The funding will provide students and their siblings the opportunity to  experience a broad range of summer enrichment programs. In past years we have  been gifted the opportunity to provide experiences including piano, therapeutic horseback riding, music & art groups, zoo trips, surfing  experiences, dolphin interactions, and other community field trips. For most children on the autism spectrum, the abrupt change of a schedule that  transitions from school to summer can be a challenge.  To facilitate comfort in regards to this  transition, JSA offers an intensive learning continuum along with a focus on  physical activity and social fun" during the summer months. JSA gladly includes siblings of students with ASD into our summer  program.  This extension comes from our  understanding of the financial and logistic difficulties parents with  multiple children encounter during the summer months.  Inclusion of our typical siblings is also  important to build positive experiences and relationships with their ASD  brother/sister.


Jacksonville Sheriff's Office - Crisis Negotiations Unit

Communicating with individuals on the autism spectrum for Crisis Negotiators
Awarded
$1,200

The Crisis  Negotiations Unit of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office supports the mission  of the agency in serving and protecting in partnership with our  community.  In this mission the Unit  encounters a wide variety of individuals in crisis for a number of  reasons.  The Unit spends much of its  time studying a wide variety of psychological traits, communication  strategies, and operating procedures; all with the goal of preserving the  lives of individuals in crisis through verbal communication.  As the team seeks to expand its  knowledge-base, it is interested in learning more about the autism spectrum  and how we can better communicate with persons on the autism spectrum in crisis.  The funds granted will go directly toward  obtaining training in these areas through a known provider with expertise in  this field.  It is the Team’s hope that  this will enhance the ability to produce a favorable outcome during such an  encounter.  Through this effort, it is  the Team’s objective to fulfill the Sheriff’s Core Values of “Always  Improving”, “Community Focused”, and “Respect for Each Other”.

Jericho School

Rock the Spectrum Summer
Awarded
$1,680

For our Intensive  Summer Program The Jericho School would like to provide the opportunity for  children with autism a fun and motivational environment to help them in the  areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive  behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills once a week at We Rock The Spectrum, an all inclusive gym in Jacksonville, Florida.

Kids Connect Today

Social skills classes
Awarded
$2,500

Kids Connect Today is a social skills program for children, teens and young adults with  autism. Kids Connect  Today will use grant funds to provide scholarships to families who cannot  afford our classes.

Palm Avenue Exceptional Student Center

Memory books / Yearbooks
Awarded
$1,420

We are requesting  funding for the cost to print memory books/yearbooks. Throughout the year, we  capture many memories and the memory book/yearbook is something every student  looks forward to at the end of the school year. The yearbook is not only a  memory book but a communication tool for the students. Students who are  non-verbal can communicate the school they are from, their teachers, friends  and all the activities they were apart of throughout the school year.

Palm Valley Child Development Center

Cooperative Play/ Mindfulness Garden
Awarded
$1,250

Multi-sensory and physically engaging materials allow our learners to explore independently and with others, building personal confidence and building play and social skills with peers. The funds will be used to purchase materials and equipment that will aid in all students further developing and participating in social skills, play skills, and adaptive skills. Additionally, included are stepping stones for a mindfulness pathway to allow students to individualize and create a stepping stone. These steppingstones (concrete forms the students can decorate and imprint with their handprint) will create a pathway for the students to utilize outdoors. Students can use the mindfulness pathway for sensory breaks, self-regulation, and coping skills. Below are links to materials that aid in facilitating hands-on materials that are necessary for students to increase exposure to new resources. This grant would serve in excess of 25 students with Autism for the 2019-2020 School year.This grant would also serve other students with varying exceptionalities including, but not limited to: students with specific learning disabilities, reading disabilities, language impairments, Down’s syndrome, developmental disabilities, other health impairments, communication impairments, language impairments, ADHD and ADD.

Peace of Heart Farm

Vocational Enrichment Program
Awarded
$1,500

Peace of Heart  Farm is a 1 acre organic garden located within a residential group home for  young adults with autism.  Peace of  Heart Farm has launched a Vocational Enrichment Program, an inclusion program  for young adults affected by autism to engage with nondisabled peers in a  community setting.  The Vocational  Enrichment Program teaches participants farm related vocational life skills  such as seeding, transplanting, harvesting, and business practices pertaining  to the farm.  The participants work  alongside peer volunteers to assist them in task completion, with the serene  backdrop of nature and the mutually beneficial  fostering of meaningful relationships.  The Vocational Enrichment Program will  expand their reach by partnering with local community farms for educationally  infused field trips.  
Peace of Heart Farm also offers a “Farm to Doorstep” Produce Delivery  service, in which residents of the home assist in assembling and delivering  produce to community members

Peace of Heart Home

Better Together/PohCAMP
Awarded
$1,500

Peace of Heart  Home is requesting a grant for two specific summer programs: a) Gather  Together: a twice monthly social group offered to community members affected  by autism, and b) PohCAMP: a vocational, social, and health focused summer  camp for residents and respite clients.

   “Better Together” - Due to the recent global health crisis, social  isolation has greatly impacted those who are medically fragile or have  special needs such as autism.  At Peace  of Heart Home, we will offer a happy, healthy, and “socially distant  friendly” environment for individuals with autism to have a home away from  home.  We will host a twice monthly  social gathering for teens and young adults.   The program will offer alternative communication conversations,  socialization with peers, activities promoting motor skills development, and  most importantly - FUN!  Program  offerings will include water activities, interactive games, video games,  cooking/baking lessons, physical fitness, and social bonding.  

   “PohCAMP: Cultivating A Meaningful Purpose” The onsite summer camp will  allow for meaningful and engaging activities for resident and respite  clients.  Activities will focus on  acquisition of life tasks, increasing social/community opportunities, and  building health and wellness from the inside out.  The goal of CAMP aligns with the mission of  PoH: To create a meaningFULL life for those affected by autism.  

Puzzle Peace Counseling, LLC

Summer autism support groups
Awarded
$1,500

Our summer  "HEALing Families" Groups will include social skills for teens on  the autism spectrum, as well as a parent group. Therapists Katherine Lycke, LMFT and Janeen Herskovitz, LMHC will lead the groups. These are programs  that have been running consistently for several years, but with the recent  pandemic, we are prepared to take these online via Zoom, a platform we have  been using during the past two months to see clients and groups in our  practice. The groups will meet weekly for six consecutive weeks.

Reach Academy, Inc.

S.T.E.A.Ming Through Summer Virtual Summer Camp
Awarded
$2,121.53

Reach Academy's  S.T.E.A.Ming through Summer Program will be a 6-week summer program focusing  on social skills and S.T.E.A.M. Each week, the camp will provide three  hands-on video lessons with the teacher and one face to face outing per week.  The summer program will provide social skills education with engaging and  interactive S.T.E.A.M activities.

   S.T.E.A.M is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art, and  math. We decided to begin a summer camp due to parent demand. Many families  reached out with the need for a summer program due to summer camp closures  caused by COVID-19.

   Our students have been utilizing video chats during quarantine to maximize  their at home virtual learning experience. This was a crucial component in  making at home learning a success. Classroom parents commented on how the  consistent, scheduled video chats were important in boosting their child's  moral and mental health. During this crisis, our students are struggling to  understand why we can't be together at school. Incorporating video chats and  video lessons to each day have helped our students manage this difficult  change.

Special Nation

Special Nation/HEAL Annual Spring Fling
Awarded
$1,250

Spring Fling is a dance for persons with Autism and their friends and families.  This is the fifth year we have planned this dance.  It is a quieter, more gentle gathering based on a beach, surf and Hawaiian theme. It is an opportunity for children, teens and young adults to gather with their friends and families for a dance.  We provide beautiful decorations, snacks, drinks, music, photos and party favors for attenders.  

Spectrum Thrift Store

Store Development
Awarded
$1,000

Everyone deserves to thrive. That simple statement is at the heart of the mission of Spectrum Thrift Store, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide employment opportunities to teens and adults with autism and developmental delays. Since Spectrum’s highly qualified board and staff began retail operations at its store in St. Johns County, Florida in 2017, the organization has provided training and employment opportunities to over 100 individuals with special abilities. Ten have since been hired by other companies. Spectrum’s vision is to expand to operate a facility in each county in Florida, each one a thrift store and training site where 90% of employees are autistic or developmentally delayed. We are expanding our work at our recently opened second location. This expansion will enable us to train and/or employ 85 additional individuals with special abilities each year.

Fall