Ability Tree First Coast

CampAbility Special Day Camp
Awarded
$3,000

CampAbility  is a recreational and educational summer program for school-aged children  with Autism and other intellectual/developmental/physical disabilities being  provided in a fun and safe environment. We have 2 camps that happen for 6  weeks through the summer: kids camp for elementary students and youth camp  for 6th - 12th graders. We also offer summer camp sessions to the  elementary-aged siblings. This is in order to help alleviate the burden on  parents by keeping their children in one location, as well as provide  familiarity to the camper with special needs by having his/her sibling nearby  and give the sibling(s) companionship with other siblings who understand what  it’s like to walk in their shoes. The  funds will be used to obtain reusable supplies for both camps, offset costs  for local field trips, and two ESE facilitators who have professional  experience with ASD as the lead teachers. It will also be available for  qualifying families for scholarships.

Best Buddies in North Florida

Best Buddies North Florida Citizens Program
Awarded
$1,000

Best  Buddies Citizens Friendship program is an adult friendship program for  individuals with IDD and those without who are 18 years old or older.  One-to-one friendships include matching an adult with an IDD with a peer  without an IDD. This buddy pair develops a friendship like any other and  promotes a more inclusive world for adults with and without disabilities.  Citizen members in North Florida currently participate in a monthly activity  that includes a social outing, professional and personal development  training, and a fitness-related activity.   Citizens also equip participants to become leaders in our community. Grant  funds will directly impact the continuation of the Citizens Program, which  was launched in September 2021.   Support will also empower the growth of the current Citizens Program  by increasing program activities and training this year.  We are actively recruiting new members with  and without intellectual and developmental disabilities who are 18 and older  to join this program. Citizen members will then be matched in one-to-one  friendships between someone with and someone without IDD.

Bit of Faith Ranch

Summer Fun at the Ranch
Awarded
$3,000

Since  we do not currently charge for our riding participants, the HEAL grant will  help fund our summer season which includes program, horse and instructor  fees. Open House funds will be used for food and facility fees. The movie  outing is now $600 each time which we will split the cost with Special  Nation. Funds for the Caregiver Respite Events will be used for food,  activities, and gift bags.

BridgeHaven Academy

BridgeHaven Community Day Program
Awarded
$5,000

The  BridgeHaven Community Day Program is a new, pilot program serving adults  (ages 22-older) diagnosed with Autism in Northeast Florida.  The program will provide much needed and  meaningful work, social, and recreational opportunities for our  members.    Our program will launch in the Summer of 2022, and we are working to secure  funding to support all facets of our operations.  Specific funding is needed to purchase  required equipment to begin our small business ventures.  The small business ventures will serve as  part-time work opportunities / job training for program participants.  We are hoping to purchase machines,  supplies, and technology through a HEAL Grant.    Many of our adults and students struggle with social interaction.  We are creating a social media platform for  them to share their thoughts, dreams, and visions with the world like so many  neurotypical individuals are able to do.    Since autism can be very isolating, our adults are going to plan and  implement recreational opportunities for the autism community like dances,  game and food truck nights, etc.

Connecting Thru Music, Inc.

An Upbeat Summer: Foundations for Learning Through Music Therapy
Awarded
$3,000

Connecting  thru Music, Inc is a 501c3 established in 2018 for the purpose of providing  music therapy and music enrighment for children with special needs in NE  Florida. Currently CTM is providing service at over a dozen schools and  settings thanks to both grant and community support. We have identified a  critical need for our services in the DCPS Extended School Year (ESY) for  children with special needs. We know that without repetition and  reinforcement, this vulnerable population is subject to learning loss over  the summer.  Our goal is to provide  music therapy support the foundation of learning and address developmental  needs. DCPS is not able to provide funding for art or music during summer  sessions. The  funds will be used to provide music therapy by board-certified music  therapists and music experiences by music teachers. This occurs for 30  minutes, three times/week for groups of 8 students at up to 4 sites: Neptune  Beach Elementary, Mandarin Oaks Elementary, Oak Hill Elementary and Palm  Avenue which all serve ESE students and are holding ESY sessions this summer  for 4 weeks.    A grant of $5000 would provide 100 music therapy sessions, impacting up to  80 students.

Girl Scouts of Gateway Council

Girl Scout Smile Camp
Awarded
$1,500

Smile  Camp is a week-long day camp run by Girl Scouts, for boys and girls ages 5 to  11 with autism and other developmental and intellectual disabilities  including cerebral palsy, TMH (trainable mental handicaps), EMH (educable  mental handicaps), spina bifida, and visual and hearing impairments. Smile  Camp offers campers with disabilities, who might not have the opportunity  otherwise, to experience a week of new friends, outdoor adventure, and a  sense of belonging in an inclusive environment.     Smile Camp 2022 is being held at North Florida School for Special  Education, a site designed to be an accessible and safe space for Smile  Campers. Smile Campers will have access to the barn and animals at the school  for a farm themed day, as well as the playground, gym equipment, and outdoor  spaces.     Each day at Smile Camp has a new theme with corresponding activity  rotations, including games, crafts, music, and outdoor activities. Smile Camp  gives children living with autism and other disabilities a break from their  day-to-day routine and brings them outside for an entire week of new  experiences. The camp also provides much needed respite care for the camper’s  parents and care takers.     The camp is run by as many as 40 Girl Scouts who are trained counselors  ages 14 to 18. Supporting them is a team of up to ten Girl Scout directors  ages 16 to 18 and Girl Scout adult volunteers including two adult advisers, a  registered nurse and a chef. Depending on the intensity of care needed,  counselors are paired 1:1 or 1:2 per camper.

Great Strides Rehabilitation

GSR Summer Camp
Awarded
$2,000

Grant  funds will help cover the cost of camp for parents in need of a reduced  weekly rate. This will allow families to sign up for camp and/or for families  to enroll in more weekly camp sessions.

Growing Together Behavioral Center

Backyard Shading & Mist
Awarded
$2,500

At our  original Growing Together Behavioral Center campus we are honored to be  entering our fifth school year in August.   At this location we have been gifted with many amazing donations  through these years, but one area where we still struggle through our hot  months is our backyard.  We have a  fenced backyard with swings and other playground equipment, but you can't  spend more than 10 minutes out there without overheating from the direct  sunlight and lack of shade.

Growing Together Behavioral Center Mandarin

Farm To Table Start Up - GTBC Mandarin
Awarded
$2,500

Growing  Together Behavioral Center Mandarin is a non-profit school for children and  teens with autism and other developmental disabilities.  At this campus located in the heart of  Mandarin, we have our hands-on functional and pre-vocational program for  teens who have autism ages 13 - 22.   The goal of this program is to prepare our students for their place in  this world as adults, and to help them become the most active participants in  our amazing community that they can be!       This summer we will begin our horticulture therapy and Farm to Table  learning!  The entire summer will  revolve around getting our hands dirty in the earth, planting, watering,  growing, cooking, sharing and eating!   For some this will be a new sensory experience and fun activity  outside in the fresh air and in our beautiful kitchen, for others it may be  the blooming of a future career interest in horticulture or culinary  arts!  Being able to expose our  students to theses two amazing arts/therapies will be the beginning of a new  pre-vocational project at GTBC, one we plan to keep going into the upcoming  school year!

Help Us Golf

HUG Golf Camp at TPC Sawgrass
Awarded
$1,500

3 day junior golf camp  July 11, 12 & 13 from 9am - 12pm each day while juniors  learn the basics of golf from putting, chipping and full swing. We also spend  time learning about Golf Course maintenance and the nature we see on a golf course. We think it is important to incorporate fun activities for both  social and physical well being.

Henderson Haven, Inc

Camp Possible
Awarded
$4,000

Henderson  Haven, Inc is seeking funds to support our 7 week Camp Possible and its  FunDay Friday activities - experiences often overlooked for our students in a  fun environment while promoting age-appropriate social skills.  During camp, students will work on targeted  social, academic and life skills.  We  will utilize community resources and volunteers to enhance the  experience.    Our summer programs will give us the chance to reach more kids and families  and help them begin this fun and amazing journey to ignite passions for  recreational fun that carry over into the rest of the year.  Programs will be available for students ages  3 to 22 years old.

Hope Therapy

Scholarship Program
Awarded
$1,500

Our request is for Scholarship funds for our autistic patients who can not afford the cost of care.  Hope Therapy started as a dream shared by Marianne and Rebecca (Becky) Davenport, a mother-daughter team with a desire to help others. Marianne, a pediatric nurse practitioner, and Becky, an occupational therapist, both with extensive horse experience, founded Hope Therapy in 2001. Their commitment to high quality services and excellent programs led Hope Therapy to become the only Premier Accredited Center in Northeast Florida by meeting the high standards set by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.). Throughout the years, they have maintained this accreditation by continuing to meet the standards and passing on-site inspections.

Nestled in Middleburg, FL, the farm is a serene 12-acre property with a wheelchair accessible mounting ramp, outdoor riding arena, and a sensory trail for our clients. In our riding arena, you will find colorful cones, a basketball hoop, letters, and a ring-toss game. The sensory trail has ground poles, barrels, and many hidden surprises, waiting to be found by our clients. To best set our clients up for success, we have adaptive equipment, such as loop ladder reins and activity boards. We also have picnic tables and Adirondack chairs for our client’s families to enjoy as they watch their family member’s sessions. Sessions are individualized and typically one on one with our occupational therapist or therapeutic riding instructor.

HorsePlay Therapy Center

Breeder's Cup Summer Camp
Awarded
$3,100

This  year we will have our 2nd Breeder's Cup Summer Camp for 10 kids with ASD as  well as other disabilties. Each camper will pay $300/week to participate in  daily activities 3 days/week that are run by our clinical team of PT's, OT's,  and speech therapists. Camp will run from 8:30-12pm, and  activities will include hippotherapy, horse  grooming, circle time to include literacy companion activities and melodic  language processing activities, sensory play with arts and crafts, snacks,  and games.

Indigo Art Therapy Studio

Art Therapy Summer Scholarships
Awarded
$2,000

Grant funds will be used to provide art therapy scholarships and art supplies for summer programs.

Jacksonville Miracle League

Special Needs Baseball
Awarded
$1,000

We are  league that provides opportunities for children and adults with  disabilities/special needs to play baseball.   The players and the organizers get great joy and benefit from  participation in our league. We play in the spring and the fall. We are  looking for funding for trophies and medallions. The  grant will be used to purchase trophies and medallions.  Medallions are given out at our opening day  ceremonies and trophies are given out at our end of season banquets.

Jacksonville School for Autism Inc

Summer Enrichment Program
Awarded
$2,000

Jacksonville  School for Autism (JSA) requests grant funding to 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, music & art groups, zoo trips, movie  experiences, 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.

Jericho School for Children with Autism

Summer Enrichment Activity To Increase Mobility and Physical Fitness
Awarded
$1,000

During  our Intensive Summer Program we want to provide the opportunity for our  'campers' to engage in physical activities which will promote and provide  motivation for them to become more physically fit and more active. To  increase their strength, balance and movement, sensory processing ability,  communications skills, social interaction skills, and self care skills as  well as provide a tool to be used for positive behavior modification, we want  to utilize the physical activities available to all at the "We Rock The  Spectrum" gym. This location provides numerous ways for our 'campers' to  become more active and hopefully this will carry through to their everyday  life as well. New challenges will be available which promotes motivation to  complete these activities at a high level which also increases our  participant's confidence and feeling of accomplishment and well-being.  Everyone likes to hear praise and "Good Job" and these activities  will promote these opportunities.

Kids Connect Today

Social skills Classes
Awarded
$2,500

Kids  Connect Today offers social skills classes for children, teens and young  adults. We serve ages 3 years old to 30 years old. Kids  Connect Today would like to use grant funds to offer scholarships to families  who would benefit from our classes but cannot afford them.

Mainspring Academy

Mainspring Academy STEAM Summer Camp
Awarded
$1,000

Mainspring  Academy respectfully requests the consideration of HEAL Foundation of a grant  in the amount of $2,030 for its Science Technology Engineering Art Math  (STEAM/STEM) Summer Camp program.  Your  grant will enable us to provide four weeks of hands-on STEAM programming to  help support the self-advocacy and social-emotional development goals  specified in the individualized learning plans (ILPs) of each of our students  with autism (ASD) and intellectual and developmental disabilities  (IDDs).    Since 2015, Mainspring Academy has sought to provide quality,  individualized education in a safe learning environment where children with  intellectual and developmental differences can thrive. Research findings from  various studies found in academic publications such as the Watson Institute,  and Preventing School Failure, the Institute of Education Sciences; as well  as empirical evidence from classroom-based music programs STEM Power! and  STEMfinity on the application of STEAM curricula and activities to the  learning plans of youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and IDDs indicate  significant improvements in the areas of motor skills, communication, social  skills.     The purpose of Mainspring’s STEAM Summer Camp is to help support and foster  progress in the self-advocacy and social-emotional development goals  specified in each student's ILP. By the end of  summer, the objectives of incorporating  four weeks of STEAM activities to all camp groups are to: increase the  average rate of student participation; increase self-advocacy and  social-emotional development; decrease the average frequency of aggressions,  elopements, and interruptions during lessons; and increase the frequency of  reciprocal interactions. STEAM activities incorporating science, technology,  engineering, art, and math serve a host of benefits including the development  of soft skills such as creativity, problem solving, and perseverance, and  collaboration; increasing engagement and motivation; and personalizing  students’ learning experiences.     Mainspring teacher’s assistants and registered behavior technicians (RBTs)  will consult with the school BCBA and teachers regarding baseline data and  student goals, collaborate to develop a full hands-on STEAM curriculum, and  construct evidence-based interventions STEAM projects, crafts, activities,  and experiments specific to the developmental levels of each of our students.  Observational data will be measured before, during, and after program  implementation to determine progress in the project objectives, as well as to  incorporate any necessary adjustments for continuation in future  Intersessions and Camps.    Mainspring Academy is the only school in Jacksonville that serves a high  and diverse population of nonverbal students, language-impaired students, and  students with moderate to severe profound diagnoses. Students in the STEAM  summer camp program will have hands-on access to different building,  problem-solving, and creativity projects which will promote stress  management, improved communication, mobility, and social interaction.     Grant funds will support one major camp-wide project per week in the STEAM  Summer Camp program.

Mandala Family Wellness

Sensory Integration and Emersion Experiences
Awarded
$2,000

Mandala  Family Wellness is a clinic that focuses on joining all disciplines of  therapy to create a combination of innovative wellness and evidence-based  practices to help each client achieve optimal health and well-being. The  clinic partners with clients, family, teachers, physicians, and other  community members to meet the needs of each client. Through individual  child/adolescent/ adult therapy, family therapy, marital counseling,  mediation, psychological testing, and parent education, Mandala demonstrates  compassionate care through enrichment programs and services.     Mandala is seeking to continue our sensory integration experiences for all  clients and their families. These include our sensory garden, coping skills  pathway, musical exploration and social games for this upcoming summer.  During the summer, clients are encouraged to continue services with no  disruption between school and summer scheduling. Activities are planned to  focus on social skills, adaptive and community-based skills, functional  living skills, communication skills, self-advocacy and self-esteem skills, as  well as meet all individual sensory needs.     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  stepping stones (concrete forms the students can decorate and imprint with  their hand print) 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 and manipulatives.

Music Therapy Services, Inc.

MusicAbilities
Awarded
$2,000

Our  program will be designed to inspire children and/or teens on the autism  spectrum through immersing them within safe, intimate, small group sessions,  aimed at focusing on their innate strengths. By drawing from each  individual’s musical and non-musical strengths, and meeting them where they  are emotionally, socially and developmentally, each of their areas of need,  such as social skills, communication, behavioral self-regulation,  sensory-motor impairments, speech/language skills, and attempting new skills,  will be addressed.  All sessions will  be facilitated by a Music Therapist and a Music Educator. We will be engaging  the participants in bucket drumming ensembles, bongo, frame, vibrational,  conga & tongue drums, singing protocols, Prodigy Bells curriculum  (teaches & reinforces the musical element of “pitch”), piano/keyboard  skills, movement/dance, song writing/composition, improvisation and reading  rhythmic notation. Pictures and videos of each child/teen will be taken and  shared with their parents/guardians. Sessions will be two hours in duration,  giving their parents an opportunity for either respite or to join in on our  groups.  Siblings will be welcome. We  have partnered with several different ABA centers, and families (private  homes) affected by autism, throughout Duval and Clay counties to ensure a  safe space for our sessions to unfold. Grant  funds will be used for provider implementation and facilitation of the 8  weekly sessions for two separate groups; one in the Orange Park/Ortega area,  and the other in the Mandarin area (subject to change).  All musical instruments and relevant  equipment will be supplied by the Music Therapy Services, Inc., and/or their  staff members.  Securing funds for this  program will provide professional Music Therapy sessions, conducted by highly  experienced staff, at no cost to parents, many of whom are single parents,  have more than one child in their home on the spectrum and/or medically  fragile, and lack financial security. These parents have very limited  personal time, and many of them are homeschooling their child(ren), for a  variety of reasons.  We hope to enrich  the lives of families affected by autism by involving children/teens in  success-oriented, inclusive music-based sessions, while gifting their parents  the chance to experience some much needed personal time.

Peace of Heart Community

POHC Endless Summer Program
Awarded
$5,000

Peace of Heart Home is licensed for 6 residents, and offers respite for teens and  young adults.  Respite services provide  us the opportunity to serve up to 3 community members daily.  POHH has partnered with various internship  programs and volunteers to help educate those from our community.  The volunteers and participants express the  program’s mutually beneficial design, as meaningful, lasting friendships have  been formed.

Peace of Heart Farm Enrichment Program

Enrichment Summer Camp
Awarded
$5,000

Farm  Enrichment Summer Camp will provide three 3 days a week camp in first week of  the month for the months of June, July & August.  Summer Camp will have 10-12 participants  from the community to gather, share, socialize and experience field trips to  themed camp weeks & destinations.   So far, we have confirmed 100% participation of 11 special need  individuals from our local community. Peace of Heart Farm Enrichment Program will use grant funds to expand the current  operations of the Vocational Enrichment Program.  The grant will allow accessibility to three  3 week, 3 day summer field trips to themed destinations to include shared  transportation, supplemental staff support and supplies needed for successful  camps.   The Farm Enrichment Program is  currently offered at no or limited cost to participants, and with the  assistance of the HEAL grant, the program can offer a dynamic Summer Camp  program offsite to further enrich the lives of those young adults in our  community with autism.

PossAbilities Plus

Summer Program
Awarded
$1,500

Primarily  we are seeking funding to expand our program in two ways. Foremost to  increase the number of individuals we can serve and secondly, to diversify  the types of experiences we can offer in both the social and experiential  realm. Goal  #1: Increase the number of individuals that we serve by 50%.    Goal #2: Increase the program offerings to our young adults with  disabilities by incorporating a visual arts and other media program, an  ongoing theater arts program, and a dancing program. We would also like to  expand enough to include woodworking or other industrial arts.    The overarching goal is to reach as many individuals as possible, despite  the ability to pay and provide them with social experiences with other clients  their same age as well as provide job skills that will guarantee them some  self-reliance and independence in their lives.    To expand our offerings, we will need to partner with Atlantic Beach  artists to teach painting, or art using 3-D media, continuing to have an  ongoing relationship with Jax Players by the Sea, and work with local dance  studios to introduce various types of dancing.     We will need to connect with a nutritionist (to include mind/body  connections) and other individuals to start a woodworking and industrial arts  class.    As you may know, our individuals progress at a rate that is difficult to  measure in a very constrained timeline. We look for improvement in behavior,  overall independence, a willingness to take directions, competency, and self  confidence. All of which are difficult to quantitatively measure. However,  once awarded the grant, we will collect job placement statistics, feedback  from employers through surveys and interviews, as well as anecdotal evidence  from parents and students on how PossAbilities Plus helped them improve their  lives and the lives of their families.    **Since many of our programs are volunteer-based, we want to consider the  realistic sustainability of this model. We will need to solicit people that  are willing to work for us long term on a salary basis. on a salary  basis.    Also, our programs utilize other programs that may rely on volunteers as  well. We would have to pay for experts in dance, art, etc. to run these  programs for us at a considerable cost that may not be met by thrift store  sales or tea room reservations.

Special Nation

Summer Programming for Special Nation Friends Group
Awarded
$3,000

Our  goal is to provide activities throughout the summer for individuals with  autism. Our activities will include:    Regular Wednesday night Friends Group gathering at Redeemer Church and  other locations throughout the community including the beach, Peace of Heart,  and Bit of Faith Ranch.   This is a  time for families to come together and enjoy community and learning about  being followers of Christ. Once a month we will also celebrate the birthdays  for that month and have Karaoke night.       Special Nation at the Movies (partnering with Bit of Faith Ranch) - Third  Saturday of every month up to 50 people can gather at the movies in a sensory  friendly no hush private theater.    Second Sunday Special Praise - full no hush church service with worship,  sermon, and communion.  This is a very  special intimate time for the individuals we serve and their families to go  to church where they find total belonging and acceptance.    Two Social Gatherings – a dance for the entire family and a back to school  event. The  grant funds will be used to pay for half of the movie outings over the  summer, gifts for birthday parties and special occasions, food, sensory  items, supplies and staff for events and social gatherings.

Fall