2021 Spring

Ability Tree First Coast

CampAbility Special Day Camp
Awarded
$1,500

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 are expanding this year to include a 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.

Angelwood, Inc

The Bells of Angelwood
Awarded
$1,000

The Bells of Angelwood is a handbell choir that was formed in 2017. The ensemble is a performing arts initiative at Angelwood’s Career Development and Education Center. The bell ensemble offers individuals in the group an opportunity to develop musically, perform, and give back to their community. The ensemble has visited nursing care programs to both perform and to show residents how to use chimes. The participants increase their skill development in a group setting and build confidence during practices and while volunteering their time to playing in the community. The group has had the opportunity to perform in the community in public and private concerts. In 2019 The Bells of Angelwood participated in a holiday concert in collaboration with the Brooks Rehab Clubhouse Chimers and the North Florida School of Special Education, in addition to a daytime holiday performance at the Jessie Ball duPont Center in Jacksonville.

BASCA, Inc.

Building Abilities of Special Children & Adults Inclusion Program
Awarded
$1,000

In furthering BASCA's mission to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities in NE Florida, we appreciate the opportunity to be considered for HEAL grant funding. A majority of the individuals we serve live with AutismSpectrum Disorder. HEAL funding will be directly beneficial by providing a creative, community inclusion outing. By providing inclusion activities in our day programs, individuals gain a sense of pride and accomplishment by going out into the community and not being in one location all of the time. Your support will allow individuals to branch-out beyond providing for their immediate basic needs.Enrichment activities are important too!

BASCA, Inc. was formed in 1994 by parents who wanted to provide socialization services for their children with differences in northern Clay County. The organization has grown to now include five group homes, enriching day programs, support services, transportation, and community inclusion for more than 200 adults each year. We still serve some of the families and their children, who are now adults.

Best Buddies International

Friendship Programs & Citizens' Friendship Program
Awarded
$1,000

Best Buddies’ School Friendship program builds mutually enriching friendships between students with and without intellectual and developmental differences (IDD), offering social mentoring while improving the quality of life and level of inclusion for a population that is often isolated and excluded. This program helps students with IDD form meaningful connections with their peers; gain self-confidence and self-esteem; and share interests, experiences, and activities that many other individuals regularly enjoy.

At each school, a faculty advisor and a special education advisor work with student leaders to recruit students withIDD (buddies) to be matched in one-to-one friendships with students without disabilities (peer buddies). School chapters host at least one event a month. Best Buddies offers a calendar of engagement activities and ideas for chapters to utilize and connect, such as training resources, games, best practices, and Sanford Harmony programs.

Best Buddies’ Citizens Friendship program is an adult friendship program for individuals with IDD and those without IDD who are 18-years-old or older. One to one friendships include matching an adult with IDD with a peer without IDD. This buddy pair develops a friendship like any other and promotes a more inclusive world for adults with and without disabilities. Citizens members in Jacksonville currently participate in three monthly activities which include a social hangout, professional and personal development training, and a fitness related activity. Citizens also equips participants to become leaders in our community.

Bit of Faith Ranch

Summer Fun at the Ranch
Awarded
$2,000

Summer Fun at the Ranch will include: Summer Season,Movie Outings, and Mom's Round Up.
Summer Season: We will host up to 14 riders to come every other week for an adaptive riding session. Participants will have a 30 minute session to ride and groom a horse with the assistance of a volunteer horse lead and side walker. Our budding equestrians gain skills and confidence with every session.

Movie Outings: Partnering with Special Nation, we host monthly private movie viewings for our participants and their families. Up to 25 people will share one theater. Our guests are comfortable to enjoy the movie however they want. Free to walk around, make noises, even dance if they want. It's a great opportunity for the population we serve to experience movies for perhaps the very first time.


Mom's Round Up: monthly gatherings for mothers who have children/family members impacted by autism or related disabilities. We will alternate monthly between an evening out and a lunch. This is an opportunity for moms to get together with other moms facing some of the same parenting challenges.

Bit of Faith Ranch provides riding, recreation, and respite to build belonging, growth and relationships for individuals and their families who are impacted by autism and related disabilities A place to call their own, a sport to call their own, and a community that is their own. We have completed two seasons with 12-16 riders each season, just began ourSpring season with 14 riders. We have over 30 volunteers (12 very committed) and have had over 600 volunteer hours served.

BridgeHaven Academy

BridgeHaven Summer Camp/Social Groups
Awarded
$2,000

BridgeHaven Summer Camp and Social Skills 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 foreach 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. We are also looking forward to offering mini camp sessions for typers of the same ages to come together to have meaningful conversations.

Connecting Thru Music, Inc

Summer Camps/Job Skills Program
Awarded
$1,000

Connecting Thru Music, Inc is a 501c3 non-profit established in 2018 for the purpose of providing music experiences and music therapy to children with special needs in Northeast Florida.

CTM currently serves the following locations: DLC Nurse and Learn, DLC Therapy and Care, Palm Ave (DCPS), North Florida School for Special Education, Growing Together Behavioral Center (Southpoint and Mandarin locations), Mainspring Academy, Bloom Behavioral Solutions, HopeHaven, Proactive Life Skills, and PossAbilities Plus. Additionally, due to Covid, we provide videos of therapy sessions to students at Neptune Beach Elementary andMandarin Oaks Elementary.

Our highest funding needs at present are for our summer programs, our Possabilities Plus Jobskills Program and the production and distribution of videos for use where in-person classes are not possible.

Daniel Memorial, Inc.

Organic Therapuetic Gardening Program
Awarded
$700

This grant request is for the development of a horticultural therapy program using hydroponic growing technology to benefit children and adolescents receiving residential mental health treatment services at the Daniel Belfort Rd.campus. These vulnerable young people face significant challenges that require intensive mental health treatment services, including psychiatric care, targeted therapy modalities, life/social skill development, and academic services. On any given day, 36 youth, ages 5-17, are in residence for a period of four to six months. The average annual census is 85. Residents attend school on-site through the Duval County Schools hospital homebound program.

The agency seeks to continuously develop and implement innovative program components in the effort to increase engagement and to expose children to new and exciting experiences. We know that literature reviews detail the benefits of gardening and nature for children with emotional/behavioral problems attributable to stress and trauma. This evidenced-based modality involves the use of hands-on growth of edible plants and related educational activities as tools to promote healing and to promote healthy diet choices and a life-long passion for sustainable, organic gardening. The hydroponic garden will produce greens and herbs that will be planted, harvested and consumed by the residents!

Epilepsy Florida

Epilepsy Florida Family Weekend Getaway at Camp Boggy Creek
Awarded
$1,000

As a result of COVID-19, our traditional summer camp is now becoming a family affair and we're hosting Family Weekend Getaways! From July 9-11, we are offering our kids with epilepsy and their families time to connect away from home as individual family units at Camp Boggy Creek. Most of our camp attendees with epilepsy also have autism and there is an established association between the two.

Family weekends are designed for families to enjoy CampBoggy Creek's 232 acres of fun as individual family units in a safe, socially distant and unique way. Games, projects, arts & crafts, Archery, Miniature Golf, and a multitude of outdoor and nature activities will all be available free of charge to our families.

Camp Boggy Creek was created by Paul Newman as one of his famous Hole in the Wall camps as a non-profit medical camping center located in Eustis, Florida, specifically designed and equipped for kids ages 7-16 who have chronic or life threatening illnesses. The camp’s on-staff medical teams and volunteers ensure the environment is physically safe and medically sound. Because of the substantial emotional and financial toll that falls upon families dealing with childhood epilepsy, EFL helps covers the cost for children (and now this year, their families!) to attend summer camp.

Girl Scouts of Gateway Council Inc.

Girl Scout Smile Camp
Awarded
$1,000

Smile Camp is all about putting smiles on the faces of FirstCoast children with disabilities for nearly 50 years.

Elementary school children with autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, and vision or auditory impairments are invited to attend this week-long day camp outdoors atCrystal Springs Elementary School in Jacksonville, FL.Activities will focus on sensory and creative play such as painting, writing, drawing, dancing, and singing.

Smile Camp is planned and staffed by rising 9th-12th grade Girl Scouts. Counselors receive hands-on, intensive training and are paired with a camper each day, allowing counselors to get to know the specific needs of their camper and allowing campers to feel comfortable with their counselor.

Our organization continues to take safety seriously, especially in light of COVID-19. That is why camp will follow the guidelines of the CDC for a safe camp experience for all those who attend.

Growing Together Behavioral Center

Summer Camp 2021
Awarded
$1,500

Growing Together Behavioral Center is one of Jacksonville's premier schools for children and adults with Autism and Developmental Differences. We pride ourselves on being a school of high integrity where each child is treated as an individual, and educational plans are tailored to their personal needs.

We are currently enjoying our third school year at our Southpoint location, and are thrilled to have opened our new location in Mandarin in January 2021. We have students age 3 - 12 at in Southpoint and students ages 3 - 22 in Mandarin. Summer camp at Growing Together is a more relaxed experience but will still include academics and behavioral therapy. We continue to work toward our mission of advancing language, play skills, social skills and more in a safe and nurturing environment.

Our upcoming summer camp will run Monday, June 7through Friday, August 1, 2021. Summer camp is open to ALL children diagnosed with Autism and otherDevelopmental Differences, even if they do not currently attend GTBC. Our summer camp is currently full, with a waitlist.

Funding will support purchasing all required materials to engage in exciting summer activities for Summer Camp2021, including sensory items, art supplies, reinforcers, and outdoor materials.

Help Us Golf Junior Golf Camp

Help Us Golf/HEAL Junior Golf Camp at TPC Sawgrass
Awarded
$1,400

HUG is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping anyone with the desire to play golf, enjoy the game no matter what their physical or cognitive limitations. Through this golf camp we look to enhance the lives of people with challenges through golf instruction and clinics. We want to give the opportunity to all to learn and enjoy the great game of golf.

Funds will go straight to funding the program to provide the best experience for each camper. Each day camper will receive snacks and lunch. As well each camper will receive a shirt and hat.

This grant will serve 18 individuals. Students have various Intellectual and Developmental Differences.

Henderson Haven, Inc

Summer Programs
Awarded
$2,000

Henderson Haven, Inc will utilize grant funds to support our 10-week summer program. Funds will help provide learning in a fun environment while promoting age-appropriate social skills. Each week students will work on targeted social, academic and life skills. We will utilize our 2 services dogs as well as 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 summer program get to experience fun summer activities many children take for granted. They explore new activities and begin to ignite passions for recreational fun that carry 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.

Our summer programs will give us the chance to reach more kids and families and help them begin this fun and amazing journey to a life of independence. Programs will be available for students ages 3 to 22 years old.

Hope Haven Association, Inc.

Camp Hope
Awarded
$1,000

Camp Hope provides summer camp enrichment to children and youth ages 3-22 with physical or intellectual challenges. It is one of only a handful of local camps that accommodate children with a disability. The greatest barrier to attendance is cost, making donations of financial assistance critical to access. Assistance is distributed on a sliding scale of need, providing anywhere from a 10 to 50 percent reduction in fees.

Camp Hope is held eight of the nine weeks of summer break, Monday-Friday, 7:30 am-6 pm. A different camp theme is featured each week, and activities include music therapy, art therapy, outdoor games, virtual field trips, aHealthy Kids Club focused on healthy eating, and in-school experiences created by guest presenters. Tutoring is an added bonus for children who need to strengthen various academic skills. Families can also conveniently schedule a range of therapies on campus with Great Strides, including PT, OT, Speech, and ABA.

For children with special needs, the socialization that summer camp provides is especially critical for sustaining progress. Even under normal circumstances, it is often the only social engagement available over the summer and the only respite parents receive. This lack of opportunity impacts a population of children dependent on routines, familiarity, and the rare friendship that school provides.

Hope Therapy

Scholarship Program
Awarded
$1,500

Hope Therapy provides "Healing with the help of the horse"for special needs children, veterans and others with a variety of challenging medical diagnoses.

HorsePlay Therapy Center

Hippotherapy/OT/PT/ST
Awarded
$1,500

We provide physical, occupational, and speech therapy on horseback to children with special needs. Currently we serve 54 children with Autism, as well as another 50 children with a variety of other disabilities including cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, genetic disorders, spinal bifida, sensory disorders, and developmental delays.

We are a team of 10 clinicians, 17 volunteers, and 7 horses who work together to improve the lives of the children we serve. We have been fortunate in being able to provide financial assistance to all who need it to participate in our program. We are on our 5th year as a non profit organization, and we are continuing to grow and expand, thanks to foundations like HEAL!

Indigo Art Center Inc.

Open Art Studio
Awarded
$1,000

Open Art Studio provides adaptive visual art process exploration for artists with disabilities to create in a safe, supportive studio setting. Artists are provided with a variety of art materials to explore creatively and independently.

Indigo Art Center staff provide the least amount of support necessary, adapting as needed, with an emphasis on choice and personal artistic expression. Artists learn life skills, social skills, and vocational skills in this open art studio environment. Community art exhibitions are offered for artists interested in exhibiting and selling their work.

Indigo Art Therapy Studio

Summer Scholarships
Awarded
$1,000

Summer Scholarships would provide group or individual art therapy scholarships for adults and children with autism. This scholarship program would allow recipients to choose the level of support that feels right for them. Customized art therapy sessions are created to help with emotion regulation, sensory integration, social skills, and self-expression.

Indigo Art Therapy Studio is dedicated to making the healing power of art safe and accessible. At Indigo, we love empowering people to discover and harness their own creativity. Art therapy engages the mind, body, and spirit in ways that are distinct from verbal expression alone. Our board-certified art therapists facilitate individuals of all ages and abilities in the creative process, incorporating yoga, mindfulness, and evidence-based therapeutic techniques for an integrative approach to healing.

Infinity Care

Day Program
Awarded
$1,000

Infinity Care was founded in 2014 by Keyshia Mitchell in Jacksonville, Florida. Our Mission is to offer quality and safe care in a fun environment. Our center is in a small and intimate setting, so your loved one(s) will get more one on one time and no one feels left out. The trained and experienced staff take great care of our patients. We believe in companionship and building a relationship with our patients so they feel comfortable at our center. Infinity Care also has nurses on duty for our medical complex.

Infinity Care is here to ensure your loved ones are in good hands while you take a well-deserved break. We offer programs that help with social skills, mental health, and daily living needs.

Infinity Care is dedicated to providing the nurturing care that every special needs adult or senior requires so that they can flourish in their daily lives. Whether your loved one is physically, cognitively, or developmentally disabled or just needs companionship, Infinity Care provides the highest quality assistance.

Jacksonville School for Autism Inc

2021 Summer Enrichment
Awarded
$1,900

Grant funding will provide students 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, dolphin interactions, and other community eld 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

Gross Motor Development: Exercise and Autism Summer Program
Awarded
$1,000

Many individuals with autism have lower fitness skills compared to other people. These skills include balance, body coordination, visual-motor control and other mobility skills. Here again, we were encouraged to find that many types of physical activities improve skill-related fitness for youth with autism. Many kinds of physical activities – and the social opportunities they afford – require what we call “fundamental motor skills.” These basic skills include running, throwing, catching and so on. Analysis has showed that youth who participated in physical activity programs designed for individuals with autism showed significant gains in their social and communication skills. When designed appropriately, physical activity programs can provide a fun, safe setting for interacting with other children. In other words, they can offer excellent opportunities for practicing social skills. The funding for this grant will be utilized to purchase the proper and specialized equipment for children with autism to explore gross motor develop this summer.

Kids Connect Today

Social Skills Classes and Summer Camp
Awarded
$1,000

Kids Connect today is a social skills program for children, teens and young adults with autism. Individuals learn skills such as, sharing, turn taking, appropriate conversation and go on community outings. We integrate our groups with neuro typical peers, who serve as social role models.

Mainspring Academy

Nature Discovery Summer Camp Program
Awarded
$1,500

Grant funds will be used towards summer camp program enrichment. Real-world retreats will include admission (if applicable) and transportation to Tree Hill Nature Center Guided Tour and Animal Encounter, Ft. Caroline NationalMonument and Timucuan Trails, mobile wildlife education on the school playground from Jacksonville Zoo andGardens Zoo to You Education Outreach, and Jacksonville Beach.

North Florida School of Special Education

Summer iCan Bike Camp
Awarded
$1,000

North Florida School of Special Education is partnering with iCan Bike to offer two – one week summer bike programs for children and young adults, 8 years or older.

iCan Bike is a program through iCan Shine, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide quality learning opportunities in recreational activities for individuals with IDD (Intellectual and DevelopmentalDifferences). Through their iCan Bike program, they conduct over 100 five-day bike camps and after school programs throughout the U.S. and Canada teaching approximately 3,000 individuals with disabilities how to ride a bicycle each year. Since their beginning in 2007, they have successfully taught nearly 20,000 people with disabilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle.

iCan Bike uses adapted bicycles, a specialized instructional program, and trained staff to enable individuals with IDD to learn to ride a conventional bicycle.

In each weeklong session, twenty-five riders attend one 75-minute session each day for five consecutive days where they learn to ride while accompanied and encouraged by volunteer “spotters”. Over the course of the week the bike’s stability is adjusted to challenge the rider’s balance as they gradually discover the skill and joy of riding.

Outcomes
In one week approximately 80% of riders will learn to independently ride a bicycle. The remaining 20% make tremendous progress towards that goal.

Peace of Heart Community Farm

POH Enrichment Adventures Summer Camp
Awarded
$2,000

POH Enrichment Program is a program where persons with special needs especially those affected by autism are invited to participate in volunteer activities on Peace of Heart Farm. They partner with the Enrichment Team staff and learn vocation skills such as farm driven outdoor tasks, enhance their motor skill development and learn daily outdoor living skills such as lawn mowing, operating equipment with supervision, animal care and small construction projects. In addition, they participate in a weekly MMA training camp on the farm to teach coordination and endurance. Our program is person centered and community inclusion focused.

POH Enrichment Adventures Camp will provide summer long weekly activities in the community to families and persons with autism at no charge to the family. The adventures will begin with offsite outdoor activities and feature hands on and educational eld trips such as a weekly surf camp, fishing lessons, local community farm visits, museum of science and history and more.

Peace of Heart Community, Inc.

POHC FIT SUMMER CAMP
Awarded
$2,000

Peace of Heart Community has created a Peace of Heart FitSummer Camp which will include exploration & community outings to different outdoor fitness environments such as Sunshine Park fitness stations, Dutton Island Nature Trails,Beach Yoga, Arboretum Nature Trails, Atlantic Beach Park and introduction to participation in the Hildervat Obstacle Race in May. The program will offer alternative communication conversations, socialization with peers, activities promoting motor skills development, and most importantly - FUN!

Grant will be used to obtain appropriate items needed for exploration and training to include but not limited to workout bands, new yoga mats, waited vests for those who need extra support, folding light weight sports chairs, medicine balls, ankle weights and sensory items; such as sensory swing and other items to assist.

PossAbilities Plus, Inc

Summer Independence Skills Camps
Awarded
$500

PossAbilities Plus seeks to enhance the lives and opportunities of individuals with special needs through training, employment, and social opportunities.

We are a unique facility that combines a supportive environment with real-time job training opportunities. This program will be held at PossAbilities Plus. All costs of location and additional resources will be provided by PossAbilities Plus. Funding is needed for program supplies including Student folders and handouts, sewing kits, food items, and posters.

Reach Academy

"SHOW ME THE MONEY!" Transition Camp
Awarded
$1,500

"REACHing Out" is Reach Academy's Transition and LifeSkills program. Designed for our older students, ages 15-21,REACHing Out teaches and supports self-sufficiency and workplace skills needed for independent living into adulthood.

This program will run for 7 weeks in the months of June andJuly on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:00am-2:00pm. The theme throughout the summer program will be money management and budgeting.

This will be taught using lessons outlined in the UniqueCurriculum on personal budgeting, banking and spending.Activities include, but not limited to, learning to create a personal budget; banking/shopping with checks and a debit card; meal planning, couponing, and grocery shopping within a budget; and ordering at a restaurant and paying the bill.There will be outings to various places to practice skills learned.

Students will also learn workplace skills by being involved with our REACHing Out "business" - created and currently run by the 2020-2021 transition students - that specializes int-shirt design and printing. Working in our "business" will teach students on the job skills such as order taking, order fulfillment, collecting payment and shipping. Students will learn business budgeting, product cost efficiency, and profit and loss. While working, the students will also gain valuable experience and proficiency using a vinyl cutting machine, a heat press, and a screen printing machine.

Special Nation

Summer Program
Awarded
$1,500

Our goal is to provide activities throughout the summer for people with autism. Our activities will include:
Regular Wednesday night gathering at Redeemer Church-This is a time for families to come together and enjoy community and learning about being followers of Christ.Every third Wednesday we will have Special Nation at theBeach. Once a month we will also celebrate the birthdays for that month with CFGF birthday cakes.

Second Saturday Connor Hikes - Families will be invited to join us a different places throughout the area for a time of hiking and enjoying being outdoors together. Named after one of our participants, Connor, because he loves hiking so much. Special Nation at the Movies (partnering with Bit of FaithRanch): Third Saturday of every month up to 25 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.


Moms Round Up (partnering with Bit of Faith Ranch):Monthly gathering the 3rd Thursday of the month alternating between an evening and a lunch outing. These moms have a unique set of challenges and it is helpful for the entire family for moms to get out with other mom's who "get it"and can go home refreshed and re-energized to keep on being their best.

Spectrum Thrift Store

Summer Employment
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. Grant money provided toSpectrum Thrift Store enables us to hire and effectively train new employees.

Waterleaf Elementary School

Extened School Year
Awarded
$1,000

ESY stands for Extended School Year. It is a program for students who are at a critical point in instruction or whose education was impacted by COVID-19 to help fill in the gaps and provide a safe and stable place for learning during summer. The program is 6 weeks long this year.

The funds will be spent buying supplies for the CSSTeachers that teach ESY this Summer. In order to reduce the risk of exposure we are trying to purchase enough materials for each classroom to have their own set. Supplies include art crafts, snacks, and general classroom supplies.

2021 Fall

Abess Park Elementary CSS

CSS Communication and Social Skills
Awarded
$1,000

We are the home to 7 Pre-K CSS classrooms.  All of our students are between the ages of  3-5 and for some it is their first experience in school.  All of our students are language impaired,  and exhibit varying exceptionalities such as ASD, DD, and EBD.  We utilize a visual schedule and  continually pair visuals with verbal requests.  Our program is unique as we are one of the  only schools to have an all CSS Pre-K program.  We currently have over 70 students amongst  our classrooms and would greatly benefit from any funding and  support available.  We are a Title 1  school and district funding is limited. Funding will be  specifically used to purchase materials that will assist in the lamination,  printing, and securing visual aids that increase communication, attention,  and language.  In addition the funds  will be used to develop a new housekeeping area that is up to date and  inviting to the students.  Finally the  remainder will go towards light up led light toys, and  classroom materials such as paint, sensory bottles, and fidget toys.

Arc of the St. Johns Community Campus

Community Campus
Awarded
$1,000

The Arc of the  St. Johns community campus is a public special education charter school that  serves students in St. Johns county with intellectual and developmental  disabilities (I/DD), individuals on the autism spectrum, individuals with  down syndrome, and individuals with other unspecified exceptionalities. We  strengthen the individuals served their families, and the community by  providing the opportunity for hope, for growth and for change; the  opportunity for everyone to become a valued, contributing member of our  community.

Half of the funds disbursed will be used to purchase  a system used to provide discrete tactile prompts to individuals to reduce  instructional interruptions in the classroom, increase social interactions,  to reduce dependency on prompting from behavior therapists and  paraprofessionals, and to teach self-monitoring skills. The other half of the  funds approximately will be used to purchase sensory equipment for the  sensory classroom to provide the individuals with access to a rich sensory  environment.

Bit of Faith Ranch

Safety Equipment - Vests, Saddle Seat Size Reducers, Surcingle, Horse Show Supplies
Awarded
$1,000

Bit of Faith  Ranch would like to purchase additional adaptive and safety equipment to  create the best experience possible for our equestrians. We recently began  our second year offering free or minimal cost equine assisted and other  recreational activities to contribute positively to the cognitive physical  emotional and social well being of individuals with autism and their  families. Individuals will participate in adaptive riding sessions or ground  activities on an ongoing basis with the aid of sidewalkers and horse  handlers.  We also have social and  recreational events for participants and their families including a horse  show/family day, movie outings and Moms Roundup.  Riding. Recreation. Respite.

BridgeHaven Academy and Communication Clinic

S.O.A.R. (Acronym: Social/Service, Opportunities, Academics, Recreation)
Awarded
$1,000

BridgeHaven  Academy students  and Communication  Clinic clients have created every part of our SOAR program! This project is a  3 tier project that incorporates social/business aspects, inclusion, and  community service. Our students will start a business  that sells items like jewelry, t-shirts, books, etc. that they have actually  created online in order to fund our community service projects and some  activities.  Our occupational therapist  is on board to help the students work through motor planning issues with the  students as well as support them with their selections.

We are very interested in how we can give back to our community, so we have  already completed a collection and donation drive for hurricane victims, and  are super excited to team up with the Ponte Vedra American Legion to redesign  and maintain the memorial garden there to honor the fallen soldiers and  deceased veterans.  Our students will  clean out the area, design a new garden space, purchase the plantings and  decorations, make and design stepping stones to honor the fallen soldiers and  deceased veterans, and maintain it once completed.

Socialization is so important for  people with communication challenges, so our students are going to plan 4  after-hours events that provide social opportunities for inclusion with  neurotypical peers.  They will plan the  activities, dinner or refreshment menus, themes, crafts, etc. This projects  really allows our students and communication clinic clients to become active  participants in life instead of bystanders.

Connecting Thru Music, Inc

Music Therapy for Children with Special Needs
Awarded
$600

Connecting Thru Music, Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 2018 for the purpose of providing music experiences and music therapy to children with special needs  in Northeast Florida.  Currently CTM is  providing services in-person at nine different locations. Although Covid has presented a challenge,  we were able to utilize some virtual session and also produced videos in  partnership with the Cummer Museum and the TAG Museum in St Augustine.

Fleming Island Elementary

ESE Sensory Space
Awarded
$500

We  would like to purchase some new items to update our sensory room. Some items  are to replace items that have broke and others are to update the room with  new things the kids enjoy. Additionally, We got a new fenced in play area for our students. We are  trying to make this into a sensory garden similar to the one at Conner's  Amazing Acres. We listed a few things that we would like to purchase for  that, but we would also need raw materials to make things like a music wall  and ball drop.

Greenwood School

The Walking Classroom
Awarded
$500

The  Greenwood School currently serves 195 students in grades sixth through  twelve, the majority of whom have diagnosed learning differences and/or other  difficulties that impact their learning. Some of the learning differences  include—but are not limited to—high-functioning autism spectrum disorders,  dyslexia, dysgraphia, developmental delays, attention deficit/hyperactivity  disorder (ADHD), delays in visual and auditory processing, visual/motor  integration, short-term memory deficits, etc. Our staff use a variety of  multi-sensory approaches and teaching methods to allow students to  successfully engage with the curriculum. Sixty-four percent (64%) of the  students make up our high school and all graduates earn a traditionally  tracked diploma. The curriculum is guided by the Florida Standards, and  Greenwood is fully accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools  (FCIS).

   We recently completed ADA accessible walking trails through the 10 acres of  protected wetlands that Greenwood School is lucky to be situated in. These  trails provide a space for our students to take walking breaks and learn in  an environment that is not a traditional classroom. Teachers use the Wetlands  area to immerse students in multi-sensory learning, using the natural  environment and the creek that runs through the property for science  experiments, art projects and more. We also use the sensory aspect of the  Wetlands as a place of calm for our students who need breaks from a  traditional classroom setting. The Walking Classroom is a perfect addition to  our already interactive program.

The  Walking Classroom is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that provides  educators with a resource to take students outside to walk while listening to  a 30 minute podcast covering a specific topic within the English Language  Arts, Social Studies or Science curriculum. Staff then have the opportunity  to use that material back in the classroom. This resource will complement our  multi-sensory approaches to learning already in place, and will offer  teachers another resource to use with our students. We find that having  students move while learning increases their success in the classroom and is  a technique that Greenwood uses throughout the day.

    Due to available resources, only a  selection of our student population takes part in PE classes each day. This  resource will allow more students to participate in 30 minutes of exercise  and improve their physical, emotional and academic health.

Hope Haven Association, Inc

Equipping Young Learners at Discovery School
Awarded
$1,000

At  Hope Haven’s Discovery School for preschool, we operate our program with a  low 1:5 teacher/student ratio, and limit total enrollment to 30 students or  less. Students are taught under a certified ESE Teacher.

This year, enrollment in Hope Haven’s Discovery School has increased. A  smaller cohort environment is sometimes an important feature for the needs of  students with sensory, academic, behavioral, emotional, and other special  needs. With this value in mind, we have opened an additional preschool  classroom to serve Discovery School’s youngest learners, allowing us to  maintain low student to teacher ratios. As exciting as this growth is, we  have identified the need for additional classroom supplies for this age  group. Things like larger manipulatives, art supplies, and updated books are  all needed to help us better enhance our classroom for learning and further  equip our teachers with the tools they need to provide educational  opportunities for our students. Funds  from this grant will go towards purchasing new, large manipulatives for ages  3-5, new books for the classroom, updated classroom art supplies, felt board  story kits, and additional classroom materials suitable for ages 3-5.

Hope Therapy, Inc.

Secure Fence Installation
Awarded
$1,000

Our  therapy area fencing is safe and secure. However we are in urgent need of  secure fencing to ensure pasture safety for our 11 therapy  horses.   Unstable fence posts are a danger to the horses, who use them to  scratch themselves.  If the horse  pushes the post hard enough it will lean precariously or fall down.  When that happens, fence wire is pulled down  creating a tripping hazard.  Horses can  also get their hooves caught in tangled or inadequate wire.  Some of the current fencing is held  together with hay bale twine, which is no match for a horse! Additionally, if a horse gets loose, nearby traffic poses danger of an  accident. Tearing down the old fencing and installing a secure new fence will address  these needs. The safety of our therapy horses is essential.  Current fencing jeopardizes our amazing  therapy horses.

Detailed  Description - The Project:  Safety for  the horses and stable management considerations are primary objectives. The  project plan prioritizes strength, chore and therapy session efficiency,  pathways and gates.  The new fence  design accommodates nearby vehicle traffic, water access for horses,  equipment movement and routes for supplies. All features are designed in  appropriate relation to buildings and other permanent features on the  farm.  The plan also allows easy access  to pastures and does not limit performance of stable chores. Gates are  designed to be easy to operate with only one hand so the other hand is free.  The new fencing will allow easy movement of groups of horses from pasture to  housing facilities and lanes connecting turnout areas to the stables.

Horses will test fence strength deliberately and casually. They often reach  through or over fences for attractions on the other side, which makes sturdy  fencing essential.  Loose fence posts  and worn-down wire are dangerous for our horses.  Twenty years of eleven horses leaning and  scratching on existing fenceposts have loosened foundations in the farm’s  sandy soil, creating a hazard for both horse and rider.

Highly visible fences can actually prevent playful horses from accidentally  running into them. Because a startled horse may still inadvertently hit a  visible fence, a sturdy, forgiving fence is required to contain the horse  without injury. Because wire fences alone are the weakest and least visible  option, standard 3-rail fencing with no-climb wire has been selected.

Jacksonville Miracle League

Special needs baseball program
Awarded
$1,000

We are a League  that provides opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to play  baseball, regardless of their abilities. We cannot change or cure the medical  issues life has dealt them. What we can do is provide them with an  opportunity to experience the joy and benefits that come from playing  baseball. We believe Every Child Deserves A Chance To Play Baseball.  Jacksonville's adaptive baseball league. Grant funds will  be used towards team uniforms.

Jacksonville School for Autism

JSA & Livox Communication Project
Awarded
$1,000

Jacksonville  School for Autism (JSA) is requesting funding to obtain the Livox  Communication Software. Livox is an award-winning artificial intelligence  alternative communication app to give voice to people with disabilities.  Created by a father for his daughter who has Cerebral Palsy, Livox is the  first intelligent alternative communication app that uses technology to allow  people with disabilities to communicate and learn. Livox created software for  tablets and smartphones that allows communication and learning for  individurals with speech disorders. Livox’s users have motor, cognitive, and  visual disabilities due to Down’s syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, multiple  sclerosis, lateral sclerosis, stroke, and other disorders that prevent them  from communicating orally. Livox’s innovation lies in how the software  applies intelligent algorithms to interpret the user’s finger movements on  the tablet surface and different algorithms that make the software adjustable  to a wide range of disabilities.

   This software is equipped with Artificial intelligence. Livox can “guess”  what a person with a disability is trying to say; natural conversation –  activate Livox by saying the name of the person and then, ask a question!  Livox helps them to answer according to the context. Livox’s platform  provides opportunities for users to communicate, learn, and grow. Learners  can communicate 20 times faster with Livox and the Livox Store allows  educators and professionals to create and publish content for different  disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in minutes.

   Users can adapt the content of the app based on the profile of the person’s  disability. The app holds 25,000 images to choose from and users can also add  photos, record songs, and create icons and descriptions. Lesson plans can be  shared online as a form of crowd-sourcing between students and caregivers.  

   It is our hope that by integrating the Livox Software into our non-verbal  classrooms, our students will gain multiple ways to communicate and learn and  feel overall more empowered! The grant funds  will be specifically used to help purchase the Livox software, Amazon Kindles  & the web-based support.

Kids Connect Today

Social skills classes
Awarded
$1,000

Kids Connect  Today offers social skills classes for children, teens and young adults.

Little Star Center

Playground equipment
Awarded
$800

We recently had  to part ways with an older playground equipment and we would like to purchase  additional pieces for kids to enjoy outside. Additional funding for a nice large  swingset and slide combination is on our list

Palm Avenue Exceptional Student Center

Yearbook
Awarded
$1,000

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.

Peace of Heart Community

Music Therapy & Fitness Therapy
Awarded
$1,000

Peace of Heart Home works with an organization called Music Therapy Services who  comes to the home and provides music class one day per week for one hour to  residents and enrichment program participants.  Participants work in a group, learn new  musical tunes, listen to music, interact and utilize musical instruments and  are able to experience group activity by bonding with each other, while  utilizing new motor skills and sensory skills.  

Peace of Heart Home is working on a fitness therapy program which will  allow residents to either participate in a personal training session with  Hildervat creator at their gym located in a local church and/or join the YMCA  under a group rate so that staff can take residents into the community and  workout with others, while increasing their motor skills and fitness levels.

Peace of Heart Community Farm

Enrichment Typing Social Circle
Awarded
$1,000

Peace of Heart  Enrichment program has hired an independent contractor trained in Facilitated  Communication to come to Peace of Heart Farm one time per week and host a  Social Typing Circle where friendship and conversation between enrichment  program participants take place.  There  are various subject matters each week, but the priority is for those with non  verbal autism to have the opportunity to speak their hearts, discuss various  topics and communicate to each other in a safe, beautiful and nurturing  environment.

Pine Castle

Sensory Spaces
Awarded
$1,000

Pine  Castle provides skills training and employment opportunities for adults with  autism and intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) in on-campus  workshops, and through partnership with local businesses, and city and state  employers. Our program fills a critical gap in day training for adults with  differences in the Jacksonville area. But even meaningful activity in the  various workshops can prove stressful for adults with autism and I/DD,  leading to “sensory overload.”

We are now working on the sensory space in Workshop #12 and request HEAL funding to outfit this area with the items we’ve found successful in our  other workshop sensory areas – calming diffusers, special lights, calming  music, and a bubble machine. Grant funds will  be used to purchase diffusers, diffuser oil, special lighting, calming music,  and a bubble machine.

Ponte Vedra High School

ESE Program
Awarded
$500

Immediate  benefits of incorporating flexible seating into classrooms can include:  Better health. Reduced risk of disease. Less stress. Strengthened mental  health. Improved physical fitness. Effective learning. Better cognitive  performance. A flexible seating option may not be the primary classroom seating  situation. In other words, it may be the best situation for the classroom  learning to occur in traditional desks. Flexible seating in the classroom can  be provided for supplemental learning, small groups, independent reading, or  other similar activities.  Some of our  kids learn better in the non traditional seating options. We will utilize  alternative seating for behavior and learning strategies as well as for  students who need to move more or cannot sit still to focus.

Reach Academy

REACHing Out - Digital Art with Procreate
Awarded
$1,000

It is our goal with Procreate that our students will create original  digital artwork and designs relevant to REACHing Out, Reach Academy, and the  advocacy and acceptance of those with autism.   These designs could be used on items such as apparel,  stickers/magnets, stationery, and housewares.   These items would then be sold by our REACHing Out students, to teach  fiscal management and small business operation.

Art created in any medium is always encouraged among our students, but  digital art can be encompassing for different abilities.  For example, the iPad allows for zooming in  on a specific section of the art piece.   This would be helpful to someone with a visual impairment or for  someone who would like to include enhanced detailing in the art piece.  The digital design space, and its tools and  components, are contained within the iPad.   This could be helpful for someone with sensory sensitivities who  doesn’t want to handle messy mixing of paints and liquids to find the color  needed. The app eliminates the physical cluster of brushes or markers for  someone who prefers a tidy, organized workspace.  The iPad itself, coupled with the Procreate  app, are both intuitive to touch, so a student with physical or fine motor  limitations would still be able to create art.  With digital art, there is no “waiting for  paint to dry”, and it is easy to just “undo” a mistake without having to do  the entire piece all over again.

Ridgeview High School

RHS Panther Challenge Transition program-Portable 29
Awarded
$500

Our program  consists of student who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual  Disabilities. This program was started 3 years ago for student who have  graduated high school but remain in school until they turn 22.  This program offers students an opportunity to learn additional adult living skills. The funds will be  used to enhance our school garden.  The  benefits of a school garden allows students to learn how plants grow from  seed to flower.   They will benefit  with the time outside in the fresh air and sunshine.  Through a PEC system student will be able  to distinguish various plants.  For  fine motor skills we will make on crafts using some materials from the  garden.

Ridgeview High School

ESE Classroom Career Preparation class
Awarded
$500

Specific  needs are materials and supplies for student learning in the areas of  cooking, baking, landscaping, gardening and creating garden structures and  barriers. We plan to use the funds for gardening and landscaping skills.

Ridgeview High School

ASD/IND classroom
Awarded
$500

Dell Chromebooks for Mrs. Yancey's classroom: I have 14  students and we are doing internet research, creating slide presentations,  using academic websites.  I can't book  a computer lab because they are always full of students taking standardized  tests.  

Ridgeview High School

Classroom Beatification
Awarded
$500

I teach 12  students with Autism in the self contained setting.  My students are extremely hard workers and  have earned an area outside the classroom to relax and unwind after  completing their work.  With that being  said, I would like to continue to make their outside area more appealing and  relaxing. Grant funds will  be used to spruce up the outside of the classroom with plants, mulch, pots  for plants, and possibly a sandy area.

Ridgeview High School

ASD self-contained classroom fund
Awarded
$500

The grant is in support of a space to feel at ease and reap all of the benefits of breathing in the  outdoor air. We currently do not have a place near our room that can host us  safely to do so. Research has shown that spending time outside can reduce  stress and improve attention and motor skills. Grant funds  will be used to create a welcoming and comfortable outdoor oasis for the  students. This will create an area to play to relax, unwind, and enjoy  nature.

Ridgeview High School

ESE Art Class /Activities
Awarded
$500

Ridgeview High  School has the largest ESE/ASD population in Northeast Florida and meets the  academic, physical, and social needs of over 140 student’s grades 9-12.  Within the Exceptional Education department  there is a Performing Arts ESE class where students are exposed to many of  the facets of the Fine Arts.  With the  grant money opportunities to be creative and express oneself through art will  be made possible.  The students will  also be engaged in and a part of brainstorming and creating props and  decorations for their annual ESE Prom and hallway Homecoming decorations.

By  providing the students multi-sensory instruction these students develop  creativity, patience, and are given the opportunity to express themselves.  Creativity is incredibly important to foster and hone, as it can be applied  to just about every aspect of life—problem solving, everyday writing,  projects (business or otherwise), etc. Additionally, for those who are  non-verbal this is an avenue to convey inner emotions and thoughts.   A large portion of these classes are  filled with Autistic students who show their creativity while being in a  safe, calm environment.  Many Autistic  students have been found to have surprising artistic talent.  This Fine Arts class affords students the  chance to learn to work with others and understand their contribution to the  bigger whole. Our RHS ESE art classes allow the students to engage and  express themselves in ways other classes do not have the resources to  offer.   We strive to nurture and mold  our students to become self-sufficient, self-advocating young adults who will  be able to make the transition from school and contribute to their  communities.
   
Being a county school program, our  budget line is very strict.  We strive  to be as cost efficient as possible and make great efforts to get the most  out of supplies purchased with allotted monies.  It is a known fact that the allotted monies  do not go as far as desired, therefore we find ourselves having to look  towards and within the community for business/organization that are willing  to help out financially.  Know that any  assistance is immensely appreciated for it affords us to go that extra mile  to improve student outcomes. This art program affords us occasions to teach  life skills, inspire students, and allow them to experience the world in a  different way. Through Ridgeview’s art program we strive to build a lasting  bond, allow opportunities to grow, develop one’s imagination, expand social  skills, and express oneself freely as these students with Autism and other  disabilities learn about the world of Art and prepare for life after their  secondary education.

Sabal Palm Elementary

ESE classroom
Awarded
$500

1st grade CSS  self-contained classroom. The funding will help with communication systems,  flexible seating, and sensory needs.

Special Nation

Respite Room
Awarded
$800

Special  Nation has use of a new portable at Redeemer Church.  We request funds to outfit the respite  building with sensory items, games, activities, and storage to create a  warm, comfortable, inviting space for the families we serve.

The Jericho School

Technology to Accelerate the Learning Process of Children with Autism or Developmental Disabilities
Awarded
$976

iPads/technology for three classrooms.