September 2021
FACT is so excited to bring back our in-person Party Under the Stars this year on Saturday, October 9th at 4 PM! It has been so long since we got to celebrate with our amazing donors and supporters who make it possible for our kids and young adults with autism to receive crucial services throughout the year! We moved the start time from 6 PM to 4 PM in order to get more time to party and catch up with all of you wonderful people. Check out our event website for more details!

Also, we are in the process of collecting items for both the silent and live auctions. We are looking for new/unused items, as well as experiences (such as hotel stays, activities, restaurant gift cards, etc.). If you have any items you would like to donate or know anyone who may be interested in donating, please email us with the subject line "Potential Auction Item." We greatly appreciate your support and any recommendations!
Donors and Grantors -
Hampton Roads Community Foundation
The Hampton Roads Community Foundation is southeastern Virginia’s largest grant and scholarship provider. Since its founding in 1950, the regional community foundation has provided more than $301 million in grants and scholarships to improve life in southeastern Virginia. This year, FACT was awarded a three-year, $32,100 grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to fund its brand new Arts Adventures program.

Arts Adventures is a joint program between FACT and Arts for Learning Virginia which will take place in a different city and focus on a different form of art each fall for the next three years! Our first Arts Adventures class starts on September 20, 2021 and will be a 12-week creative dance and body movement program with Angela Taylor, certified yoga instructor, and teaching artist. Each session will explore communication, teamwork, and self-worth themes through a variety of dance and body movements in a peer-to-peer environment. On the last day of class, we will host a culminating event that will showcase skills learned throughout the course.

Who: Individuals with autism in grades 6-12. This is a FREE program and top priority will be given to families who qualify for free or reduced lunch through the school system. FACT and Arts for Learning are joining forces to provide an art-based outlet for our families who are experiencing financial hardships.

Heritage United Methodist Church
815 Baker Rd
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

When: Monday and Wednesday evening's from 6:00-7:30 PM: September 20 - December 15, 2021

“Preparing children for the future is paramount to the mission of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation,” said Linda Rice, vice president for grantmaking. “We are proud to award FACT with a cultural vitality and educational success grant because we believe the educational, social, and emotional well-being of youth can be positively influenced through arts and culture programs.” We at FACT are so grateful to Linda and everyone at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation for making this amazing program possible!
Movers & Shakers -
Our Bus Drivers Mandy and Janna
Camp GonnawannaGOagin' this summer was a blast and we were so excited to bring back community outings for our campers! Each week we had around 100 people at camp and we were constantly taking everyone out into the community to fun places like Ocean Breeze, Camp Grom, Our Sensory Farm, Jump Trampoline Gym, the Zoo, Funville, APEX, the beach at First Landing State Park, Cinema Cafe, and Haygood Skating Center! These outings would not be possible without the dedication of our wonderful bus drivers Mandy and Janna!

FACT currently has two 45-person buses and two 15-person vans. All of these vehicles are older and this summer we had at least one mechanical and/or wear and tear issue with each of them. Despite having to constantly move things around and adapt as they went, Mandy and Janna were always the utmost professionals and did a fantastic job of getting everyone safely to the various community outings which are so integral to Camp GonnawannaGOagin'. We are very grateful for Mandy and Janna's ability to be flexible as issues with the vehicles arose.

We are hopeful to replace some of our current vehicles between now and next summer so if you or anyone you know has any good vehicles or would be interested in sponsoring one of FACT's new vehicles, please email us with the subject line "FACT Vehicles."
Gotta Love this Kid - Salem Hopkins
Salem Hopkins is an adorable six year old on the spectrum whose family recently moved to the area and was looking for fun social opportunities for Salem this past summer. Like many kids, Salem's first FACT program was Camp GonnawannaGOagin'. Salem's parents were excited but also nervous about dropping him off on the first day of camp. They, like many other parents, were concerned about whether or not Salem would fit in and feel included. These nerves quickly went away after picking Salem up each day and hearing about all of the fun he was having and all his new friends!

Salem's two weeks at camp allowed him to push his limits and try new things with the encouragement and support of not only the staff, but his neurotypical peers and other campers. Salem would come home to his moms and gloat about his newfound ability to climb across the monkey bars. One day in particular, his mom recalled Salem coming in with a look of pride as he bragged about how he finally went in the "big kid" lazy river at Ocean Breeze, not just the one in the little kid section which he had done numerous times before. Salem was a beacon of joy and smiles throughout his weeks at camp. He was always so happy to see everyone each morning with a strong high five and enthusiastic greeting.

Even now, over a month since Salem's last day of camp, he still asks about it and when he will get to go again. For his nightly lullaby, he has even started asking his mom to sing him the camp song because he misses all his friends! We can't wait for Salem to join us during our upcoming year-round programs!
Upcoming Programs and Events
Fall Programs are LIVE!

FACT's Fall Programs are live on our Active Registration! Call us at 757-422-2040 or email us at if you are interested in more details on our programs.

Leisure Programs:
Arts Adventures [NEW PROGRAM]- This is a brand new FREE program for individuals with autism in grades 6-12 discussed in greater detail above under the Donors and Grantors section. Priority will be given to families who qualify for free or reduced lunch through the school system. This is a 12-week creative dance and body movement program that will explore communication, teamwork, and self-worth themes through a variety of dance and body movements. Monday AND Wednesday, Sept. 20th to Dec. 15th, twelve weeks (24 sessions) at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) from 6:00-7:30 PM.
Drumming [NEW PROGRAM] - Join FACT and Shark City Drum Corp for our first ever Drum Line class! GonnawannaDRUMagin' is a 6-week creative drumming program with Fredrick and Orlando, certified drumming instructors and teaching artists. Each session will explore the different techniques needed to play a drum: rhythm, holding of the drum sticks, different beat counts, and playing a drumming piece. Tuesday, Sept. 14th to Oct. 19th, six weeks at Friends School field/gym from 6:00-7:30 PM. Dress Rehearsals: Tuesday, Dec. 7th & 14th at Friends School field/gym from 6:00-7:30 PM. Shark City Showcase: Saturday, Dec. 18th at a time and location TBD.
Lawn Games [NEW PROGRAM] - Families are invited to pack a picnic dinner and join FACT for a night of learning/playing different lawn games. Each week, skills and strategies will be taught for a different lawn game: bocce, lawn darts, croquet, bucket ball, etc. This event is structured to be a community event where a chaperone, caretaker, family member(s), and/or entire families are encouraged to stay and learn the new skill with their participant in hopes to transfer the skill to larger community events/gatherings. Minimal staff will be provided for supervision as we are in hopes to create a family based community for our population. Thursday, Sept. 9th to Oct. 28th, eight weeks at Friends School field/gym from 6:00-7:30 PM.

Sports Programs:
Kickball - Saturday, Sept. 11th to Oct. 30th, eight weeks at Friends School gym. Sessions offered from 9:15-10:30 AM (ages 6-14) and 10:45 AM-12:00 PM (ages 15-40).
Bowling - Sunday, Sept. 12th to Nov. 21st, nine weeks at Pinboy's Bowling on Laskin Rd. at Hilltop from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.
Open Sports Clinic - Come drop off your child or young adult with autism for three hours of fun and exercise with friends while you enjoy a date night or just some relaxation time. Saturday, Sept. 18th, at Friends School field/gym from 6:00-9:00 PM.

Social Programs September 2021:
Out-N-About - On Saturday, Sept. 25th from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Out-N-About will be going apple picking at Cullipher Farm and then to get pizza at Pungo Pizza. We will be meeting for the event at Friends School at 11:00 AM. Registration will be live on Tuesday, Sept. 7th on our Active Registration.
Social Club - On Saturday, Sept. 18th from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, Social Club is going to the Adventure Park. We will be meeting for the event at the Adventure Park at 1:00 PM. Registration will be live on Tuesday, Sept. 7th on our Active Registration.
Teen Time - On Saturday, Sept. 25th from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, Teen Time is going to the Adventure Park. We will be meeting for the event at the Adventure Park at 1:00 PM. Registration will be live on Tuesday, Sept. 7th on our Active Registration.

Autism Society: Weekly Parent Webchats
Join the Autism Society Tidewater Virginia on Tuesdays at 7:00 PM for their Parents of Adults with Autism Webchat and on Thursdays at 7:00 PM for their Parents of Children with Autism Webchat.

The Autism Society will have a variety of guest speakers and a general support group meeting. Register to participate on their website or Facebook. If you are unable to register or need assistance, then please call/text (757) 461-4474.
VersAbility: Future of Work Program
VersAbility is starting a new program called Future of Work ("FOW") where they will partner with local trade schools like New Horizons and Tidewater Community College to teach students with disabilities one of three trades they can choose from: Cyber Security, Welding, or Medical Coding. If the students have interest in a different career, VersAbility can also assist with exploring that as well. This program could be a great opportunity for rising seniors and we hope it will help students with disabilities get set up for success after high school!

See above for the FOW flyer which is specific to the upcoming welding tract, however within it there’s additional information and resources detailing requirements about all the FOW program. Feel free to email Tameka Davis with any questions you may have regarding the FOW program.
Kempsville Pony Baseball Champions League
Interested in your child with special needs (ages 5-14) learning how to play baseball? The Kempsville Pony Baseball's Champions League is hosting their first fall ball season and is looking for more participants! Make sure to check them out right away as registration closes soon on September 4th.