May 22, 2016                                                                                                               May E-News Issue 2
Happy Graduation Day 
Ethan Steinberg, D49 Transition Coordinator, presents diploma to Trenton as proud Dad stands near
to Trenton Orr 

Trenton Orr on Graduation Day. Congratulations!
Transitions are a part of everyone's life.  The more significant ones occur when a young  adult graduates from high school, and more remarkable when that student is severely autistic, blind and non-verbal.  Theresa Jordan is extremely proud of her son, Trenton Orr, as he has graduates from Falcon High School this month.  Trenton has attended Special Kids Special Families' Zach's Place program since he was a young boy.  Theresa says, "I was at the end of my rope and couldn't find anyone to watch my son.  Then I heard about Zach's Place."  Over the years, Zach's Place has provided valuable respite time for Theresa and Trenton.  "I am so grateful for the help I get from them. The staff is awesome with my son and I cannot express how important it is to have a break. I don't know what I would do without this valuable respite care."
 
Since transitioning from attending Zach's Place on weekends throughout elementary, middle and high school, Trenton, who turns 21 on June 24th, is a part of the transition program at Falcon School District D49.  He has been recently attending Joey's Place, the adult services program at Special Kids Special Families, where he loves being a part of.  While learning new skills and participating in various activities, Trenton is enjoying his time at Joey's Place and Theresa is given a needed break from the 24/7 care that Trenton requires.  Theresa comments, "Special Kids Special Families has been a huge part of our family all these years and a huge blessing as well."
 
Many students with developmental disabilities and their families have questions about what kinds of supports are available when school ends and life as an adult begins.  SKSF Adult Services Program provides a framework of activities to develop independent living and personal skills while assisting youth in reaching their goals after high school graduation.  Students with special needs can and should be active members of their community.  By following a pathway to success, SKSF can help them plan for the supports that will be needed in adult life. For more information about Zach's Place and SKSF Adult Services, visit www.SKSFcolorado.org

All smiles - Trenton as a young boy at  Zach's Place

Still smiling - Trenton's
pre-teen years
Trenton, with Adult Mentor,
Yvette Salter at  Joey's Place
Trenton's celebrating his graduation at Joey's Place
SKSF IN THE NEWS
Cheyenne Edition
ZACH'S PLACE Day care provides respite for local disabled children, their parents
Article provided by Susan Joy Paul, Cheyenne Edition

Zach's Place worker, Dani, prepares a fun project as adorable Clara smiles in delight
... "Parents of children with disabilities don't get a break," said Miklebost, the Assistant Director. "They care for their children 24/7, and often times they don't even get a night's sleep. Zach's Place is a safe place for them to bring their kids so they can do other things, and the children get to socialize and enjoy activities with other children their age." Miklebost said sometimes a parent will bring their child in and ask where they should wait. "They're surprised when we tell them they can leave. I tell them there's a Starbucks down the street, or they can go shopping or get their hair done. These parents are not used to having time to themselves," she said.

The center is open to children with disabilities and neurotypical children as well, offering before and after school, overnight and weekend care. Miklebost believes it's important for people to learn acceptance at a young age, and she encourages playtime and socialization between children across the entire spectrum of neurological development. "These are the kids that don't always get invited to birthday parties, so they miss out on opportunities to interact with other children," she said.    Read More...

Koscove Kids Puppets 
at Safe Kids Expo

On Saturday, May 7th, The Hub Car Wash & Diner off of Garden of the Gods Road hosted a Safe Kids Expo.  This free community event promoted education and safety for families and kids. Owner of Koscove Metal, Suzie Koscove and Special Kids Special Families staff, Cindy Lamouruex were puppeteers for the day introducing the Koscove Kids puppets to the community.  Other event particiapnts included Colorado Springs Utilities, the Colorado Springs Fire Department, Pikes Peak Library District, SafeSplash Swim School along with other programs in the community. 

Through a generous donation made by Koscove Metal, SKSF was able to purchase through the Pacer Center various  multi-cultural puppets each representing a unique disability. These puppets known as the Koscove Kids come to life in a special way to teach children about their peers with disabilities and assist schools in efforts to implement programs of  inclusion.  The goals of the Koscove Kids project are to provide an  opportunity for children to explore disabilities in a comfortable learning environment, gain acceptance of disabilities through understanding and foster positive attitudes toward persons with disabilities.
 
If you are interested in volunteering to act as a puppeteer or assist with the program in any way, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Monika at 719-447-8983 or mhartman@sksfcolorado.org.




PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
Mother's Day Flowers
at Joey's Place
Skye Weis is very happy with her flower bouquet she created!

As part of Joey's Place adult program, i ndividuals have an opportunity to learn, grow, and become independent. These opportunities are based on the needs and interests of each person. We strive to offer activities that are sensory stimulating, challenging, fun, and interactive. It is vital for everyone to be encouraged to participate and engage at some level.

Volunteer, Julie Hudak, assisted Joey's Place participants in creating beautiful flower bouquets for Mother's Day. To learn more about Joey's Place and other adult program services, visit our website at www.SKSFcolorado.org.


Volunteer, Julie Hudak shows Skye Weis how to create a bouquet

Zach's Place Community Outing
at Sonderman Park
 
The Zach's Place kiddos went to learn about riparian and grassland ecosystems throughout Sondermann Park in Colorado Springs as part of the nationwide BioBlitz. They joined scientists, classroom teachers, and outdoor educators as they lead explorations through the Beidleman Environmental Center to discover specific examples of plants and animals in Colorado Springs. Our kiddos heard from experts on soil, birds, and local ecology.  They all had a terrific time in the community!



CHILDREN & FAMILY SERVICES  
ZACH'S TIME PLAYGROUP
Monday, May 30th
9:00am - 12:00pm

Zach's Time Play Group is held at Zach's Place at the Laurie Hillyard Family Center at  4795 Granby Circle.  Especially for children ages 2.5 - 5 years old of ALL abilities.  
What is Zach's Time?  A time available for young children of any ability to attend Zach's Place to play and make friends with other children their age.  We will have story time, sing songs, make a craft and have a snack.

Playgroups will be scheduled every other Monday.  $20/child to cover session costs. If you are interested in enrolling your child, contact Tammy at tmiklebost@sksfcolorado.org or call (719) 329-1717.

ZACH'S PLACE FUN NIGHT
Friday, June 10th
5:30pm - 8:30pm
Socialization is an important goal at Zach's Place at The Laurie Hillyard Family Center. We offer a unique opportunity to meet this goal. Zach's Place Fun Nights are the second Friday of every month and are open to all ages and abilities. We provide pizza, make dessert together, create a craft and play games.

Registration & intake process is required for participation. Contact Tammy or Dani at
719-329-1717 or email us at  zachsplace@sksfcolorado.org .  Limited space.


  
Supporters of Special Kids Special Families who reside in Colorado and file Colorado state taxes may qualify for a 50% state income tax credit in addition to the regular state and federal income tax deductions. The Colorado Child Care Tax Credit (CCTC) promotes childcare activities statewide, and Colorado Department of Revenue approved contributions for our Zach's Place program beginning in 2004.

For more information about Special Kids Special Families and our Zach's Place child care program, please contact Linda Ellegard, SKSF Executive Director at 719-447-8983 x19 or Renae Isakson, Zach's Place Program Director at 719-329-1717.

The Tax Credit
Both corporate and individual donors may benefit.  Any taxpayer that makes a cash contribution to Special Kids Special Families designated to Zach's Place may claim an income tax credit of 50% of the total contribution.   Please click here for more information...




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