Dear Irene Wortham Center Community:
We hope this note finds you staying happy and healthy. With all that has been going on, it is so important that we voice our appreciation for the amazing staff who have stepped up to the challenges brought on by 2020. Our staff continue to put the health, safety and well-being of the children and consumers in our programs first; their dedication and care is incredible. We will continue adhering to all necessary health precautions and adjusting our programs accordingly to ensure the consumers, children, and staff stay safe.

Please read on for recent program highlights, a few exciting funding opportunities for our programs, and golf tournament updates.
"My daughter has been going to Irene Wortham Center since April. She is 6 years old and has autism. When school closed in March, I was considered an essential worker and there was a mad dash to find childcare. But I was extremely nervous because I have been turned down so many times between my daughter's autism and her not being potty trained. When I called the center, I was greet ed with a very friendly voice who took all my information and told me what all I would need. Within 48 hours or less I had my answer, there was space for her. The staff were by my side the whole way applying for vouchers and making sure I had the right information for the transition. I cannot stress enough how essential Irene Wortham Center has been to me and my daughter. I have praised them to everyone who has asked me about my daughter's care during all this. I could go on and on about all the positives I have had since we started coming to Irene Wortham Center. It has truly been a blessing to us and I am not sure where I would be without them."
-An Essential Worker
Using technology to ensure continued success of folks in our programs
Our Early Learning Center behavioral therapists from Carolina Pediatrics have worked hard to find virtual solutions so children and families can continue receiving services while staying at home. Check out a series of videos they made with tips for creating "calming corners" at home.

One of the biggest challenges caused by the pandemic is that families and guardians of residents are not able to visit their loved ones in person. We understand this is a hardship on both ends, but restricting in person visits is necessary for the health and safety of the residents. We have been using Zoom in the homes so that consumers can frequently see and talk to their families and guardians.
Children in the ELC are learning about gardening!
Thanks to a grant from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), children in the Early Learning Center have been learning about farming and creating a functional garden in the playground. The kids have enjoyed this hands-on activity and opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, while learning a new skill! Buncombe County Partnership provided all of the seeds. So far the kids have planted cucumbers, squash, kale, okra, collards, basil, cilantro, carrots, and Lima beans.
Exciting news for the Early Learning Center!
We are thrilled and grateful to have received a grant from the Buncombe County Early Childhood Education & Development Fund for the 2020-2021 school year! This grant will support the 8 classrooms with social-emotional resources, including: behavioral therapists, Apple tablets, and teacher/parent training sessions.
Vaya supports our Adult Day Activity Center
Vaya Health has been a huge resource for our Adult Day Activity Center during program closures caused by the pandemic. Vaya has provided funding to ensure our programs can continue operating essential services and addressing COVID-19 related needs as they arise.
Benefit Golf Tournament on Friday, August 21st

Our 20th Annual Golf Tournament will be at Mount Mitchell Golf Club on August 21st! There are still a couple spots open for twosomes or foursomes. You can also support the event as a hole sponsor. Click here to learn more about the event and register or call Sydney at 828-274-6053. All social distancing requirements will be in place.

Event day activities include: lunch sponsored by Arby's, a $100,000 hole-in-one contest, cash prizes for flight winners, and a putting contest! Come out and enjoy food & fun!
Please make a donation today to help Irene Wortham Center continue providing essential services for disadvantaged children and adults in Buncombe County.