For children living in poverty life can tough. For children living in poverty with a disability – well, tough is often just the beginning.
As someone who began her career coordinating early interventions services for children with special needs in Arizona, it has been heartbreaking for me to see how few kids with special needs in this community receive the professional support and resources they need to thrive and participate fully in life. Sadly, most children with disabilities here have little or no access to therapies and specialized medical care. Meanwhile, local public schools are not able to serve most children who need special accommodations, leaving many of these kids spending their days at home, isolated from their peers.
So, when my local team decided that they wanted to move forward focusing their efforts on serving children with special needs in the community, I felt in my heart it was the right decision. I have always been impressed by my team’s compassion and commitment to supporting kids in need in this community. Seeing their renewed commitment to serving the most vulnerable and marginalized young people has been inspiring and humbling for me to witness. They are determined to grow the Educarte program to provide many more kids with special needs in Rocky Point with the therapeutic and educational support they need to reach their potential—regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
The Educarte team is currently operating two very special programs:
- A Multi-disciplinary Clinic – In January of 2010 Educarte launched a program called ‘Centro de Atencion y Terapias Infantil’ (C.A.T.I.) which translates to ‘Center for Attention and Therapies for Children.’ The clinic’s team of therapists and other professionals helps young people overcome obstacles to independence and reach their potential.
- A Special Needs Education Program – In March the Educarte team launched a private special education program called ‘Mi Escuelita’. This pilot project is providing a small group of young people who cannot attend public school with access to a daily educational program that can help them to learn important academic and life skills.
“Hope Springs Eternal”…
Last month the team welcomed visitors to an Open Houseat the Educarte facilities on Blvd. Fremont. Guests sampled treats from Hopes Café; browsed through Hopes Closet thrift store, toured the C.A.T.I. rehabilitation and therapy Clinic. They were also among the first to view “Mi Escuelita”—a very specialclassroom, specially designed and adapted to support those with disabilities and ensure a safe environment for all. Guests heard from our talented teachers, therapists, staff, and volunteers about the work being done to support these very special young people. Thank you to everyone that dropped by to spend time with us!
As exciting as all of this is, our work has just begun. The Educarte team has plans to expand both the C.A.T.I. clinic and ‘Mi Escuelita’ and eventually develop a vocational training program for older students—but they need your help! We have launched a fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $30,000 USD. I could not be more grateful that so many of you have consistently supported Educarte. I hope you will join me in continuing to support my local team as they commit to serving the kids in this community who need them the most.
Let’s show these kids and my team they are not alone! Please consider making a one-time or recurring donation to support Educarte’s special needs program at www.AmigosEducarte.com.
Because all children deserve to participate fully in life.
Some visitors at our open house learning about ‘Mi Escuelita’
The Educarte team with some of the very special children they serve