In Support of Children and Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
Published : Monday, March 19, 2018 | 12:09 PM
The S. Mark Taper Foundation recently awarded Villa Esperanza Services with a $100,000 grant in support of the Phase I “Hope Moves Forward” Capital Campaign. “We are extremely grateful to be a recipient of the S. Mark Taper Foundation grant,” expresses Kelly White, Villa CEO.
Villa Esperanza School serves 86 children, ages 5-22, with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders and other special needs. The S. Mark Taper Foundation Multipurpose Room will be an integral part of the new school environment, providing a space for lunch as well as social interactions. “Along with this area, our 7 new classrooms, kitchen, 2 large play yards and retreat gardens, are all designed to enhance Villa School curriculum,” shares Casey Gregg, Villa’s Vice President of Children and Youth Programs. “The S. Mark Taper Foundation Multipurpose Room will be a first for Villa’s campus and will be especially important in the critical development of transitional life skills for middle and high school students.”
Social skills are a typical deficit in children with autism and other intellectual/developmental disabilities. Having this common area will give students the chance to engage with their peers and practice their social skills during lunch breaks. The S. Mark Taper Foundation Multipurpose Room will also offer opportunities for interactive learning through the use of a Smartboard and multimedia technology. It will also be used to hold social group meetings such as YouTube Club, a weekly club that brings together high school students from different classrooms for social communication learning experiences and fun. Other clubs on campus that would meet in the space include the Dance Club, Music Club, Wii Club, and Puzzle Club.
“We are proud to be upgrading our campus to match the quality of services we provide,” shares White. “Construction is underway and the students, teachers, and staff are all very excited. Phase I is scheduled to be completed this coming fall.”
Villa Esperanza Services, established in 1961, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and education of children, adults and seniors with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Villa offers nine programs including a school for children up to the age of 22 years; a Speech and Language Center and Occupational Therapy Clinic providing children, adults and seniors with comprehensive therapies; employment services; day programs for adults; and adult residences in Pasadena. To learn more about Villa’s collaborative approach, log on to www.VillaEsperanzaServices.org.