When we began a targeted recruitment effort for open positions in our Carousel Children’s Services (CCS) Program, the important mission and success of this amazing little program shone like a beacon in the night. The program affectionately referred to as “our little program”, does GIANT work in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities for preschool-aged kiddos. Over 42 years old, this program is a program of courage, a program of almost heroic measure, overcoming obstacles and preparing “our future” to enter kindergarten. Today’s kids are our future! While talking to the CCS program director, we are reminded of a classic children’s book. Our CCS program is like The Little Engine that Could.
The program’s director, Beverly Tuthill, is affectionately known throughout the county as Honeybee or, to the kiddos in the program, Ms. Honeybee. Honeybee tells us that the program started before she came to The Arc of Delaware County (DelArc) 42 years ago! It has not always been easy, but the successes make the challenges pale in comparison.
As the director, Honeybee recognizes the biggest obstacles were always revenues and finding a home. We continue to spend a great deal of time and energy on advocating congressmen and state legislatures for the needs of the IDD community. The needs of the children, and adults, we support continue to be under-funded. It is why we have a member base, it’s why we do community outreach to educate, create “friendships”, share our stories, and ask our community to stand with us in our advocacy efforts. Finding a home for the CCS program was a journey that took place a little closer to home.
“We have moved at least 8 – 10 times over the years I have been the Director. Also, I think just making sure people know we are here for children with special needs (has been a challenge).”
When it comes to success, Honeybee tells the story best as she beams with love for the mission and the program.
“I really believe moving here with DC-4 (has been a great success) because we have a home and it is such a beautiful building. It has been a journey to combine two programs together with different Boards and philosophies.
I think the most successful moments are when we see our children move to public school and sometimes need little support and even when they need more supports it is exciting to see them graduate and see all that progress. I think it is great when a child first starts to speak or walk or eat or play with peers. I love that and I love connecting with families and having them thank the program for all the progress they have seen. We have a terrific team!!!
I would love to see this program grow and I believe there is a need for that (to continue). I want to see this program continue on even when we are not here, keep the mission going and always put the child’s needs first. Working more with families in the home would be terrific as well.
This is a great program and I love seeing our team grow together and watching those children on graduation day with their graduation hats on, brings tears to my eyes every year.
I am so proud to have worked with Carousel for all these years. WOW!!! What changes have happened, and we always worked through every challenge. (I am) Grateful for The Arc of Delaware County.”