March was Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The Hancock Central School 6th graders were given the assignment to read the book, “Out of My Mind” by Sharen M. Draper, a story of an 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. Reading the book gave the students a glimpse of what it is like for someone living with a specific developmental disability.  To further their understanding of people with developmental disabilities, their teacher Kristina Dufton arranged for the 6th graders to spend a day visiting The Arc of Delaware County.

 

During their visit to Delarc, the Hancock students were initially divided up into two groups. One group spent the morning at CLS in Walton, and the other group spent the morning at the THRIVE program in Hamden. Both groups got to experience a variety of activities at our day programs, together with the people we support. Some of the activities included making stress balls, diamond art, origami, painting, working out in the gym, and more.

 

Both groups of students came together at the Hamden location for a pizza luncheon, together with some of the people they met during the morning. This gave them all another opportunity to casually chat and further get to know each other.

 

After lunch, everyone gathered for a short program.  To kick it off, they took turns answering the question, “What was your favorite part of the day?” They tossed around a beach ball, and whomever caught the ball had a turn answering. Some of the answers heard were, “My favorite part of today was making new friends.” “My favorite part of today was making origami.” My favorite part of today was meeting new people.”  It didn’t come as a surprise that building relationships was at the heart of many of the responses, which is one of key tools of Delarc’s positive model.

 

The day ended with an appearance by Blesher, Delarc’s genuine heart mascot.

 

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Are you interested in spending the day with us?

We encourage all schools and individuals interested in spending a day at Delarc to reach out.  This type of classroom experience is ideal for, though not limited to, 5th and 6th graders. We also offer experiences for older students or those wishing to explore the Human Services field.  Please contact our Community Relations Department for more information or to arrange a visit at delarc@delarc.org. Thank you!