School-to-Community Transition Project

School2communityThanks to an anonymous donor, The Arc Jackson County has received a $35,000.00 sub-grant from The Arc of the United States to spend over the year to expand services and improve outcomes for youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), including Autism, as they transition from school to adult life. In July of 2009, The Arc of the United States received a $3 Million dollar grant from the Walmart Foundation to support the efforts of 45 local Arc chapters across the country to improve the quality of transition planning and transition services by identifying successful programs that can be replicated nationwide. When the anonymous donor learned of The Arc’s Walmart Foundation: School – to – Community Project they gave additional funding to expand the project to 50 chapters which included The Arc Jackson County, one of the Arc’s 700 plus chapters.

The Arc Jackson County’s School – to – Community Project is in collaboration with Southern Oregon Education District’s (SOESD) Transition Program. The project will target eight to 10 “at-risk” students in SOESD’s Transition Program who have not graduated from high school; have unmet transition needs in education/training, employment, and/or independent livings skills; and want to continue with education. SOESD will provide transition services to the students over the course of the school year. During the summer months, The Arc Jackson County will provide additional instruction and activities for the targeted group of students to keep them engaged in their homes and in their communities. It is hoped that the summer activities will assist with the retention of skills the students have learned throughout the school year and prevent the “at-risk” students from languishing over the summer. Many children and adults with I/DD do not have the opportunities most people have to be fully included in our society.

It is often difficult for families with children with I/DD to keep their children engaged in meaningful activities throughout the summer. This creates boredom and a lack of purpose for their lives. The reality is that when school services end, students enter employment or alternatives to employment. There is no such thing as a summer vacation.

The goal of our project is to help young adults with I/DD learn the life skills needed to transition into independent living, helping achieve the quality of life they deserve! The program has heavy reporting requirements to determine its success that one day could be replicated throughout the United States.

For local information please call 541-779-4520

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