2017-08-30 / Federation

Enhancing the quality of life for special needs

When it comes to members of our community with special needs, we are committed to enhancing their quality of life. We believe individuals with special needs should have the opportunity to achieve their highest potential and lead independent and fulfilled lives as members of our community.

Earlier this month, the P.A.L.S. summer program spent a week with us to celebrate their fifth anniversary. P.A.L.S. is a great program for those ages 13-23 with multiple special needs.

A committee of dedicated volunteers formed P.A.L.S. to promote socialization among peers of children who are multiply disabled and require aide for communication. During their week at the Katz JCC, participants enjoyed activities, including swimming, arts and crafts, and language lessons—all centered around the “Pitch Perfect P.A.L.S.” music theme.

The focus of the P.A.L.S program is language-based with hands-on activities to encourage a natural learning environment. A one-to-one assistant works closely with each participant to provide support and optimize involvement in a variety of activities.

This is a program created to support students with complex communication needs and expanding their opportunities for using AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) for socialization.

Our Jewish Community Foundation, Inc. (JCF) agency holds a fund that P.A.L.S. uses for fundraising and back-office support, and our JCC assists with the programming, room set-up, and more. If you would like to contribute to the P.A.L.S. Fund, checks can be made out to "Jewish Community Foundation, Inc.", and in the memo please write "P.A.L.S." Checks can be mailed or delivered to: Jewish Community Foundation, Inc., 1301 Springdale Rd., Suite 200, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003, Attn: Amy Milgrim

Together, we make an IMPACT with programming for individuals with special needs right here in Jewish South Jersey.

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