Ability Connection, a Dallas-based nonprofit specializing in care for all types of intellectual and developmental disabilities, recently launched a first-time collaboration with Dallas’ The Potter’s House.
The first of its kind camp, called The C.O.R.E. Dimensions Skills Camp (Communication, Organization, Responsibility, Empathy), focuses on children ages 10 to 17, providing academic enrichment and support to students receiving special education services in Dallas County.
The partnership emerged when Ability Connection learned of The Potter’s House program, also serving the special needs community, called Capable Minds, Hearts & Hands: The Potter’s House IDD Outreach. Serving a similar population, the service-oriented organizations decided to come together and host a skills camp, C.O.R.E., that reinforces concepts familiar to what they are exposed to in the classroom during the school year.
“School subjects and classroom experiences are vital, but it’s also crucial to expose children with intellectual disabilities to experiences that promote independent living as the student matures into adulthood,” Jim Hanophy, Ability Connection CEO, said. “With C.O.R.E., students will focus on Learning Labs involving a variety of critical skills that promote independence, including time management, meal prep, and the importance of creating a routine to enforce responsibility.”
C.O.R.E. will offer Learning Labs in the form of one or two-day sessions in various locations throughout Dallas County. Rotating locations will allow individuals to participate in a setting most convenient to them.
- Friday, July 8, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Cochran Chapel UMC
- Friday, July 15, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Highland Park United Methodist Church
- Saturday, July 23, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at The Potter’s House of Dallas
- Friday, July 29, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Senter Recreation Center in Irving
“We look forward to helping even more families with this new collaboration. As we currently serve nearly 4,000 families this program will help us extend the aid and meet the need we know these families have. Our newfound partnership with Ability Connection will help us do just that.” Demetrice Smith, The Potter’s House IDD Outreach Director, says. “When I think of how many youth we will reach with this summer initiative, it reinforces our commitment for the work we do and the community we serve.”
When each Learning Lab concludes, camp attendees are guided through the process of self-reflection, and assistance in developing a plan to react to their environments and develop lifelong problem-solving skills.
In addition to this new program launch, Ability Connection hosts its Camp Connections program July 5 – July 29.
The program, which has its first session underway, will take place at Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church Administration Building. Camp Connections provides a comprehensive summer program designed for tweens and teenagers with intellectual and developmental disabilities ages 10-17, and also provides respite for caregivers. More details on signing up and eligibility requirements can be found on Ability Connection’s website.
To learn more about Ability Connection and all of its programs, visit their website.