What does Living Well mean to you?
Having a job you love? Supportive friends? Hobbies you enjoy? Opportunities to learn? Being active? Attending community events? Eating good food? All of the above?
Here at SOAR, we help people with differing abilities LIVE WELL, whatever that may mean for them. We offer Adult Education classes where our participants can learn new skills. Wellness classes so they can confidently go to the gym. Social nights where they can meet new friends and kick back, relax, and have a good time, or experience something new and exciting like a show at the PAC or WWE Wrestling. We work with youth with and without disabilities to show that we are all more similar than we are different. We offer eight Special Olympics sports where our participants can experience the camaraderie of working together as a team. And for our Fox Valley friends, your favorite childhood memory of going to Camp Onaway? We offer that too.
Chances are, you are close to someone who has a disability, whether it’s your child, sibling, friend, coworker, teammate, classmate, or beyond. You already play an important role in helping them live well. We hope you will consider helping even more people live their best lives by supporting the programs of SOAR. Will you help us reach new heights and meet our Annual Appeal goal of $55,000?
It’s Back to School Season, did you know that SOAR offers programs for youth both during school and after school? Many of our youth programs include students with and without disabilities, providing safe environments that foster understanding and acceptance among all participants. Our youth programs include-
Kidz Klub: a collaborative after-school program for elementary aged kids.
Teen Stop: an after-school peer-to-peer social group for kids in middle school.
TnT: a youth group for Teens and Transitioning youth (ages 13-23) that offers educational, social, and recreational activities.
Activity Days: In-school activities brought to elementary, middle, and high school classrooms around the Fox Cities for free.
K.I.T.E. Kamp: a four-day day camp for youth ages 6-16 held each August.
For more information on our youth programs, contact Lisa McCallister, our awesome Youth Services Manager!
(920) 731-9831 x110
“Lisa does such a great job exposing our students to situations in which we can work on life skills, social skills, and executive function skills.”
-Katrina Bartell, Madison Middle School Appleton
Steven* is a young man who typically struggles with anger and bullying others. This year at K.I.T.E Kamp, however, he played games with younger campers, helped campers with more significant needs complete activities, and comforted campers that were scared to do some activities, like exploring a dump truck, by holding their hands and helping them up. When leaders told him he was doing a great job, Steven told them he was surprised he was being so nice to people, but it felt so awesome to help them. Way to go Steven!
All of our programs, including K.I.T.E. Kamp, help kids like Steven enhance skills needed to work in team settings, challenge their thinking, and build on appropriate social skills.
*Name has been changed
Hustle for that muscle
This summer SOAR participants worked hard and played hard with special programs for healthy living and active lifestyles.
This year we have been focusing on expanding fitness opportunities for our participants, and this summer was no exception! Our special activities included Six Parks in Six Weeks, a walking program around the community, Strong Bodies, a strength, flexibility, and balance class with Appleton Park and Rec, Y Fitness, an educational workout class at the YMCA teaching participants workout techniques and about the fitness equipment, Keeping it Cool, a fun, active afternoon of water based activities such as water balloon baseball, S’more Summer Fun, a fun night of outdoor games and foil pack dinners with family and friends, and Riverside Garden Volunteering, where participants weeded gardens, raked debris, helped with planting, and more around the gardens.
We are so proud of all of our participants who (literally) went the extra mile this summer with us. We had so much fun and can’t wait to keep getting stronger together!
|“Congrats to the participants who all have really been challenging themselves. They strive to go further, faster, or longer than ever before. They are not afraid to sweat and push their bodies; and, they smile, laugh, and encourage each other all the way”
-Tammy Wittman, WOTFV Americorps Wellness Coordinator
This year we received a generous grant of $10,000 from the Women’s Fund of the Fox Valley Region to enhance our services provided to women and girls with differing abilities. Did you know that women living with a disability are three times more likely to experience sexual assault or relationship violence?
This. Ends. Now.
We at SOAR, with the support of the Women’s Fund, are looking to enhance the health and safety of women living with a differing ability in the Fox Valley with a two-part initiative. The first piece of this plan is a special educational series for teen girls and adult women with differing abilities including, but not limited to, healthy relationships, domestic violence and intimate partner violence awareness/prevention, and sexual health including healthy development and milestones. We hope that after completing these courses women with differing abilities will be more confident in identifying and reporting instances of violence or sexual assault, as well as preventing them as much as possible.
The second piece of our initiative is focused on engaging the wider community in our efforts to end violence against women with differing abilities through education. We will focus on expanding the number and type of presentations to community groups, agencies, first responders, and police departments to include topics related to prevention of abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking of individuals with disabilities. We want to ensure that women with differing abilities are not left out of the conversation when discussing the issues facing women in the Fox Valley and that those responding to situations of abuse and assault have training on working specifically with women with differing abilities.
We are so grateful to the Women’s Fund for providing us with the support needed to make these programs a reality. When women support each other, incredible things happen.
For more information on our Health Education and Violence Prevention Series for Women Living with a Disability, please contact Executive Director Erin N. Schultz, MSW- [email protected]
-by Lindsay Wollerman
Please be advised that there is a risk of fraud concerning the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). An outside entity has “spoofed” the SNAP toll free information hotline number (1-800-221-5689) and has been making unsolicited calls requesting personal information. These illegitimate calls are not affiliated with the Food and Nutrition Service or SNAP. Never provide personal information or your credit card number over the phone to unsolicited callers.
If you suspect that you are receiving illegitimate calls from 1-800-221-5689, you may file a complaint with the FCC. If you have already fallen victim to this or a similar scam, please visit the Federal Trade Commission Identify Theft Consumer Information website for more information about identity theft.
On June 27th, the Autism Society of the Fox Valley will be hosting a “Special Needs Farm Exploration”, at Cristo Rey Ranch in the Villa Loretto Nursing Home in Mt. Calvary (N8114 Calvary St., Mt. Calvary WI). The event goes from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on June 27th and the charge is $3.00/person. This event is open to all families of special needs, and they are invited to “play and explore the ranch with over 300 animals.” If you have any questions, please contact Diane Nackers at [email protected]