Take 2: Teaching Children w/ Autism Washington, DC

 
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Dec 23, 2014

Fostering Season's Greetings

If you could remove one holiday stressor that you’re experiencing, what would it be?

Many of the adults to whom we posed this question reported that things like shopping, keeping to a tight schedule, trekking kids on errands and angry drivers were all major sources of stress.  These adults just wished that they could “skip to the good part and socialize with family and friends.”

But what if socializing with loved ones triggered our stress the most?

This is often the challenge for children with autism and other social learning disorders.  Finding respite among a flurry of changes in routine, new faces, unexpected events and high social demands is so difficult for our campers and can make their holiday season almost unbearable.  Take2 recognizes that the reality for many of its campers is that the 'social stressor' is actually present year-round, and we work hard to teach our campers how to feel confident and competent in the social world by practicing skills such as starting and maintaining a conversation, and teaching strategies like creating a 'plan B' to manage stress in the moment.  And of course, we practice gift giving and receiving, so fruitcakes are no longer a disappointment, but rather, a great substitute for birdseed (plan B)!

Knowing that our campers leave equipped with an arsenal of skills and a sense of mastery over the social challenges that the holidays bring is what makes our hearts grow three sizes.  As 2014 comes to a close, we remind you what an incredible gift your donation is to our campers and their families.  Subsidized tuition allows many more children struggling to make social connections learn how to access their family and peers in a way they were once unable to----not just during the season, but also year-round. 

To our donors, past present and future, we thank you for your support and are honored to be the recipients of your incredible charity.  

Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a New Year abundant with all of the things that make your hearts grow,

Callie

Oct 15, 2014

Take2 Middle School and Bonus Day, October 15th

Middle school Zoo excursion!
Middle school Zoo excursion!

Dear Friends of Take2,

     Since we communicated last, we were in the midst of a wonderful camp season.  Now, with another summer behind us, I’d like to take a moment to report on the success of our first summer of Take2 Middle School Camp. 

     This pilot curriculum, which was brought to life by a generous grant from the Reckson Foundation, surpassed our expectations.  Even more exciting was the impact the camp had on our campers.  The first two weeks of camp focused on flexibility and listening/communication.  The final two weeks of camp emphasized code-switching (changing behavior based on your surroundings) and self-advocacy, two essential skills for maturing adolescents.  Throughout the course of the program, campers used videos from their previous excursion to assess their progress and create new goals.  They got a chance to see themselves successfully advocating for correct change, asking a tourist at the zoo to take a group picture of them and problem-solving together when a plan went awry.   

     For the middle schoolers, learning to work together as a group was a central goal.  While it was sometimes challenging, the campers were always supportive of each other.  One camper whose expected item wasn’t on the menu at Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC received support from all of his fellow campers to come up with a solution to feel better and get a little of what he wanted.  What a victory!

    We consider your contributions to Take2 a victory as well, as they help us continue foster these wonderful moments.  Wednesday, October 15th is the final Bonus Day of the year through Global Giving.  All donations made will be matched 30%.  Donate early to get matching funds before they run out!

     Recently, several families have contacted me, asking about the 2015 summer availability.  Crazy? We don’t think so.  We’re thinking about the 2015 summer too.  In fact, we’re always thinking about Take2—but never without first acknowledging that our donors have afforded us, and the children who attend, the opportunity to count on Take2 year after year. 

 

Warmly,

Callie Stezar  

Planning the next trip
Planning the next trip
Natural History Museum trip
Natural History Museum trip
Our middle school staff
Our middle school staff
Jul 16, 2014

TODAY! Global Giving Matching Funds at 50%

Dear Friends and Alumni, 
As we are moving into our 11th summer, Take2 is participating in a fundraising campaign.  Each year, Take2 relies heavily on the generosity of our friends and families to continue the mission of helping young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders navigate the social world and learn how to make and keep friends.  Central to that mission is the commitment to providing financial aid to any family that needs it.  Our fundraising efforts help make this possible.  
Today, Wednesday July 16, Global Giving is matching all funds donated at 50%
                                        Click here to donate:
      Please donate early, as the match starts at 9 am and funds will run out.
  • $100 supports the end-of-summer outdoor adventure
  • $250 subsidizes 2 weeks of camp tuition for a financially needy family
  • $500 subsidizes all 4 weeks of camp for a financially needy family
An update on our camp this summer:  Thanks to a generous grant from the Ethel and Harry Reckson Foundation, our middle school camp is in the third week of it's pilot, and campers have planned and embarked on excursions in the DC-area.  These include, Ben's Chili Bowl, the National Zoo, and Pinstripes Bowling Alley.  These excursions have been a great opportunity to teach skills in the moment and generalize them right away.  Just last week, a camper who was disappointed with the selected lunch excursion received help from fellow campers to make a Plan B.  Not only did he end up trying the meal, he loved it!  
 
We are grateful for your support every day, but on this one day, your generosity will be amplified.  Thank you for your donation!
Gratefully, 
Callie Stezar, Director
Lynn Cannon, Curriculum Coordinator
Monica Werner, Founder
Lisa Greenman, Founder
Jun 9, 2014

Gearing Up For Summer!

Dear Take2 Supporter,

July is near, and the staff are energized for a summer filled with fun and social learning at Take2.  There has always been something magical about the Take2 Camp experience for the campers, but the staff clearly share this sentiment.  We captured some of it from emails, phone conversations, and in passing:

“It always amazes how we set out to teach social skills and wind up providing an environment where true friendships blossom—a lucky byproduct of all the hard work we do!”  - BL

 "I am really looking forward to Take2!  I can’t wait to see how our returning kids are doing." - NK

 “The amazing thing about Take2 is that everyone who works there has so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work.” - MA

 “I tell everyone about Take2.  So much progress happens in such a short period of time. It is so rewarding.” - RP

In four weeks, we get to know and build a team with 16 bright, talented campers—many of whom have felt misunderstood for most of their lives.  The sense of solidarity that develops over the four weeks of Take2 is precipitated by the compassion and support from our staff, who do everything in their power to make camp an incredibly fun, incredibly supportive environment.

It is so rewarding to be a part of the Take2 family, and we want to thank you for your ongoing support. With your help, everyone (even the adults!) can look forward to a fabulous summer year after year.  

With gratitude,

Callie Stezar

Mar 10, 2014

Take2 Middle School Development Underway!

Staff developing the middle school curriculum
Staff developing the middle school curriculum

Dear Take2 Supporter,

     We’re expanding!  Through frost-covered windows, the Take2 team has been hard at work planning the curriculum (and dreaming of summer) for our Take2 Middle School camp.  Nothing could be more energizing than creating new content with talented educators who share a passion for social learning!

     Take2 Middle School camp takes concepts from the original Take2 camp and challenges campers to apply them in more generalized settings through the planning and execution of several excursions.  While taking part in these excursions, teams of campers will work together to target goals relevant to the weekly theme, and have fun meeting and making new friends.  Our weekly themes include:

  • Listening – What is expected of me as a listener?  What does it mean to be an effective listener?
  • Communicating – It’s more than just words.
  • Code-Switching – Knowing the difference between “regulated” and “unregulated” social systems and how to adjust my behavior for each.
  • Flexibility – Bringing it all together using concepts of flexibility; knowing how to compromise and go with the flow.

     Up to eight campers will join us for our middle school pilot this summer.  Your contribution provides Take2 with the necessary funds needed for this exciting expansion.

  • $20 – will pay for Metro passes for three campers
  • $100 – will purchase one FlipCam to enhance social learning through video self-modeling (VSM)
  • $1000 – will allow one financially needy child to attend camp this summer

   To follow the progress of the Take2 Middle School development, or for more information about Take2, check us out at www.take2camp.org. As always, thank you for your generous contributions and support.

 

Warmly,

Callie Stezar & Lynn Cannon

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Project Leader

Lisa Greenman

Washington, DC United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Take 2: Teaching Children w/ Autism Washington, DC