Specially Adapted Resource Clubs (SPARC)

SPARC is a unique day program operating in local community centers for adults with disabilities. Adults with disabilities too often lack options to have an active role as full citizens in their community after graduating from the public school system. Adults with disabilities desire the same outcomes in life as people without disabilities. They want to work, enjoy friends, and give back to their community. SPARC provides a dynamic program in a community setting with the appropriate supports so people with disabilities can stay united with their families, connected within their neighborhoods, and enjoy their friendships. Our goal is to ensure all students with disabilities graduate to a ...
Dec 6, 2016

Our Ornaments Are on the Virginia Tree!

Art therapy is a critical part of our engagement with lifelong learning. SPARC is 100% inclusive, which means that we will adapt any art project to everyone. Sometimes that means that a second person's hand guides a hand through a project. That's how communities engage with each other and ensure that no one is left out of a project.

We received a special gift this year from the McLean (Virginia) Project for the Arts. 

We made ornaments that hang on the Virginia tree in President's Park. A tree represents each state and surround the larger White House Christmas Tree. 

Because we also believe in learning, we wanted to make beautiful ornaments that were also meaningful.

Our ornaments help make people aware of the plight of the Monarch butterfly and its shrinking habitats along its migratory route from New England to Mexico. 

Sharon Fishel of the McLean Project of the Arts and Carmela Leith represented us at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and were the first to see the Virginia tree. 

So many people came together to make this possible that we can't possibly thank everyone, but we can leave you with this holiday message.

Someone born with a disability can create magnificent art, can learn about a subject as esoteric as the Monarch butterfly and act as a steward of the Earth to help make people aware of this issue--though art!

That is what an inclusive community means to us. 

And that is why we need your help.

We ask participants to contribute a fraction of the real costs of operating SPARC. Some can't, and this Global Giving projects creates scholarships for people who might have been part of this journey but couldn't afford to attend.

Please give generously. Just $30 creates the opportunity for someone to attend a life skills or similar course. And $100 pays for someone to attend every day. We mix the funds so that we can create uninterrupted sessions for as many people as possible.

No matter what holidays you celebrate in your life, we wish you peace, tranquility, and love during those and every day. Thank you for your past support. Please help us create more opportunities for adults with disabilities.

Sep 7, 2016

Our New Home Lets Us Learn (and Play) In Style

Our new Reston facility has lots of communal space
Our new Reston facility has lots of communal space

We mentioned our new Reston home replacing shared community space that we had used for years. Leaving was tough and we faced some challenges trying to occupy our new space. Sure, the challenges were frustrating, but we spend our lives thinking about what is possible and how do we make that happen. Construction and cleanup aren't going to stop us. 

Like our other spaces, we do not pay for the use of this space. Almost everything we do is with donated goods, services, and resources. That is how we can keep our costs a fraction of similar organizations and why attending SPARC is such a value. Just $100 allows a participant to attend SPARC sessions in one of three local spaces throughout an entire week. Besides learning using our proprietary Circuit-Train Your Brain program, our friends enjoy art therapy, music therapy, and self-directed activity. The ratio of participants to team members is often 1:1 

We don't know of another opportunity like SPARC at only $20 per day, but we also know that many families can't afford any more expenses on top of the hidden costs of living a full life while having a disability. 

This scholarship fund we ask you to help with allows us to help young adults in need who otherwise might be stuck at home and unable to interact in their community. A monthly gift means that we can ease the mind of parents and caregivers by letting them know that there will be funds in later months.

Take a look at our new space. It may not be a luxury hotel, but our space is filled with hapiness, learning, and lots of love. You may also be interested to have a sneak peek at some of our activities too. 

The two big events everyone seems preoccupied with the summer are the Olympic Games and the U.S. elections. We learned about and followed both this summer, staging our own Olympic Games in McLean, and learning about how politicians create signs showing what they believe in and asking for votes.

Will you Stand with Stanford? She's in a wheelchair, sure, but she gets it. Notice the jaunty cane leaning against the word "Stand". Our SPARC friends will be the first to tell you that anyone can stand--even someone in a wheelchair.

Please stand with them by donating to our scholarship fund so that we can help even more adults with disabilities.

Personal assistants helps us maintain a 1:1 ratio.
Personal assistants helps us maintain a 1:1 ratio.
Stand with Stanford!  And donate to SPARC!
Stand with Stanford! And donate to SPARC!
Inclusion means everyone is included in our Games
Inclusion means everyone is included in our Games
We all need to play... and connect to our world.
We all need to play... and connect to our world.
Jun 13, 2016

Expanded Services Mean New Opportunities

Learning about cooking at SPARC
Learning about cooking at SPARC

We are soon taking over a space that will eventually be a fantastic way for our team to help people with disabilities learn how to find and keep employment.

Watching someone's face when they realize that they can be more self-sustaining and able to provide for their needs is awe-inspiring.

Our new space is unfurnished and was donated as-is.

A gift is a gift, and we are forever grateful, but we need the following items:

  • Kitchen cooking supplies--to learn independent life skills (cooking, in this case)
  • Office furniture -- desks and filing cabinets are big needs
  • Accessible tables -- Wheelchair accessible tables so participants can eat and work
  • Accessible bathroom equipment

and so many more things like paint and a sign for the door.

You will help an adult with disabilities learn how to do even more in their daily lives with a generous gift today.

Many of us don't think much about the 6 Activities of Daily Living, but the ability to dress or bathe yourself can frame how you feel about yourself. So too is the ability to participate in your community regardless of how much you may work in a job.

Please help us today as we transition our facilities.

Art therapy is a participant favorite!
Art therapy is a participant favorite!
 
   

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