Take 2: An Innovative Program for Social Learning

Take 2 is a model program serving children with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism and their families. It affirmatively recruits a diverse group of children, serves families regardless of their ability to pay, and provides consultation to referring schools.
Aug 2, 2012

Britt and Alexis Go To Camp

Morning Agenda
Morning Agenda

“What’s a balloon’s least favorite type of music?”
See the bottom for the answer to one awesome camper’s joke!

Britt Lake, GlobalGiving’s Director of Programs, and I recently had the pleasure of spending a morning at Take 2, a camp for kids ages 6 to 11 with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism.  We had a blast!

The team at Take 2 has done an amazing job creating a fun learning environment for the kids. The camp has taken challenging tasks like recognizing emotions, looking at and thinking about the person you are with, and uncovering the mystery of friendship and made them fun with games and prizes. The camp is a kind, patient, and supportive atmosphere for the kids, who are learning, growing, and having fun!

When we arrived, we walked into a room full of excitement. The kids were hearing about their agenda for the day and learning some of the key skills they would be practicing in their activities—like S-PEC-L when someone is talking to you (Stop what you are doing, Periodic Eye Contact and Listen to what they say).  Lynn Cannon, the Director of Take 2’s camp, talked us through some of the camp basics. The camp has almost as many staff as campers, meaning that each child has the chance to receive personal attention at camp. This year, the camp theme is detective work. Every camper is a detective, solving little mysteries every day! To make learning fun, campers earn detective points for participating in activities, staying attentive and focused, and responding well to challenging situations. At the end of the day, kids count up their detective points and pick prizes.

Britt and I sat in on the morning session, designed to help the campers discern emotions using facial expressions and tone of voice. The campers played a round of guess-that-emotion, watching Brenna, the teacher’s face for clues about the emotion she was acting out.  The game was a resounding success, with every kid guessing the emotion correctly. Then, Brenna instructed kids to listen as they heard clips of popular TV shows—iCarly, Victorious, and even Saved by the Bell (much to Britt and my delight)—to use tone of voice to understand the character’s emotions. This game was a bit more challenging, even Britt and I were listening intently to hear the characters’ emotions, but the kids came through again, guessing each emotion correctly.

At the end of our visit, we spent some time hanging out the campers during snack time and getting to know some of their fun personalities. We spoke with one boy who absolutely loves scuba diving, granted he’s never been himself, but he’s sure it’s awesome! We exchanged some jokes with another boy, including the one at the top of this post (“What’s a balloon’s least favorite type of music” See answer below). And we learned about one girl’s classmate who has the same name as Alexis!

Thank you, Take 2, for inviting us to spend the morning with you! We had a great time and GlobalGiving is thrilled to be working with such a great, local organization doing work in our own backyard!

Answer: Pop!

Jun 14, 2012

Fantastic Success Yesterday!

To our wonderful friends, family and Take 2 supporters,

Thank you for all your help!

Yesterday’s Bonus Day was a huge success for Take 2.  Huge.  Incredibly, in that one day, we raised $11,055 from individual donations and matching support from Global Giving.  That’s really just incredible.  These funds will directly support this summer’s work, which begins officially next week, though of course Lynn has been busy with planning for a much longer time.  We will thank each of you donors individually by the end of the week, but in the meantime want to extend this big electronic group hug and thank you all collectively.  THANK YOU SO MUCH. 

With love, gratitude and, frankly, amazement,

Lisa, Monica & Lynn

Jun 12, 2012

Time Sensitive - Take 2 Needs Your Help Today!

Dear Friends,

It’s that time again: Global Giving is matching ALL donations we receive today, Wednesday, June 13, at 50 percent.  This is a really important opportunity for Take 2.  If you are able, please help us raise the funds we need for this camp season, which begins June 25th.  You can click here to donate: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/teaching-children-with-autism/.   You can also learn more there about Take 2. 

We did this match campaign once before, in October of last year, and it was enormously beneficial.  Our costs are low – other than staff salaries we have very few expenses – but we rely on this help from generous friends because camp tuition doesn’t cover our necessarily low staff to child ratio, and in addition we are committed to providing financial aid to any family that needs it.  This year, 60 percent of our campers are receiving scholarships.

We’re grateful for your support every day, but on this one day your generosity will be amplified, so please donate if you can.  Last year Global Giving matched our fundraising at 30 percent, but this year, because we are one of their organization “Superstars,” they will match for us at 50 percent. Please give early in the day, before the matching funds run out.

Global Giving continues to be a fantastic resource for Take 2.  In April we visited their offices and met with staff to learn more about how we can get even more out of this relationship.  They give us the benefits of an infrastructure we couldn’t possibly afford, and that allows us to devote more of our time and funds to running a terrific program.   As I write this, Monica is actually in Puerto Rico working with a group that is using the Take 2 curriculum to start its own program for children with autism this summer.  We are delighted to support that effort.

Thank you so very much for any help you can give us.   And, by the way, if you know how to do this sort of thing, please post  to your Facebook, Tweet to your followers, or do any of that tech-savvy stuff that we are still too old-fashioned to take advantage of!  Or just call or email friends and relatives and let them know about this opportunity to do good.  

Gratefully,

Lisa, Monica and Lynn

 
   

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