September Service Center Spotlight: Peoria Service Center

In collaboration with Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum and Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association (HISRA), Easterseals Central Illinois gave children with disabilities another fun and sensory-friendly Accessibility Night at the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum. Accessibility Nights are always open to children of all needs and abilities, parents and siblings are also welcome. Accessibility Night ensures a sensory-friendly environment by lowering sounds and lights, noise canceling headphones, sensory toys, schedule cards, and a quiet area are all always available to children who attend Accessibility Night. Supported in part by Chuck and Laurie Weaver through Leaders Change Illinois. Don’t miss out on the next Accessibility Night and keep an eye out on our Facebook Page at Easterseals Central Illinois.

September Service Center Spotlight: Easterseals Central Illinois Learning Academy

Students in grades 6-12 from Easterseals Central Illinois Learning Academy went to the Morton Pumpkin Festival this month. During their trip they worked on a variety of skills including; patience, waiting in line for a ride and waiting while other friends took a turn on a ride they didn’t want to go on. Compromising, riding a ride that a friend wants to ride before riding a ride they wanted to ride. Social skills and communication, using their words to choose a ride or say “I’m hot and I need to take a break to cool off.” Time management, giving them only enough time for two more rides. Students enjoyed their time at the annual Pumpkin Fest and learned some new skills along the way!

August Service Center Spotlight: Bloomington Service Center

Reece, Dezi, our VP of Development in Bloomington, Cathy Oloffson, and our President & CEO, Steve Thompson, at the Ribbon Cutting.

Our very own Easterseals Ambassador Reece and his mom Dezi came out to celebrate The Harmony Park Project ribbon cutting this month. Reece, along with other kiddos enjoyed Bloomington’s New Harmony Park Project playground.

Harmony Park is the first entirely accessible and fully-inclusive playground in Bloomington. The new playground replaces the current structure at Rollingbrook Park. The playground design is by Cunningham Recreation, a leader in designing inclusive playgrounds to encourage and stimulate children of all ages and abilities.

August Service Center Spotlight: Peoria Service Center

One of our Swimmy Seals enjoying her class with her instructor, Lauren!

Easterseals kiddos the “Swimmy Seals” completed their Water Seals Group classes this month. The Water Seals group classes provide kiddos with water safety and aquatic social skills that focused on helping children with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder thrive in the water.

Kiddos successfully completed the goals of this class, including helping improve water safety, social skills, motor planning, and sensory processing ability in a warm water setting.

Congratulations to our Swimming Seals for successfully completing Water Seals!

August Service Center Spotlight: Easterseals Learning Academy

Fun on the first day of school! A student enjoying a back to school activity at the ESLA.

Easterseals Learning Academy welcomed back students this month! Students started their 1st day back to school with warm welcomes from their teachers and fellow classmates. Just like the 1st day back at any school, some students were nervous, while others were ready to dive back into the day to day activities and routine at the Learning Academy.

ESLA aims to provide students with disabilities access to a more inclusive and sensory friendly school experience. The Learning Academy is designed with a high staff to student ratio, fully equipped classrooms and therapy rooms, evidenced based instructional strategies that empower each student to achieve peak academic performance, increase social and emotional skills, communication skills and functional like skills for independence. 

August Service Center Spotlight: Timber Pointe Outdoor Center

Kris Hinderks has worked at Timber Pointe Outdoor Center as the Kitchen Director for the past 6 years. A different camp comes in each week and they range anywhere from 50 to 250 campers.

Kris, bottom center, surrounded by campers and counselors during one of this summer’s camp sessions.

“I plan, manage and prepare all of the meals from the moment they arrive at camp until the last meal is served. On average, I feed about 60,000 meals during the 10 weeks of summer camps. Seeing all the happy and joyful faces from the campers is what inspires me to keep coming back to Timber Pointe each summer. I have built some lasting friendships with some of the returning campers and I look forward to seeing their smiles and receiving their hugs each year I see them! The thing that I love most about Timber Pointe is that we are all one big family helping and supporting each other.”