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Sweetheart Dance

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with all of your friends at Whole Children!

Join us on February 12, from 6:30-8:30 pm, dressed in your fanciest attire for our annual Sweetheart Dance.

There’ll be tasty treats, an awesome DJ, and great music that’s sure to get you dancing! For those who prefer a quieter celebration, there will be games available in the game room and space in the cafè for socializing! The preschool room will also be open to some of our younger party-goers.

All ages are welcome, but children under 13 need to be accompanied by a parent; those over 13 can be dropped off with prior permission. Call ahead and check with the staff if you’re unsure.

We can’t wait to see you there!

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Seeking Interns for Fall 2016!

Whole Children Intern
Intern Jack Kapinos working with director Matt Meers as they film a scene for Northampton Community TV’s “Crowdsourced Cinema.”

Are you a film or photography student looking to develop a portfolio of promotional videos and graphics? Are you interested in creating fresh media content in a diverse setting? Whole Children has a communications internship program that offers these opportunities and more.

Whole Children provides recreational, social, and enrichment programs for children and teens of all abilities, including those with special needs. As our communications intern, you will have the opportunity to work in an inclusive office space and assist in showcasing Whole Children’s community events, programs, and services.

Interns in the past have worked on a variety of projects, including video editing and camera work, photography, graphic design, drafting press releases, and creating content for our website and social media pages, to name a few. That being said…

We value your input! This internship is what you want to make it, so feel free to let us know if you have a specific interest you want to pursue, or a new skill you want to develop. We want your experience here to be productive and beneficial, and the best way to ensure that is by doing work that you are motivated to do!

The following video was produced by our fabulous intern, Jack Kapinos, pictured above!

Whole Children is conveniently located on the Route 9 bus route in Hadley, and is easily accessible from any of the 5 colleges. You may receive academic credit for the internship, and work hours can be arranged to fit your schedule.

If the Whole Children communications internship sounds right for you, email Courtney Dunham at [email protected]

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Annual Dinner 2016

The Association For Community Living’s Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony, 2016

WC photo booth
 

Whole Children photo booth fun at The Association For Community Living’s Annual Dinner.

 

Last night, The Association For Community Living held its Annual Dinner at The Log Cabin in Holyoke and, per usual, it was a delight. Whole Children had a number of exciting moments, including a performance by our theater group! Our students treated dinner guests to a dance mashup of some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biggest hits. They were lead by instructor Matt Meers, who later on was fittingly honored alongside chorus director Nancy Janoson for their outstanding work as performing art teachers. Also among those honored was Ruth Wade for all of her hard and fruitful work in organizing Whole Children’s Wild Goose Chase. All of the awards were much deserved, and we are very proud of each recipient’s passion and dedication.

Each award was presented by Barbara Pilarcik, our beloved Executive Director who is sadly retiring in August. Since this was Barbara’s last annual dinner, she was introduced with a surprise rap performance from Brian Melanson and Chris Harper that brought smiles to everyone’s faces, most of all Barbara’s. After the rap, which detailed her many career accomplishments, Barbara treated everyone to a few dance moves of her own before taking the podium. All in all, it was a fantastic night and we’re already looking forward to next year!

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Making the Invisible Visible: The Sprout Film Festival

Sprout Banner for Website

Join us for a February film festival!

Whole Children and Five College Realtors will showcase a series of short documentary films from the Sprout Film Festival on Sunday, February 28 from 4-6 pm in the Cole Assembly in Converse Hall at Amherst College for a $5 suggested donation (to support Whole Children).

The Sprout Film Festival’s mission is “to inspire audiences, promote inclusion, and support transformative filmmaking as an integral part of social change.” All of the Sprout films highlight the lives and experiences of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. By embracing differences and encouraging acceptance, Sprout aims to “make the invisible visible.”

Come enjoy the films and stay afterward for an informal reception and discussion with local filmmaker, Ted White. White’s powerful film The Unexpected Gift: A Father’s Story, is one of six films being showcased at the film festival; it explores how the birth of his daughter with Down Syndrome ultimately transformed his family’s life for the better.

To take part in this meaningful afternoon of film, RSVP here

‘Tis the season of giving!

In the spirit of the holidays, we are trying something new out at Whole Children this year: a community giving tree! You may have seen it nestled in the corner of the lobby, decorated in little paper ornaments, tinsel, and gold ribbon. The little paper ornaments on the tree have either gifts written on them […]

Thank you for letting me be myself!

We are eagerly awaiting the debut of Once Upon a Bog, an original theatrical adventure of fantasy, fun and friendship. This upbeat show explores themes of acceptance and teamwork through some uplifting and toe-tapping song and dance. This production of Once Upon a Bog is presented by the students of the Theater Studio program, one […]

Dispatches from the Caucasus

By Carrie Reporting in from Sheki, a city in northwest Azerbaijan, in the southern part of the Caucasus mountains. It is incredible that in completely different cultures and completely different parts of the world, one thing that remains constant is that people love their children and families (mostly mothers) will do extraordinary things for them. […]

Whole Children goes to Eastern Europe

This past fall, Amherst’s Institute for Training and Development hosted a contingent of  coaches, physical education teachers, and disability workers from Azerbaijan — they were here to create programs for adapting sports for youth with disabilities back in their hometowns. The group came here to Whole Children to see how we started a grassroots after-school […]