Feedback from Parents:
- It was great to see the kids having so much fun while learning how to interact. They were taught how to resolve conflict with peers. Ryan is now initiating and maintaining conversations with other children. He is beginning to speak up for himself in conflict situations; he didn’t have these skills before.
- This program equipped my child with specific skills. Having the opportunity to practice specific social situations and learn how to interact with peers was the most valuable “take-away” for my child.
- Karly is placed out-of-district and has limited opportunities to meet her peers in Scituate. This after-school program has introduced her to her peers in Scituate and teaching staff. It has given her the chance to practice social skills with higher functioning children. I loved listening to the other children interact with her. Karly demonstrated measurable improvement in sharing, waiting, sitting patiently and taking turns.
- I was hoping for a true therapist-directed and facilitated group and this was! Significant progress made in recalling peer names, appropriately playing games, and engaging with peers.
- My child particularly needs social group experience; these groups are hard to find and very expensive. In this group, Athena “grew” and branched out to try several new things: i.e. wearing a sun visor and tasting a rice krispie treat. Small, insignificant things to most, but a big deal to us!
- The CORSE program has given me great hope and raised my level of expectation as to what programming like this can do for our kids when done right.
- The staff was more than attentive to each child individually and while observing the interactions of children and staff, it appeared that every child was having a great experience!
- My son, Edmond, is 14 years old and he has Asperger Syndrome. How do I fully describe the joy and delight which these programs have added to Edmond’s life? Participating in these groups has changed Edmond’s life dramatically. For the first time Edmond has been able to stay after school and participate in fun educational activities while receiving the proper support for his special needs. Prior to the CORSE social groups Edmond was wistful when he heard the announcements for after school programs and knew that his brothers and classmates were staying after school to play and that he was not able to do so. Other afterschool programs did not have the proper support nor did they address Edmond’s special needs. Any program which has been offered through CORSE has been incredible. My experience with CORSE has shown me that they will only hold programs with the proper staff, the proper support and the desire for the children to learn new skills while having fun in the process. Through his involvement with CORSE, Edmond has become more confident, more willing to participate in new activities and he has shown more pride in his accomplishments.
- The All Stars program provided Catherine emotionally safe and appropriate opportunities to enjoy activities in keeping with her developmental age and interests, while still allowing for her growing independence and desire to be a teenager in many ways. Over those two weeks, she was able to wear a delightful assortment of “hats” – as an athlete, a sculptor, a singer, a chef, a dancer, a Moonwalker, a snake-charmer and so much more – and all the while having fun with other kids. In addition to the presence of other campers my daughter knew, the program was staffed by many familiar teachers and community volunteers. Because of this, she was able to literally “hit the ground running”, with an immediate comfort level that opened up learning and social opportunities from the very first day.
- Mr. Smalley and his staff brought to the proverbial table of mathematics a level of interaction, invention and a hands-on approach that not only engaged the children in hands-on learning, but also stimulated them on a multi-sensory level. For my son with ADHD and sensory integration disorder, this multi-dimensional approach was and is exactly what he needed to commit facts to memory. Thank you! Thank you! A thousand times thank you!
- Zach never wants to leave home. However, every day he asked, “Can I go to Seaside Explorers?” This is huge for him. He is now willing to try other programs and camps. I have this program to thank.
- My daughter, Sarah, participated for the first time in the All Stars camp this August. What I had expected was a great ratio of counselors to campers. It was clearly in place from the moment we arrived. What I had also expected was a full schedule of fun things that she would do over the two weeks. The schedule of events was on my “frig” weeks before the start of the camp. What was unexpected was the fantastic picture book available ahead of time showing page by page what the day was going to be like for Sarah. She looked at it again and again. What was also unexpected was the storyboard at the start of the day that showed step by step what the day’s schedule would bring. Sarah walked in and looked at it daily, which helped her transition easily to the day’s activities. Both of these visual aides were key to us. My thanks to all of the caring staff that made camp an accepting and great environment for all. I am grateful to the CORSE Foundation and Scituate Recreation for making this experience memorable. We look forward to next summer.
- Both of my boys are currently enrolled in CORSE after school programs. My 6th grader on an IEP is in the study and organization skills class and my 3rd grader is in the reading/writing class. Both boys went kicking and screaming. After only 2 weeks they both are really enjoying the programs. My 6th grader is feeling more confident and in control. He is picking up some great tips that he is using. Overall, he's very positive about the class. My 3rd grader said "Mom, I can see the progress I'm making after each class and I really like it". All of the facilitators in both classes are wonderfully supportive to the kids. This is the first time I have personally enrolled my kids in the classes. I'm so proud of the work of the foundation and the faculty and the opportunity it provides for Scituate students.
- Even though the groups were made up of children with a variety of special needs, my child’s individual needs were addressed. Initially, my daughter was not enthusiastic about attending the group, but the instructors knew just how to engage Anna and make her feel an important member of the group.
- Helped to increase my child’s confidence going to public places…making it easier for us to go out as a family!
- This program is an ideal context for Allie to work on social skills, friendships and integrating into the community.
- Given the importance of social skills generalization, this program provides a venue for Karly to practice the skills she is learning at school in other settings with specialists. This is VERY valuable.
- My son actually uses the strategies that he has learned through this program AND his quiz and test scores have improved over the last several weeks since utilizing them.
- My grandson, Hunter is 11 years old and has P.D.D./N.O.S. When CORSE first opened their doors for their first All Star Camp program, Hunter was there. He hasn’t missed a year since. He starts talking about the camp in March, and then he stops and then starts talking about it in May. One year, he was very impatient and after many talks about the camp starting back up in August, he decided to rip the pages of my calendar to the month of August. This is how much he loves going there! To describe this program is huge! I see him so full of happiness that this program has added to his life. He talks about this to his classmates in school the whole month of June and his teachers are thrilled to hear him talk about it. It shows how much he has grown to them. Hunter has become very attached to the staff and the teens that are part of the program are extraordinary! They offer him so much needed support, and while he is not aware of it, he is learning new skills and having a great time doing it. He has grown in more confidence in himself; he loves the praises he receives from the wonderful staff. He participates in everything they do which is a plus for him. All Star Camp has opened a new world for him knowing he will get to see the same faces every year. He adores these people and he trusts them all completely. The staff draw him out to participate in activities in situations he would probably not have the opportunities to do otherwise. This camp has broadened his horizons. Typical kids have summer camps and All Star gives these special kids an opportunity to do what typical kids do at their camps. It is the closest he is ever going to get to a typical kids camp. For the 30 minute ride home, he does not stop talking about what he did at camp. I hope that the funding will continue as I am on a very fixed income and this would break his heart if he were not able to go to the All Star camp in August. I cannot say enough great things about the CORSE foundation. They are a God-send for the month of August. Hunter looks forward to it every year and I don't know what I would do if he did not go.
- I am the legal guardian of my nine year old grandson who carries a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. When Timmy came to live with me full time, one of the biggest issues was finding affordable and accessible after school activities that were designed for students with special needs. Luckily, my pediatrician advised me to contact the C.O.R.S.E. Foundation. In the four years that we have been involved with C.O.R.S.E, Timmy has participated in numerous social skills groups, therapeutic horseback riding, summer day camp, and sports for students with special needs. We have also enjoyed special events sponsored by C.O.R.S.E., such as movies, ski trips, and a Polar Express holiday event. Finding affordable activities that have a therapeutic element is extremely challenging. Thanks to C.O.R.S.E., my grandson has had the opportunity to try new things and to benefit from the skilled instructors and specialized activities designed for fragile learners like him. We look forward to many more hours of fun and challenge through the wonderful programs sponsored by the C.O.R.S.E. Foundation. Therapists, doctors, and educators are always quick to point out to me, “how far Timmy has come.” A large part of his progress is due to his experiences in C.O.R.S.E. sponsored programs. Of special note are the social skills groups that run in 6-week sessions throughout the school year. These groups have enabled Timmy to learn the social pragmatics that are so difficult for a student with ASD. Timmy is learning how to be a friend and how to have a friend. What experience could be more valuable for a child?
- Cole has made wonderful progress due to your encouragement, skillful motivation and explanation of what he is supposed to be doing! You are wonderful coaches and both have an innate ability to communicate with each and every level of swimmer/athletes you are instructing! We are lucky to have you working with our children!
- What did you like most about the program? How it makes my daughter Maggie feel about herself.
- Thanks - this has been such great experience, not just a good time for Jack but serious progress for us at home in certain areas- Jack has a much better, easier, time behaving, entering, sitting....when we transition into daily life places.....such as S & S, Target, CVS.... and restaurants too. Major for us. We still keep a close eye, but the fact that I could sit with him at CVS while they filled our scripts and he sat with me, listening and secure -that only took about 5 years :)
- So thrilled that Erin is doing the summer tween camp and much thanks to all that help her achieve these miracle steps and overcome obstacles...God bless you all...Erin is having a fantastic summer thanks to all of your help!!!
- I cannot come up with a word bigger than thank you for the programs my son was able to attend!! From his social skills growth & his confidence in trying new things, this will always be an integral part of shaping the rest of his life!!! Thank you!!
- Thank you so much for giving Mike opportunities he would NEVER have had!! He grows a little stronger socially and gains confidence in himself through these programs. Every day that I picked him up, he was pink-cheek laughing and goofing off with his peers. It’s awesome! We see more and more of who Mike is with your help. Thank you and God bless you!
Feedback from Peer Mentors and Volunteers:
- The first volunteering experience I ever had was through CORSE and it was a truly life changing experience for me. I was really nervous because I had never done anything like that before and I was really worried that I wouldn’t know what to do or how to help. However, when I got my training and met the kids, as I started to work with them, all of my worries faded away and all I cared about was having the opportunity to make them smile. I loved working with them and since then have been a part of countless other programs. Being able to teach these kids and further develop their skills is a really great experience because you get to see how happy it makes them. The work CORSE does for the community is awesome and it is something that I am lucky to have been able to be a part of.
- When I was a freshman I get involved in the CORSE programs as a peer mentor. This is definitely one of the most rewarding experiences. I have always loved the enthusiasm and excitement that happens every time I attend a program. I watch these kids grow so much. Parents of children with disabilities are always told your kid can’t do this or can’t do that. It was very rewarding to show the world that they could.
- Throughout my CORSE program peer mentor experience, I was able to create a special bond with the kids. Doing this program taught me that you can do anything you set your mind to. I really enjoy working with CORSE because I was able to teach kids something they never thought they would be able to do; these programs have influenced me the most.
- When I started my CORSE peer mentoring, I was nervous that something would go wrong or my kids would not like me. The first session they only spoke to each other, and I was worried that I was not making them comfortable enough. But after the second session, I could tell they were much more comfortable with me. In fact one girl would only do an activity if I was the one who helped her; she trusted me! I was so excited that she trusted me that I could not stop smiling. I learned from them as well…two of the girls were best friends like I have never seen before. They understood each other when no one else did and I was touched by their friendship, it was so pure. They taught me that simple things in life make you happy and that happiness is a choice.
- While there are professionals all around to assist, the majority of mentoring is between the students and the peer mentors. This program was an eye-opening experience for me. I witnessed an incredible change in one boy, Will. He did not let his disability stop him in the least. At first, he was very hesitant to try anything. But by the end of the program, I don’t think Will even recognized himself. He had a smile ear to ear as people cheered him on. I felt as happy as he did. I am so grateful for the experience of working with these kids who have varying degrees of special needs. I was just happy to be with them , and they were happy to be with me. They definitely taught me more than I taught them!. The greatest lesson I learned is that everyone has challenges – big or small, physical, emotional or mental, visible to the outside world or hidden from view. This experience has helped me accept my own challenges and realize how lucky I am.
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