The STRIVE Day Program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities has become more important than ever for its participants, especially following the pandemic when essential socialization skills training was lacking, and isolation fostered an increase in anxiety.
To address these concerns the program has recently been ramping up community engagement and continuing education activities to get back on track.
“There’s an emphasis on community inclusion at STRIVE, which helps the members build confidence and learn to advocate for themselves.”
Recent events have included dance classes at The Center for Modern Dance Education in Hackensack in a class designed for adults with disabilities, all in a safe and inclusive space where individuals of all abilities can enjoy the joy of movement and express themselves creatively; a 10-week enrichment session at Pony Power Therapies in Mahwah where they learned about the care of horses and animals on the farm, as well as gardening. Participants have also been taking fitness classes at Unique Athletics in Fair Lawn which caters to the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They work with instructors on coordination, and health and fitness training. This has been very helpful for those who had low activity levels and weight gain during the pandemic.
“There’s an emphasis on community inclusion at STRIVE, which helps the members build confidence and learn to advocate for themselves,” says Bryan Connolly, Director of Adult Day Programming and Supports for Children’s Aid and Family Services. “And continuing education helps to sharpen their skills and contributes to their growth.”
STRIVE is a member-centered day program for adults 21 and older from the community and group homes that works to foster independence, develop life and social skills and strengthen community involvement.