My child is non-verbal, can they attend summer buddies? Yes, your child can attend if they are non-verbal. We utilize low tech assistive technology (Picture communication symbols, PECS, sign language) and are experienced in using high tech assistive technology to promote functional and meaningful communication for all our children.
My child needs one on one assistance, can I send my therapist or can I come along? We want you to be as comfortable as possible and allow for an easy transition, so if it helps to have a parent or a therapist present the first ½ hour, day or week, then we are OK with that. We do however have a large group of volunteers who are trained to work with our children. We often pair a volunteer with a child who needs one on one support. This is our preference to having a parent, nanny or therapist be present. That being said, you know your child best and if a therapist or other caregiver is able to support your child during the sessions, we will happily welcome them.
What will my child without disabilities get out of this? They are provided with opportunities to learn more realistic and accurate views about individuals with disabilities. They are provided with opportunities to develop positive attitudes toward others who are different from themselves. They are provided with opportunities to learn altruistic behaviors and when and how to use such behaviors. They are provided with models of individuals who successfully achieve despite challenges. Since Summer Buddies has been held at a synagogue and church's in the past is it a religious organization?
No, we have no religious affiliation with any of the venues we've used in the past or in the future. Many venues have just been gracious enough to accommodate us and welcome us back.
What if I need financial assistance? There are opportunities for funding through the county. If you need information, please contact us. We also may be able to offer a partial scholarship, so please don't hesitate to ask.
We work with local agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the Jewish Social Service Agency, Community Connections, and other Rolling access funds available for your child. Please let us know if you need the contact information for any of these agencies.
Do you provide transportation? Sorry, but we do not provide transportation specifically for Summer Buddies. We do hope to help families coordinate carpools, and may be able to work something out in terms of allowing a volunteer to drive your child to and from the program. Please let us know if you would like to discuss options.
We are going on vacation this summer, can we still do Summer Buddies? Yes, however we do not pro-rate for missed days.
Do I stay with my child during Summer Buddies? No there is no need to stay with your child. It is like any other program where you sign your child in, inform us of current situations with your child then leave and return to pick them up. Please let us know if you have any concerns.
My child has challenging behaviors (running, aggression, meltdowns) that require close supervision, what can you provide to accommodate his/her behaviors. We will work to provide one on one supervision as necessary, and for specific behaviors we would want to work with you or other professionals that have found successful methods in maintaining your child’s positive and appropriate behaviors.
What is the ratio of adult to child? It varies from year to year and session to session, but we have 2-3 teachers and at least 4-6 volunteers for each session.
How many children are in each group? We look to create a cap for the maximum amount of children each year, but determine that later in the school year. We hope to cap the number at 12 children.
My child is on a special diet, can you accommodate them? Yes, we typically have several children on a special diet or with allergies. Parents send in individual snacks and inform us of their children’s diet needs ahead of time. We are careful to make sure that children with allergies do not eat anything but their own snacks.
Who are your volunteers? Our Volunteers are high school and college students from the local area, who are interested in working with children and in special education. We provide training before and throughout the summer for all our volunteers to prepare them for working with all our children. Volunteers are never left unsupervised with children at any time.