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ARC of Oswego County Receives $2,500 CVS Caremark Grant

Beth Jordan, an occupational therapist with ARC of Oswego County, works with Aislyn Hilkert.  Aislyn, who is almost two years old, was born with schizencephaly, a rare condition in which large portions of her brain are undeveloped.  While Aisyln can move the left side of her body well, her brain has difficulty sending messages to the right side of her body, even though she is physically capable of movement on that side.  By periodically restricting Aislyn’s use of her left arm, Jordan can encourage her to reach for favorite toys and games with her right arm, strengthening that neural connection.
Beth Jordan, an occupational therapist with ARC of Oswego County, works with Aislyn Hilkert. Aislyn, who is almost two years old, was born with schizencephaly, a rare condition in which large portions of her brain are undeveloped. While Aisyln can move the left side of her body well, her brain has difficulty sending messages to the right side of her body, even though she is physically capable of movement on that side. By periodically restricting Aislyn’s use of her left arm, Jordan can encourage her to reach for favorite toys and games with her right arm, strengthening that neural connection.

ARC of Oswego County announced that it has received a $2,500 CVS Caremark Community Grant. The grant will be used to support Early Intervention programs for children and toddlers experiencing developmental concerns.

“Early Intervention is one of our most crucial, and underfunded, programs,” said Lisa Clay, Director of Habilitation Services for ARC of Oswego County. “When we can reach a child with developmental disabilities before the age of 3, and provide appropriate services and therapies, that child is likely to need only half the amount of services over the course of their lifetime.”

The Early Intervention program at ARC of Oswego County includes evaluations for developmental concerns, and therapies such as physical therapy, speech therapy, and more conducted in the child’s home or an acceptable community location. Therapists engage children with a variety of toys and games designed to build particular skills during play, and also teach parents and siblings ways of playing with their child to continue improvement outside of scheduled therapy time. Services are provided free of charge to families; and often, after just a few years of assistance, children are ready to join their peers in preschool or kindergarten settings.

“CVS Caremark Community Grants are an effective way for us to contribute to the success of communities where we do business,” said Jennifer Veilleux, Director of CVS Caremark Corporation. “We are proud to support the work that ARC of Oswego County does in the community.”

The CVS Caremark Community Grant to ARC of Oswego County is part of CVS Caremark’s commitment to its communities through the country. ARC of Oswego County was selected to receive a grant through the CVS Caremark Community Grants 2009 grant application process. Grants were awarded to organizations that share a common vision with CVS Caremark’s All Kids Can™ program, which strives to make life easier for children with disabilities. The goal of the program is to create more inclusive environments for children with and without disabilities to build self-esteem, lasting friendships and social skills, and to help children without disabilities learn diversity and tolerance.

All Kids Can, a program of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and CVS Caremark, is a five-year, $25 million commitment to support children with disabilities. The goals of All Kids Can are to support children with disabilities by raising awareness in schools and in local communities about the importance of inclusion, creating greater opportunities for physical activity and play, and providing access to medical rehabilitation and related services. CVS Caremark and its more than 190,000 employees plan to help children with disabilities learn, play and succeed through partnerships with leading local and national nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.CVSAllKidsCan.com.

ARC of Oswego County is a private, not-for-profit organization which has been providing programs and services to children and seniors with disabilities since 1955. Services include Early Intervention and evaluation services for infants and toddlers, guardianship assistance, recreational and respite activities, senior day habilitation programs, and more. Its mission is to be a leader in the field of developmental disabilities, committed to meeting the needs of individual growth, productivity, and independence through education, advocacy, and increased community acceptance and participation. Its sister agency, Oswego Industries, Inc., provides services to adults with disabilities: together creating a comprehensive support system for Oswego County residents with disabilities.