Central Aroostook ARC Established in 1959
"Making a difference for people with developmental disabilities"
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Current News

Residential Services -and- Home & Community Supports
October/November 2013 - The individuals who receive supports from Residential Services and Home/Community Supports have been busy with various seasonal events. In mid-October a group went on a local Hay Ride while at the end of the month they enjoyed a Halloween Party that allowed guests to dress up in their favorite Halloween costume. Fun festivities to get everybody in the spirit of fall! 


OTC's Halloween
October 2013 - Our special purpose private school has also been busy with festivities for their students, with a Halloween Party planned for all the classrooms to enjoy together. 


Children Supports
October 2013 - Amy Bouchard has wrapped up her the monthly cooking class she has done with the children in the Children Supports program. The kiddos and their staff learned plenty of healthy snacks they can make and will hopefully hold on to this knowledge. 


New Signage!
August 2013 -  Central Aroostook Association is getting new signs for the Lombard Street grounds, to replace the older signs that read our previous name, Central Aroostook Association. In addition, our new signage will do a better job at explaining which programs are housed within the each of our Lombard buildings. 



Sweden Street Home Hosts Ice Cream Social
August 2013 - Residential Services is hosting an Ice Cream Social for all association individuals and staff to attend. What a perfect way to celebrate the summer months! Event will be held on August 26. For employees, check out Cork Board or ask your program director for more information. 


Cooking Classes at Adult Services & Children Supports
August 2013 - Amy Bouchard of ACAP has graced the association with a few visits to our programs to help teach the individuals in our programs about healthy eating that can be fairly easy and simple, rather than complicated. 

The individuals at Adult Services made homemade soda and trail mix - both of which are perfect for the summer and fall months, especially while enjoying outdoor activities like hiking or shooting hoops. 

Kiddos in Children Supports had a variety of snacks they were introduced to: mini-pizzas with healthy toppings like chicken and veggies, veggie rolls and a protein-packed tuna dip that pairs well with celery and carrots. This was the first of a four class series that Children Supports will be completing with ACAP. At the end, the children that attended all four classes will receive a Certificate of Completion. 


Communications Training for Children Supports
July 2013 -  Children Supports were able to receive a training by somebody other than the association's official Training Coordinator, Scott Searles - who always does a fantastic job. This time, it was the association's Family Advocate, Margaret Rowland, provided a training about the importance of communication, and how to do so effectively. The class was well attended, and the children responded very well and seemed to get a lot out of the training. This was another segment of the Self-Enrichment classes that Children Supports has been taking the iniative to do, which includes the children in the program suggesting different topics and helping to coordinate many of the sessions. Great ideas and great ways to stay on keep the enrichment flowing!


Wellness Grant from Healthy Aroostook
April 2013 -  Central Aroostook
Association is thankful to be a second-year recipient of the Healthy Aroostook’s mini-grant for nutrition and worksite wellness. Last year, the monies awarded went toward the creation of a garden box and two garden pools behind Adult Services at 29 Lombard.

This year, the agency extended the options of gardening support to the residential homes. Pilgrim and Sweden Homes both expressed their interest in growing fruits and/or vegetables to be used in their homes. If harvests are bountiful, preserving produce for use in the winter months is planned. They have planted squash, zucchini, peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, rhubarb, and carrots. Sweden home is also attempting to start a raspberry patch.

The gardens at 29 Lombard will also be maintained with the harvest benefitting the remaining four homes, day programs, and any volunteer staff who tend to the gardens.

“Last year’s garden was planted about one month later than we hoped, so this year we are ahead of the game. We also had some vegetables that did not produce last season, so with fresh seeds, I am hoping it translates into a larger amount of picking,” said Wellness Coordinator Sarah Heidorf.

Volunteers are welcome to help tend to the gardens at 29 Lombard at any time. Since tools are stored away, it is recommended to contact the Wellness Coordinator ahead of time, or bring along your own gloves and hand tools. Donations of produce are also welcomed during any point of the growing season to supplement our residential homes’ meals.

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Graduation:


Students and staff at OTC will be celebrating the end of the academic career of one of their beloved students on Wednesday, June 5th at 11:00 in the OTC gym. Musical numbers will be provided by Allyson Plummer, keynote speaker this year is Dara Legassie and a lasagna luncheon will be served directly after the festivities.

Prom:

Students at OTC celebrated their end of the year celebration with a dance on Friday, May 31st from 9:30-12:00.  Students and staff rocked the day away during their 80s Rock N' Roll themed party.  There was lots of great snack food, plenty of big hair and Just Dance 4 on the big screen.  A fantastic time was had by all involved.  Look forward to videos and pictures at this year's staff appreciation celebration.


Cooperative Activities with PIMS:

Students and staff at OTC will be ending their unit on Greece with a final collaborative series of activities with Mr. Sipe’s 7th grade classes from the Presque Isle Middle School on Thursday, June 6th from 9:00-11:00am. The students from both schools will take part in Greek Olympic Games consisting of javelin (Electro Darts), discus (Frisbee), croquet, tug of war and many relay races. The students and staff have learned a lot from one another during all the lessons and look forward to more activities together in the next school year.


Snowmobile Day 2013


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March 6, 2013 - The association experienced their Annual Snowmobile Day hosted by the Presque Isle Snowmobile Day on Wednesday, March 6 at the Shriner's Club. Approximately 200 people were in attendance, and most everybody was able to take at least two trips on the snowmobiles. Lunch was provided by McDonald's and Governor's Restaurant.


CPR & First Aid Training

March 4, 2013 - Scott Searles, Training Coordinator, has been very busy lately providing both training for individuals the association supports and for staff. This week he is holding several CPR/First Aid classes for both staff and adults supported by the association. Scott has also held CPR/First Aid for kiddos who receive supports through the Children Supports program.   


Healthy Lunch at
Adult Services

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February 28, 2013 - Sarah Heidorf, Wellness Coordinator and Shared Living Coordinator, worked with Gary Halley, a staff member at Adult Services to create a healthy lunch alternative for individuals who attend 21 Lombard's day program. They literally created a salad bar in the kitchen at 21 Lombard, full of yummy, healthy options such as spinach, turkey, ham, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, black olives, reduced fat cheeses, shredded carrots, and several other options. Twelve individuals enjoyed the salad bar option for lunch. Sarah and Gary are planning to have another healthy lunch option in a few months.

Snowshoeing at Aroostook State Park

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February 26, 2013 - An Adult Services staff member, April Archer, has arranged to take a few groups of adults snowshoeing this winter. So far she has been able to take two separate groups to Aroostook State Park, where they were able to take advantage of Maine State Park's "Take It Outside!" program that allows a trailer full of outdoor equipment to travel to Maine's state parks. At this time of year, the trailer is full of L.L. Bean snowshoes and skis in addition to accessory gear. April hopes to take a few more groups out before the snow melts. It's a nice outing that gets everybody outdoors to breathe in the fresh air and to get a little exercise.

Self-Enrichment Respect Classes for Adult Services

February 21, 2013 - Several adults attending day program at Adult Services attended a Respect training, taught by Scott Searles, the association's Training Coordinator. Those in attendance learned why respecting others is important, and how to ask others for respect in return. Overall it was a very useful, helpful training and everybody went away with a better understanding of respect. This class was part of the Self-Enrichment Classes that were started last fall at Adult Services. Each Self-Enrichment topic is suggested by one or more individual who attends Adult Services programming.


Valentine's Day Dance
for Residential

February 16, 2013 - The Residential program had a great time at their Valentine's Day dance that was held at OTC. The festivities were hosted by one of the association's Residential Homes, and everyone in attendance enjoyed snacks, games and good company!


DHHS Event

January 31, 2013 - Representatives from DHHS's Office of Aging and Disability Services visited Central Aroostook Association to provide information to parents, guardians, association staff members and any other interested parties. Juanita Goetz, Program Administrator; Lynne Raymond, Resource Coordinator; and Terry Kinney, Caseworker Intake Coordinator, discussed the current situatino for individuals with developmental disabilities regarding the waitlist for services. These services include residential options, day program options, home & community supports as well as work services. Many of the questions and answers exchanged from that evening can be found HERE - please feel welcome to download or print it for your own knowledge.

Special Olympics Basketball

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January 8, 2013  -  The Snowdogs, Aroostook County's Area Special Olympics Basketball Team, had their first scrimmage of the season on Wedensday, Jan. 2 at 3 p.m. Their opponents were the Presque Isle High School Boys' Varsity Team, and were very worthy opponents: Snowdogs won 56-55. Hillary Griffin shot the winning basket with less than a second to go.

The beginning of April will bring the annual Special Olympics Basketball Tournament for Maine - as always, the Snowdogs are very eager for the trip. Stay posted for more news!

YOGA at ADULT SERVICES

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December 2012 - Who doesn't want a little yoga in their life? It's good for the mind, body and spirit. Well that's what the individuals who attend Adult Services were able to learn over the past 6 weeks.

Starting in November, the yoga class was primarily led by Katie at Live Well United on North Street in Presque Isle. Over 15 adults signed up for the classes and everybody was able to attend at least two classes. Attendees learned balance and strength exercises as well as a variety of stretches, all of which they can do while at home or during their breaks at program.

Both instructors who helped with the classes, Renee and Katie, noticed that individuals increased their skills by the end of the program. They were very enthusiastic and helpful in their instruction, and taught exercises that were reasonable yet still challenging for those who attended.


   
SUMMER CARNIVAL 2012

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NEWS RELEASE: August 31, 2012
Aroostook County – Summer is the season for carnivals, even for Central Aroostook ARC, a local nonprofit dedicated to supporting individuals with developmental disabilities.


The agency’s Residential Services program typically hosts an event every month for individuals in the program. During a supervisor meeting last spring, Kim Grant, Residential Services Program Director, asked the home supervisors to think about a summer activity that would include the agency as a whole. Home Supervisor Marcia Cray suggested a summer carnival, which was a popular idea and so a Carnival Committee was formed. Cray was the chair, with the other Home Supervisors comprising the rest of the committee: Sandi Belmain, Pansie Burns, Christina Hall, Shawn Patrick and Doug Steenwyk.

For anybody who attended the event, it was easy to see that the dunk tank was the main attraction. Other carnival games such as ring toss, duck pond, rocket launch and bean bag toss all awarded participants their choice of either a ticket or small prize; the tickets were their token to throw three balls at the dunk tank. To make it as fun as possible for the individuals, each Home Supervisor was dunked. As if this wasn’t enough fun for everybody, Executive Director Steve Richard made a surprise appearance in the dunk tank. He was obviously the crowd’s favorite, as the line grew three times in length once he climbed in the tank.

Grant shares how the carnival became a reality, “At house meetings Supervisors shared and received ideas from both staff and consumers [for carnival activities]. They couldn’t wait for the big event; individuals from the Lombard Street Home made the rockets that were launched at the carnival.”
 
Cray, the Committee Chair, also tells how enjoyable the Carnival was to plan: “We had a wonderful time preparing for this event. We wanted to do something different... [and were] excited about making this event as fun as possible for the people we serve. It was hard work, but fun setting up all the booths. To watch all the ‘carnival goers’ having so much fun and laughing was the greatest sight for us. The dunking booth was definitely the hit of the carnival!”

Grant and the Carnival Committee already plan on repeating the event next year, with minor changes to enhance the event and make it even more fun. Staff and individuals alike are looking forward to planning an even better carnival next year.


  

UPDATED VISUAL/AUDIO SYSTEM for OTC 

August 2012 - Central Aroostook Association’s special-purpose private school, OTC, has recently purchased a piece of equipment that will enhance students' learning experience. A new surround-sound system and 14-foot projector will be installed in the school's gymnasium for the upcoming school year, which begins on August 29. This type of equipment helps students who have attention-deficit disorders as well as visual or hearing impairments. The surround sound helps keep the attention of students while adding volume to whomever is speaking, as the large projection will aid those with vision troubles. Thanks to a Title I grant for the funding that allowed for this purchase!

 

THE GARDEN PROJECT – July 2012

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June 2012 - The students at the Opportunity Training Center are continuing their education throughout the summer by working on the Association garden with Shared Living Coordinator, Sarah Heidorf. They are also attending classes on Fridays with Sasha Shaw from University of Maine's Cooperative Extension. The students are making a variety of unique art projects and learning about healthy ways to eat. Thank you to Sarah, Sasha and Tracy LeVasseur, OTC Teacher, for coordinating the activities and making learning fun.


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