Finalist in The Community Foundation Community Choice Awards

CCA 2019 Portfolio Image 1170x612

Thank you for voting for our affiliate organizations in the Community Foundation Community Choice Awards!

The following projects are in the running for a $10,000 grant funded by The Community Foundation: 

Upstate Cerebral Palsy - Arts & Culture Category
Art in Empty Windows

Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s Art Program is one of the only art programs in the area that is created for people with special needs. Our team has created adaptive tools for artists with limited mobility to empower and motivate participants to use art as a form of expression.

Concepts like our Art in Empty Windows project have been implemented in other similar downtown areas and are proven to help revitalize the neighborhood. Art in Empty Windows increases foot traffic and makes the area more active, which has, in many cases, attracted new tenants to the vacant storefronts. Implementation of an Art in the Windows program in Downtown Utica is in line with the Downtown Revitalization Plan’s goals to redesign the physical environment of the city through creative placemaking and artscaping.

The Art in Empty Windows project will also make a significant impact in the lives of the artists who participate giving them an important outlet for creative expression, while also helping to create a new bridge to their local community. Through this project, we will attain community connection, educational experiences, and self-expression with a creative art-based outcome. Acceptance and awareness will be an additional highlighted benefit.   

We have seen the impact that our art education programs have made on students like Carleen. Carleen truly became an artist on November 2011 when she tried the Artistic Realization Technologies (ART) Program.  Carleen uses a small laser in her strongest hand and moves the beam around the canvas, her A.R.T tracker will follow the beam with paint color of her choice and paint brush to create her abstract art paintings. Carleen has grown as an artist, using the foundation of the A.R.T. systems, she currently incorporates her own paint brush strokes onto her canvas art using an adaptive paint brush holder and adapted easel panel. Carleen finds relaxation and quiet time spent while painting. Carleen expresses herself with color as she sometimes becomes so relaxed, her laser or her paint brush will stop, and she closes her eyes for a second, then opens them and smiles.

CNYHHN - Seniors Category
Chronic Care Workshops for Seniors

CNYHHN provides Care Management services to help make sure everyone involved in your care is working together and sharing information that is important in supporting your health and recovery. The goal of the Health Home is to improve not just your physical health, but also your emotional wellbeing.

Diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, lung disease, and other chronic conditions like these can make life difficult to manage for millions of older adults, often forcing them to give up their independence. Every day, millions of people with chronic conditions struggle to manage their symptoms. About 80% of older adults have one chronic condition; 68.4% of Medicare beneficiaries have two or more chronic conditions and 36.4% have four or more. Chronic diseases can affect a person’s ability to perform important activities, restricting their engagement in life and their enjoyment of family and friends.

Probably the best known and most highly regarded self-management program for people with chronic conditions is Stanford's Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). Chronic Disease Self-Management Program workshops educate people with different chronic conditions to develop the skills needed in the day-to-day management of their conditions. The curriculum supports self-managed behavior modification and coping strategies to enable participants to better manage their health condition(s), medications, and increase physical activity levels. 

If CNYHHN wins this grant, they would be able to certify two additional staff members as CDSMP Master Trainers and conduct workshops and peer trainings at local nursing homes, doctor’s offices and clinics in order to help the older adults in our community better manage their chronic conditions. The ability to offer these classes to those suffering from chronic disease will not only improve life for them but for their family, friends and community around them.

Two of our affiliates are in the running for the Sports & Recreation Category! Read about their projects below: 

The Root Farm - Sports & Recreation Category
Camp Adventurers 

There is a need for interactive, wellness-based educational opportunities for children in our community and the Root Farm is the only all-abilities adventure center and equine therapy provider in our area. Comprehensive, health and wellness-based programming at the scale offered at The Root Farm does not exist elsewhere in our community. Our unique, engaging programming encourages outdoor learning, teamwork and teambuilding, communication and social skills training, and increased physical activity, which are all necessary components to leading a healthy, active lifestyle.

Camp Adventurers will increase independent living for people with disabilities by providing access to activities that are often inaccessible, as well as providing opportunities to learn skills that promote independence such as farming, cooking, and eating healthy.

We have seen the powerful emotional and physical transformations of the children who visit the Root Farm, like Tim, a young boy who visited the Root Farm on a field trip. At the beginning of the field trip, the students were grooming and talking to the horses, but Tim was withdrawn and not engaged with the group. Towards the end of the day, our therapeutic recreation specialist brought out Cruiser and immediately Tim’s eyes lit up. He began excitedly initiating conversation, asking questions about Cruiser– this was something his teachers had never seen, it brought tears to their eyes and joy to our hearts.

Kelberman Center - Sports & Recreation Category
iCan Bike Camp

Riding a bike is a common childhood milestone. Many of us can look back on our childhood and fondly recall memories of biking with neighborhood friends or riding along the canal path with our family. Biking was more than just something to keep us healthy and fit – it was something that brought us joy and gave us a sense of independence.

Recent research shows that 80% of people with autism and 90% of people with down syndrome never learn to ride a two-wheel bike. The iCan Bike program has been successful in defying these numbers with a specialized program using adaptive equipment, trained staff, and community volunteers. With 75 minutes of instruction over five days, more than 80% of riders learn to ride a conventional bicycle independently by the end of camp. This opportunity is about far more than just riding a bike – it’s about giving individuals with autism a chance to experience the confidence and independence, physical fitness, and family and social opportunities that come with riding a bike. 

Funding will support Kelberman Center in bringing the camp back with the ability to offer it at a discounted price to riders. 

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