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First Coast Branch

The partnership between Ability Tree First Coast and the communities in Northeast Florida will be the cornerstone of its future. Our organization’s approach to excellence in the family’s development, socialization, and support will be its hallmark. As we grow our roots deeper into this region, we will provide opportunities for families to participate in varied activities including respite nights, sensory friendly activities, after-school care, sibling groups, and our therapeutic summer day camp: CampAbility Special Day Camp. We will also promote inclusion in the community by providing strategies for churches, businesses, and organizations to assimilate these families into their visions. 

Ability Tree First Coast is committed to meeting the needs of the special needs community by offering Recreation, Education, Support, and Training. As we grow our roots deeper into the First Coast, our programs will branch out by providing various opportunities for our families to be supported, included, and educated.

MISSION

Our mission is to reach out to families impacted by disability through Recreation, Education, Support and Training (R.E.S.T.); we aim to partner with individuals and organizations to raise awareness and build support networks to strengthen and grow able families.

Recreation – to refresh and rekindle the excitement in the family unit thru tailored recreation

Education – to promote awareness in the communities we serve and provide opportunities for continuous learning for the individual, families, and their supports

Support – to serve as a foundation and a resource, while providing the families respite and unconditional love

Training – to provide instruction and best practices, while assisting businesses, churches, civic organizations, and the like in cultivating an atmosphere of inclusion with those they come in contact with.

 
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Family Friendly Activities

We will be partnering with local venues to have family-friendly events periodically throughout the year so stay connected to us through Facebook and our Events page. Activities like Fountain of Youth, Marineland, St. Augustine Glory pro-basketball games, Anastasia Bowling, and accommodating movie theater events. We will also have cookouts and other socials where families can mingle and make friends with other families.


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CampAbility Special Day Camp

CampAbility provides educational and therapeutic summer services to elementary-aged children with special needs in a fun and safe environment. We are now offering summer camp sessions to the siblings! By doing this, we hope to help alleviate the burden on parents by keeping their children in one location, provide comfort to the camper with special needs by having someone familiar nearby, and include the sibling(s) by offering them companionship with other siblings who walk in their shoes. For details, check out our camp page.

Ages

Entering kindergarten - 5th grade (this includes siblings)

Dates

Summer 2019 dates TBD. We will not have camp the week of July 1-5, 2019.

Time

8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., with extended day available 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Location

TBD

For more details on CampAbility, including registration and camp forms, click here.


Training

Training churches, businesses, civic organizations, schools, etc. are necessary to bring about acceptance and inclusion for those with special needs. The majority of the 56 million Americans living with a disability are neglected by their communities. Among church-attending special needs families, 86.5% said that their church needs more education and training about disability. In the workforce, only 18% of persons with a disability are employed because of the many myths about abilities, cost benefits, etc.

For details, call or email us at 855.288.6735 ext. 5 or firstcoast@abilitytree.org.


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Parents Night Out: Fall 2018

Respite Nights will be a Parents Night Out, where children with special needs and their siblings make new friends, play fun inclusive games, enjoy crafts, stories, accessible activities, and much more! Meanwhile, parents get a break from their ongoing care-giving responsibilities.


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SociAbility: Fall 2019

Socials for teens and adults will provide an avenue for them to be in a comfortable atmosphere where they can develop lifetime friendships while doing activities, enjoying meals together, and dancing the night away! The socials will be open to all teens and adults, not just those with special needs, in order to bridge the gap and promote inclusion.


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Siblings Program: Summer 2020

A program for the siblings impacted by special needs will include a variety of fun activities and breakout sessions that focus on them being the “star” (which to our MVPs and parents this is what they are). They are the hidden heroes in the family many times, and they need opportunities to be the center of attention. This program will also include mentoring, advocacy, and future planning.


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After School Care Program: Fall 2021

Our After-school Care Program will be similar to the summer camp, in that ATFC will provide activities to elementary-aged children with special needs in a fun and safe environment. Siblings are welcome.