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Yet another month flew by and now we cannot believe 2024 is here (by the time the blog is posted)!


We spent this month preparing for the end of the year. Both the morning and the afternoon crews wrote Christmas cards and letters, wrote out envelopes and mailed them, frosted Christmas cookies, and decorated the tree. We also assembled simmer pot treats for parents and for local businesses. As always, we continue working on socializing, cooking, cleaning, and playing games as well. We finished with a Christmas party complete with ax throwing for first dibs on festive socks, more cookie decorating, and watching a movie. 



Mid-December we welcomed Brittany onto our staff. We wish Kay all the best at her new job.



 

OUT AND ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY

Have you heard about CASA of the Fox Cities? It is a program to pair an advocate with each child entering the welfare system. Earlier this month, Bryanna and Shannon partnered with the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce to assemble kits for advocates spending time with their kids. They are always looking for donations and advocates. 


DID YOU KNOW?

Many of the clients at Inclusion love helping us cook. Measuring using measuring cups and measuring spoons might be the most sought-after job, so we have also added a jobs box where they can measure rice to their heart’s content. You could do this with cotton balls or Cheerios if the idea of rice is too daunting. If they don’t get the measuring job, many clients then volunteer for cutting. We’ve been slowly adding to our adaptive tools to assist with this, including this adaptive tool to help cut things that tend to roll. This one and this one both allow the individuals to cut one-handed. If you aren’t ready to do knives yet, there are safety versions, or you could do a chopper. We highly recommend cooking with your family members at home to continue practicing these life skills. Have a lot of fun, and don’t be afraid to get a little messy!




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Honestly, we aren’t sure where November went. Routines are continuing well for both morning and afternoon clients. The morning crew now has a morning meeting where we discuss basic emotions, talk about our favorite things in fun polls, fun facts, and work on our calendar skills. We then move into crafts, individual activities based on the client’s needs, games, all while promoting positive social interaction. They are alway so willing to help out around the center too, shredding papers, taking out garbage, putting up/taking down decorations, washing dishes, sweeping, and occasionally preparing lunch for our afternoon crew. Our favorite games this month include Cootie, Yeti in My Spaghetti, Chutes and Ladders, Memory, and Sorry. 


In the afternoon, Bryanna is working with some of the groups on understanding time and schedules, as well as money skills related to budgeting. Kaila is finishing up reading and writing emails, and will be moving into addressing envelopes and reading calendars next. Kay and Toni are continuing to work on members' individual goals, independent living skills, primarily in the area of cooking, cleaning, and social skills like playing games and appropriate conversational skills. One group is even learning to sew and cross-stitch with Kay! Our favorite games lately have been Cootie, Yeti in My Spaghetti, LCR, Uno, Memory, Trouble, and Skip bo. We wrapped the month with a Thanksgiving party filled with laughs during our minute to win it games. We are very Thankful for our members who fill our days with with joy.





OUT AND ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY

This month, we want to send a shout out to our FABULOUS neighbors. Ashley at Luxe + Lennox, everyone at Wisconsin Farm and Home Realty Group, and Zak at V2 Adventure Products have been the best neighbors we could ask for. From bringing treats in for holidays to stopping in to say hello, they take every opportunity to interact with and forge positive relationships with the clients and staff. Please help us support these businesses.


DID YOU KNOW?

We wanted to share a new app we found recently that we enjoy. Let Me Talk is a free app. It is similar to Proloquo2go, to be used as a communication tool. You can also add your own images and words to personalize it.








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WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO:

We spent October finding our groove. The morning crew spends their days socializing, crafting, puzzling, and practicing self-care. They often help prepare snacks and lunches as well. The afternoon crew is just starting a new rotation system based on individual needs. Bryanna leads a math rotation where she is focusing on money and budgeting. Kaila is leading the literacy rotation, working on reading and understanding emails and short letters. Toni and Kay are working together to work on independent living skills and IEP goals. We finished the month with an epic Halloween party, complete with ordering pizza, costumes, games, and a movie.






NEEDS

If you have any of the following things around the house that you aren’t using, please consider donating them to Inclusion:

  • Perfection board game

  • Guess Who board game

  • Yeti Spaghetti game

  • Pop the Pig game

  • 48-piece puzzles

Here’s a link to our Amazon wish list as well: https://www.iccwi.org/gifts


OUT AND ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY

This month, we want to send a shout out to the Little Chute Piggly Wiggly. Our afternoon crew has been stopping there once a week to pick up groceries for Inclusion, and they have been an awesome place to support us as we practice locating items in the store, comparing prices, checking out, and appropriate behavior in public places. Sorry, no pictures, we have been to busy learning in this enviorment to get any action shots.


DID YOU KNOW?

Our afternoon clients have been using the city buses for transportation to the grocery store and to Innovative Growth. Earlier this month, our staff participated in a training with members from Valley Transit. Since COVID, Valley Transit has been updating their policies and programs to better service the area. Besides the inter-city bus, Megabus, and Amtrak, they also offer services like GO Transit, Make The Ride Happen, LSS, reduced fare, and more. Currently, students at Fox Valley Tech, Lawrence University, and Appleton Area School District can ride the bus for free with current ID. If you would like more information on how to get from A to B using public transportation, please contact Valley Transit’s mobility manager, Sarah Schneider at 920-832-1627 or email Sarah.Schneider@Appleton.org.





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