Purchasing The Child King DVD really is the "gift that keeps on giving", because all profits from the sale of the movie and related merchandise are used to fund the non-profit Child King Foundation. The foundation has awarded thousands of dollars in grants to organizations and individuals that offer help to people with intellectual disabilities. With your support, we hope to continue this wonderful holiday tradition for many years to come.
Child King Foundation Grant Recipients
DOWN SYNDROME IN ARTS AND MEDIA, Los Angeles, California
After years of supplying talent with developmental disabilities to casting directors in Hollywood for films and television and across the U.S. for commercial advertising and industrial films, media activist and consultant Gail Williamson is creating a website just for talent who have Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities. Down Syndrome in Arts & Media (www.dsiam.org) will not only connect casting directors with actors, but event planners will be able to find public speakers and entertainers, set decorators will be able to find visual artists with unique one of a kind art and publishers will be able to locate poets and writers, all who have Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities.
John Wells, Executive Producer of "ER" said of Gail's work, "What Gail is doing is remarkable and important. Using actors without disabilities to play characters with disabilities should be as unacceptable in Hollywood today as suggesting white actors in blackface play African American characters." Williamson, the mother of Blair, a professional actor since 1991, says she never would have chosen this work for herself. Supporting Blair and his passion to act has caused her to stumble upon her destiny and now perhaps helping others with developmental disabilities to discover their destinies as well. "There is so much talent out there and people are constantly looking for them, searching group internet sites and asking around,' says Williamson. "I thought the talent deserved a place to be located, sort of a one-stop shop, to better show the world their abilities."
The Child King Foundation Grant will be used to further develop the dsiam.com website, create promotional materials and allow actors with intellectual disabilities to post their talent reels on such video sharing sites as YouTube and Facebook.
WEST BRANCH PARENT SUPPORT GROUP, West Branch, Michigan
Parents of children with intellectual disabilities in the West Branch area meet one evening per month to support each other in the day-to-day challenges of parenting. During these meetings, which began in November, 2007, information is shared among parents and with community agencies.
West Branch is a rural area struggling with high unemployment, budget cuts and few resources. The Child King Foundation grant will pay for one year of meetings and child care at the church where the West Branch parent support group meets.
DOWN SYNDROME ASSOCIATION OF GREATER CINCINNATI, Cincinnati, Ohio
The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati is a non-profit organization established in 1981 that provides programs and services to over 3000 families in the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana areas. By providing families with support, inspiration and information, the DSAGC helps individuals with Down syndrome achieve their maximum potential. The organization is a firm believer in inclusion-including individuals with Down syndrome in neighborhood schools, community activities and the business world, benefiting both the individual and his, or her, respective community.
Part of the mission of the association is to empower individuals, including giving people with Down syndrome basic knowledge of personal boundaries, how to set boundaries, what to do if those boundaries are crossed and communicating feelings and being safe in the community. The DSAGC encourages people to become more involved in their communities in all aspects, such as working, social events, and recreational opportunities.
The Child King Foundation Grant will fund a three hour safety class workshop for up to sixteen participants with Down syndrome. The workshop will be conducted by the group "Impact Safety", which uses role playing to help people with intellectual disabilities learn and repeat information. The workshop will address recognition of when boundaries are crossed by acquaintances or strangers, verbal de-escalation techniques, and dealing with unwanted touch.
CARDINAL CUSHING CENTER, Hanover, Massachusetts
Cardinal Cushing School provides a caring environment where students with mild to severe intellectual challenges acquire skills for successful lives. Cardinal Cushing works closely with local school districts and state agencies to offer innovative and individualized opportunities for students to become active and contributing members of their communities.
The school provides students with exceptional academics, an outstanding vocational program, and high quality residential options. In addition to these programs, Cardinal Cushing offers many clinical and therapeutic services including Counseling, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. Additionally, all students have access to a wide range of recreational activities, sports teams, and Special Olympics activities.
Over its more than 60 year history, Cardinal Cushing School has become an integral part of the Shore Shore Community of Massachusetts. Students work in local businesses, shop in area stores, and participate in community and recreational activities throughout the area.
The Child King Foundation grant will be used to help fund transportation for nine intellectually disabled students who are attending a community college in Cape Cod. These students are the first with intellectual disabilities from Cardinal Cushing to be admitted to, and attend, an institution of higher education.
BARSTOW'S DOWN SYNDROME SUPPORT GROUP, Barstow, California
Barstow's Down Syndrome Support Group was founded in December 2005 when the founders decided to share experiences and help other families in need of support. Response was immediately overwhelming and the group is expanding. The group's goals are to maintain high quality standards, provide the best information possible and provide a gathering place where no one is different.
The Child King Foundation grant will be used to support programs offered by Barstow's Down Syndrome Support Group.
REACH, INC, Plymouth, Massachusetts
The philosophical foundation of REACH Inc. is born of the ideology that a population committed to five key components best support individuals with developmental disabilites. These components are: the fostering and encouragement of self-determination; the preservation of human rights; the pursuit of a positive and gratifying life; optimal fulfillment of ones civic and vocational responsibilities; and the development of respect and dignity. Each of these components encompass the principles of community participation, relationship building, choice and decision making, developing competency and respect and dignity.
Employees of REACH, Inc. work with men and women in their homes, establishing pathways to independence. People live in a variety of residential settings within the downtown Plymouth Area. These homes range from one or two bedroom apartments with intermittent staffing schedules to four bedroom homes with twenty four-hour staffing. The "Meaningful Day" Supports offered by REACH, Inc. is designed specifically and individually for the people who receive assistance in this program. People are offered help with vocational, academic, cultural, ethnic, religious, and community endeavors.
Recreational supports provided by REACH, Inc. focus on the utilization of community based opportunities for amusement, relaxation, entertainment and education. Offered primarily as an adjunct to Residential and Day services, Recreational Services complete the picture in terms of whole life development. People with disabilities in the Plymouth area who are under-supported or not supported can also take advantage of these events.
A Child King Foundation grant will help fund Reach's "Recreation Fund". This fund is used to allow intellectually disabled individuals an opportunity to travel to destinations or participate in events they would not otherwise be able to afford, thereby improving their quality of life.
DOWN SYNDROME CONNECTION OF THE BAY AREA, Danville, California
The Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area consists of a group of caring individuals, educators, therapists and involved community members whose passion and commitment is to serve families who have members born with Down syndrome. The Connection accomplishes this through education, advocacy, parent/sibling support and therapeutic classes for babies, children, teens and adults. Their goal is to enrich the child and adults lives through pre-academic, academic, language skills and social/behavioral interaction, ultimately preparing them for community integration as a valuable participant and contributor.
The Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area was started in 1998 by a group of parents seeking to fill a void in services and support available to children and adults with Down syndrome and their families. Now reaching over 500 families in five locations through the Bay, the Connection offers services and support such as prenatal consultation, parent support groups, information and referral, education, one-on-one advocacy, therapeutic STEP classes for all ages, a resource and lending library, outdoor field trips for teens and adults, and community events for families. The Connection also has a private Speech Therapist and Reading Tutor on site.
The Child King Foundation will fund a scholarship to help students and/or their families participate in the Connection's teen and adult programs.
ROCKDALE CARES, Conyers, Georgia
Rockdale Cares is a volunteer organization dedicated to filling the gap that most mentally challenged citizens fall into; namely, the gap between simply surviving, and being an active part of the community and enjoying the same positive experiences that other citizens enjoy.
Rockdale Cares is dedicated to achieving the highest possible quality of life and the highest level of mental and physical development for the mentally challenged citizens of Rockdale County, Georgia. Rockdale Cares places an emphasis on human dignity by providing responsible, non-intrusive, open-minded support and services. Rockdale Cares is committed to the idea that all people, disabled or not, have the right to human dignity and a life free from physical and emotional barriers.
The organization provides opportunities to enhance and strengthen independence and well being and social, recreational, housing and employment opportunities for the mentally challenged citizens of Rockdale County. The organization offers an Adult Day Program that provides clients with opportunities to learn job skills, participate in music therapy, and improve their daily living. Rockdale Cares sponsors a variety of different activities for special citizens including themed dances, picnics, and several holiday-related parties.
The Child King Foundation grant will be used to purchase permanent theater seats for the Rockdale Cares "Our Place" movie theater.
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