Henderson, Nev., Celebrates with ‘Stars’

by Jan Stone –
Star Program Coordinator

It’s the first anniversary for the Star program in Henderson, Nev. (Lts. Mark and Vicky Gilden, corps officers). This day care center provides socialization for young, disabled adults who find their world has shrunk once they leave the school system. More than just socialization, however, it means having interesting projects, being around people other than caregivers. It is a reason to get out of bed each day.

The Star program teaches things like basic computer skills, hand-eye projects, how to take directions, and improving self-image. The stars are people with brain injury, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and developmental disabilities. Some use wheelchairs; some are partly paralyzed.

The best part of the stars is their attitude. They show kindness and caring on a regular basis, and fill in each others’ “empty spaces” with their own abilities.

Mornings are “star choice”–devoted to crafts and games. Afternoons, there are group activities such as wheelchair basketball, bean bag toss, and bowling. Once a month there is a movie with popcorn. Occasionally the stars join the elderly program for a party or live entertainment. There is an incentive system in place to encourage trying new things, and accomplishment is recognized.

Friendship Circle Adult Health Day Care Center is directed by Holly Forbush.

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