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ASI Frankfort announces new summer program

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ROCKY CREATIONS: These rocks were painted by ASI Frankfort clients in their large art studio.
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CREATION: Clients at Abilities Services Inc. create a wide range of artwork in ASI Frankfort's art studio. Their works have been showcased in various locations throughout the community.
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CANVAS CREATIONS: A talent client of ASI Frankfort puts the finishing touches on "Rolly."
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CULINARY CREATIONS: Sean Piper smiles for the camera while making noodlesin ASI's cooking lab.

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

Abilities Services Inc. recently announced the creation of a new High School Summer Program in which clients can participate in cooking labs, gardening, working in the art studio, talking about current events, socializing, yard games and much more throughout the summer vacation. The program is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday starting May 28 after some local schools break for the summer. The program will continue until classes resume in the fall.

“After hearing from several families about what we could do to make the transition from high school happen more smoothly for them, we knew there was a need for a summer program,” said Michelle Leonard-Smith, CEO and executive director of ASI. “Families have very few options for placement during the summer months when school is not in session. We have now given them another choice in continuing to provide a meaningful day for their loved one while still being able to work.

“Clinton County families have expressed a need for a summer program for their loved ones with developmental disabilities, and I am delighted that we are able to fill the void,” she continued. “Our summer program is designed to be a chance to meet new friends, choose from various activities that occur throughout the day and participate in educational groups. Everything will happen on their terms and at their individual pace.”

There are a limited number of spaces remaining in the program, and ASI cannot provide transportation to and from the program. Those who are interested in signing up for $18 per day or $90 per week or finding out more about the program may contact Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional Kim Johnson at 659-4631.

“Through several generous supporters throughout Clinton County, we are able to offer a limited number of scholarships to help cover the cost,” said Leonard-Smith. “Abilities Services remains committed to helping individuals of all ages with disabilities to live and work within our community. The offering of the high school summer program for students with developmental disabilities will not only help parents during the summer months by providing a meaningful day, but will also offer them additional necessary information and support as we can assist them in enrolling for Medicaid Waiver services. By obtaining a waiver, the family is then preparing each student for the future.”

Director of Service Development Mary Nichols calls ASI one of the best-kept secrets in Clinton County.

“Please come to join us and see what the magic is all about,” Nichols said. “The summer program has been something that we have been working toward for several years. It is always a blessing to see a need in the community and finally be able to assist families.”