Family Support Programs
For the past decade the Arc of Butte County has focused on strengthening families with special needs members. Day to day life, with its frequent demands can be stressful for each of us. These every day stresses greatly increase when a family is faced with the extraordinary challenges of parenting an individual with special needs. The Arc offers: Support Groups, Parent Education, Computer Lab, Disability Awareness, Saturday Respite & more.
If you have questions, please contact Patti Thomas, Associate Director/Community Services, at 530.891.5865 x.107.111
Focus — Families of Children Under Stress
FOCUS is a support-based program for families and/or caregivers of children with special needs, where caregivers share their triumphs, frustrations and fears with other parents who have been there. FOCUS is held at locations around Butte County (every other Wednesday night in Chico and the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month in Paradise) and acts as an outlet to families on a variety of levels. During the group’s session, children participate in an integrated recreational program. For more information, please contact Patti Thomas, Associate Director/Community Services, at 530.891.5865 x.107.
Spanish Support Group
Our Spanish Support Group meets every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month at The Arc of Butte County. For more information, please contact Patti Thomas, Associate Director/Community Services, at 530.891.5865 x.107.
Rainbow of Kids Club/Saturday Respite
Every Saturday, the Family Support staff plan recreational activities for special needs children and their siblings, offering a variety of social experiences. If you would like to sign your child up for Rainbow of Kids Club events, please contact Patti Thomas, Associate Director/Community Services, at 530.891.5865 x.107.
Because we believe informed parents make the best advocates, The Arc of Butte County provides workshops and individualized assistance to help increase the parents’ understanding of their child’s rights and the responsibilities of the special education and service delivery systems. An Advocacy Information Program meets once a month in Chico. During these meetings, guest speakers talk about a variety of advocacy-related issues. For more information, please contact Patti Thomas, Associate Director/Community Services, at 530.891.5865 x.107.
Independent Living Skills Training
The Independent Living Skills program provides a diverse range of skills training and services that focus on an individual’s personal and social needs. The training enables individuals to acquire, maintain and improve their existing abilities to live independently in the community. Our staff is able to assist each client in areas of independent living and behavioral intervention. For more information, please contact Ray Fennell, ILS Coordinator, at 530.891.5865 x.110,or by email at raymondfennell [at] arcbutte [dot] org or Bonnie Bethel, ILS Parenting Coordinator, at 530.891.5865 x.106, or by email at bonniebethel [at] arcbutte [dot] org.
Independent Living Skills/Parenting
The Independent Living Skills/Parenting program consists of an ongoing series of classes related to parenting the special-needs child. Parenting a child with special needs can be very challenging at times. The courses are set up workshop-style and repeated a few times throughout the year. Our overall course objective is to provide parents with a better understanding of their child’s needs, as well as providing an outlet for personal and family growth. As a specialized component of the ILS program, Parenting is able to provide the following services on a one-to-one basis: individual parent support, positive parenting techniques, parent support groups and assistance with understanding and accessing community services. If you have questions regarding the ILS Parenting program, please contact Bonnie Bethel, ILS Parenting Coordinator, at 530.891.5865 x.106, or by email at bonniebethel [at] arcbutte [dot] org.
Adult Day Programs
The Arc of Butte County’s Adult Day Program (ADP) is a day program that includes both center-based and community-based experiences as well as a vocational readiness and work experience program. Participants are engaged in a variety of constructive activities that aid in acquiring self help skills. Our work program combines both paid work at minimum wage and skills training. If you have questions about the ADP or work training, please contact Nelson Corwin, Associate Director/Adult Day Program, at 530.891.5865 x.201.
The Arc Adult Day Program offers a variety of educational, recreational, social and work related activities. The programs are site and community based. Listed below is an overview of what The Arc of Butte County has to offer.
The Arc of Butte County has an Arc Store in both Chico and Oroville which offer employment opportunities for our consumers. Our consumers learn valuable work-related skills which can be transferred to employment in the community. The consumers work (2) hour shifts and make minimum wage while working in the Arc Stores.
Art class is offered Monday and Wednesday mornings. Alan Carrier, a well-known local artist, who runs the Coyote Gallery at Butte College, teaches the class. The class incorporates collage, printmaking, clay, wood and found objects, assemblage puppets, encaustic painting, acrylic and watercolor, drawing and mural making. The consumers gain knowledge and skills by actively using their visual and tactile senses to process information. The consumers not only sell some their art projects at the Arc Stores but also have won numerous awards at the Silver Dollar Fair in Chico and The Butte County Fair in Gridley.
Be Well Class
This class is held at the Chico State Facility on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This is an all around fitness program offered during the school year. The class is overseen by Jacob Sosine, a recent graduate of Chico State, who worked with the consumers in this class prior to joining the Arc Staff.
The Arc of Butte County has its own computer lab with (3) computers. The consumers learn the basic computer skills as well as how to access the Internet for checking emails, playing games and utilizing educational programs.
Offered Monday and Wednesday afternoons, this class offers basic cooking and baking skills. The consumers actively participate in planning, shopping and cooking simple meals. Dody Powell, Shelley Mayo and Lydia Banegas are the instructors.
This class is taught on Thursday afternoons by Bunny Blanchar, a very talented crafter. The class offers beading, knitting, crocheting, sewing and jewelry making. The consumers sell their creations at the Arc Stores and to friends and family.
Offered on Wednesday mornings, this class includes several different types of dance, stretching and exercise. The class is taught by Diane St. George, who can be found dancing all over Chico.
This is our newest class, which offers the consumers a chance to write and perform their own plays as well as performing established plays. The consumers learn confidence and how to speak in front of an audience.
This class offers the consumers knowledge in tilling, planting, weeding, watering and harvesting vegetables for personal consumption and also fosters a stress relief environment. Wyatt “Green Thumb” Hursh oversees the class.
The Arc of Butte County has a small workout room with exercise machines, free weights and exercise balls. The class is offered everyday and is overseen by different instructors to insure proper use of the equipment and correct techniques for exercising safely.
This class offers the consumers a chance to sing in front of others as well as learn to read, project their voices, build friendships and cultivate individual confidence. This class is taught by Julie “the Voice” Silva.
Offered every Wednesday morning at Azad’s Martial Art Studio and at The Arc of Butte County on Mondays and Thursdays, this class teaches the consumers about basic personal defense, coordination, flexibility and respect. Izzy Gutierrez, one of our instructors, transports and participates along with the consumers in this class at Azad’s. Izzy also teaches the classes at The Arc of Butte County on Mondays.
Life and Social Skills Class
This class offers the consumers a chance to talk about healthy and unhealthy relationships, communicating with their peers and problem solving.
These classes or sessions are taught on a daily basis by The Arc of Butte County staff and are tailored to meet the individual needs of the consumer.
This class offers the consumers basics in hand signing, which they use to communicate with deaf consumers.
Offered on Monday afternoons, this class works with the consumers on learning basic Spanish words and phrases with emphasis on correct pronunciation. Our bilingual staff member Marian Jackson teaches this class.
This class offers meditation, stretching and physical wellness, as well as breathing techniques to reduce stress and foster a calm mind. Julie Silva, a certified yoga instructor, teaches this class.
Respite Care Services
The Arc of Butte County offers a variety of services to our families and to individuals through the Far Northern Regional Center. These provide time off for parents, training for individuals and recreational activities. For more information on Respite Care Services, please contact Tom Leonardi, Associate Director/Respite Care Services, at 530.891.5865 x.105.
Respite Care Service offers personalized support to children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. A respite care provider is available to provide temporary care and companionship for the individual with a developmental disability or neurological impairment in the home or community. Sensitive to the needs of families living with someone who has a disability, respite care providers furnish one of the supports which maintain disabled individuals in their homes, enhance personal growth and development, and foster independence of all family members. If you have questions regarding Respite Care Services, please contact Tom Leonardi, Associate Director/Respite Care Services, at 530.891.5865 x.105 or Respite Scheduler, Kerry Farley, at 530.891.5865 x.101.
One of the services that The Arc of Butte County provides for our families is translations and interpretations. The Arc of Butte County has an active staff of bilingual translators. Most work primarily in other programs but provide translation services as needed in Spanish, Hmong and American Sign Language. They work with speech and language therapists, as well as audiologists, and physical, behavioral, and occupational therapists. Nutritionists and the Parent Infant Program also use our translation services.
Along with providing verbal translation services in professional settings, The Arc of Butte County’s translators also assist families with the translation of documents such as reports, evaluations, applications, and official letters. This assistance is invaluable for all families who receive public agency support and services.
The Arc of Butte County’s translators must demonstrate fluency in English as a second language, have good verbal and written skills, demonstrate sensitivity to the special needs of the people and families we serve and demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to cultural differences and perceptions.
For more information regarding Translation Services, please contact Tom Leonardi, Associate Director/Respite Care Services, at 530.891.5865 x.105 or by email at tomleonardi [at] arcbutte [dot] org or Marion Jackson, Translation Scheduler, at 530.891.5865 x.104.