In early February, there was a new event out in western Massachusetts for local teens with disabilities: a Valentine’s Dance! The Dance that was held on February 6th in Holyoke, and five Making Healthy Connections Peer Leaders volunteered to help lead activities with their peers at this event. In addition, MHC participants attended the dance alongside a lively group of youth from throughout Hampshire and Hampden Counties. A great time was had by all! During the dance, parents had an opportunity to meet at a nearby location and discuss resources.
This dance was hosted by the newly formed Interagency Transition Team of Hampden and Hampshire Counties, which is committed to developing partnerships with community based agencies in order to develop a common working knowledge on the best practices to support families in an individualized and seamless transition into adulthood. The Transition Team is comprised of educators and professionals working in the field of disability, and includes staff from JERICHO, The Bureau for Exceptional Children & Adults, the Westfield Public Schools, the Agawam Public Schools, The Carson Center for Human Services, CHD’s Disability Resource Program, and Partners for Youth with Disabilities.
We hear again and again that youth with disabilities in western Massachusetts are eager for more social opportunities, and this Valentines Day dance was a wonderful example of what can be done with collaboration. The Transition Team looks forward to planning additional social events this spring and continuing our work together to support successful transitions for youth with disabilities.
To learn more about the Springfield branch of Making Healthy Connections, visit our website or contact Susan Nicastro, the MHC Springfield program director, at 617-556-4075 x13 or firstname.lastname@example.org.