Rec is expanding…AGAIN!

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Here at the Rec we are passionate about providing a safe environment for kids with special needs. We take pride in knowing that we are one of the few centers in the area that can cater to children seven days a week.  Families take comfort in knowing that their child is in a safe and fun environment with experienced staff.  The Rec is a comprehensive program and resource for families with autism and related special needs. We customize programs to fit the needs of each student and follow the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

After the launch of our Peabody REC  we have been able to expand into New Hampshire with our Londonderry REC  almost three years ago. The Recreational Education Center is now proud to announce the launch of yet another center which will be located in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.  The center is scheduled to open in early September and will have a strong focus on adult services while also continuing our current programming for school aged kids.

 The REC  is excited to grow and to continue to provide programming to bridge the gaps in services that individuals with special needs require. Be on the lookout for more information on our grand opening closer to September. For the most up to date information on the opening of our Chelmsford REC  continue to check back on our website or reach out to us at info@recreationaleducationcenter.com

 

Reserving for Vacations and Holidays at the REC

You may download the form by clicking on the applicable link:

MA REC Vacation Request Form- Peabody, MA
NH REC Vacation Request Form- Londonderry, NH

*Please note that completing and returning this form does not guarantee a space in the Vacation/Holiday programs. REC families will be contacted by staff to confirm availability. (If your child(ren) are not currently enrolled and attending the REC, they must first complete the intake process which may take at least 20-30 days depending on availability and insurance processing and a spot in the vacation program is still not guaranteed).

Staff Spotlight: BCBA Bonanza!

The REC was founded by BCBA, Tricia Woolard, and since the Peabody REC’s door opened 4 years ago we have been fortunate enough to add an extraordinary team of BCBAs to the program. With 12 BCBAs on staff between both locations, about 6 are full-time. With the continuous growth of our centers, we would like to give a shout-out to a group of BCBAs heading up various divisions at both REC locations:

Heather Giurlando, M.S., BCBA
NH REC Behavioral Consultant

Heather received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Northeastern University and continued there to complete her Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis and then received her BCBA. Her passion for special education began early when she volunteered in middle school at an Extended School Year summer program. While working towards her degrees, Heather gained experience through various internships at day camps, daycares and the Brookline Public Schools. She also completed co-op work at Kennedy Day School at Franciscan Children’s Hospital. After completing undergrad, Heather worked at the May Institute for almost 13 years where she had experience in both the classroom and home.

Lisa Cooper, M.S.Ed, BCBA, MSW
Peabody REC Program Director, Early Learners

Lisa received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Quinnipiac College and went onto Simmons’ College’s well renowned ABA program to receive her Masters in Education and her BCBA. She also earned her Masters in Social Work and certification as a Trauma Informed Clinician from Simmons. Her internships at MCI- Cedar Junction and YOU Inc. Teen Substance Abuse Program fueled her interest in helping those who are struggling in the community. Lisa refocused her skills to children and young adults with disabilities as a Behavioral Consultant at South Shore Charter Public School and then as a BCBA with the REC’s sister company, Creative Behavioral Solutions (CBS) where she worked both in-home and in-school as a Behavioral Consultant. She was introduced to the REC during her time at CBS and admired the center-based ABA Programming and team atmosphere. Her favorite thing about the REC is the enthusiastic and dedicated staff. The REC is excited to welcome Lisa to the Early Learners Department!

Brianna Fedolfi, M.Ed, BCBA
Peabody REC Program Director, Tweens

Brianna received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Keene State College and continued her higher education at Endicott College’s Institute for Behavioral Studies where she earned her Masters in Education for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis and then her BCBA. Her passion for working with children began as a camp counselor at the YMCA of the North Shore. Post-grad, Brianna started off her career in the Public Schools System with Marlborough Public Schools as an ABA Technician. She further honed her ABA programming skills at Futures Clinic and Futures Behavior Therapy Center in Beverly, MA. Brianna’s favorite things about the REC are the small groups and the social skills games. She is a great addition to the Tween Department!

Juliana Hartelius, M.Ed, BCBA
Peabody REC Program Director, Teens and Young Adults

Juliana received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Salem State University and then moved onto Bay Path University where she earned her Masters in Education and then her BCBA. Her experience began at a local collaborative and then spent the majority of her career as a BCBA with the REC’s sister company, Creative Behavioral Solutions (CBS) as a Behavioral Consultant in-home and in-school. Juliana also began working part-time at the REC. She loves seeing how happy the REC students are upon arrival and has made the move to become a full-time fixture in the Teen Department.

#squadgoals Are you interested in joining Team REC? We are now hiring staff for our Fall Programming! Between our 2 locations, we offer full and part-time positions with various experience levels. Inquire by sending an email to jobs@recreationaleducationcenter.com.

 

Winter Themed Activities

Although it is already mid-January, the snow is just beginning. The feeling of awe and the imagery of fresh white snow blankets is among us. To preempt the winter blues from taking over, get out there and enjoy (temperatures permitting, of course)! Or, if stuck inside make the most of it and plan out the day. See below for some of our favorite activities.

OUTDOORS

Winter Scavenger Hunt
Print this visual scavenger hunt.

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Snow Painting and Snow Gems
In addition to fun pictures, encourage color, shape, letter and number recognition!

Buckets-o-Snow
Just as it sounds! Fill bins or buckets of snow and throw in some sandbox buckets and shovels for some sensory fun. Encourage counting and stacking of snowballs for the mathematically inclined.

Bring Out the Toys
This option may excite the kiddo who is not as excited about the actual snow. Pick some indoor toys such as blocks, trucks, costumes, etc. and let them play outside with the typically “indoor only” toys.

Adaptive Skiing and Snowsports
Trained instructors in a welcoming atmosphere:
Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports

Lincoln Ice Castle
Make the trek up to Lincoln, NH for an adventure in a real frozen castle! Advance ticket purchase necessary.

INDOORS

Crafts, crafts and more crafts!
Grab some glue and paper products to create a Winter Wonderland!

Homemade Snow
Always a favorite (and simple) sensory activity.

“Snowball” Fight
Let out some energy and get the kids moving!

Ice Skating
Create a mini skating rink in the kitchen!

And of course, Open REC! No enrollment necessary. Drop-in for open play 5-6 days/week at either our Peabody, MA or Londonderry, NH location.

REC Snow Policy

Due to the unique aspect of our programming being open 7 days per week, into the early evening and holidays, using Peabody Public Schools and Londonderry Schools as a guide as to when to open or cancel is no longer an effective means to assist with the decisions at the centers.

For full day programming days (weekends/holidays), we will determine if the centers are closed by 7 am. Families can access this information by calling the centers directly and listening to the updated voicemail noting any changes or by checking our Facebook page.

For days we only offer afternoon/afterschool programming, a decision will be made by noon. Again, families can access the information by calling the centers or checking our Facebook page.

Please note, if your child is funded through a school district, you will follow and adhere to your own district’s snow cancellations.

We hope this change in policy will better meet the needs of our clients, staff and continue to support the overall mission of the center.

Click HERE to print and confirm the REC Snow Policy.

Sneak-a-Peek at our Clinical Corner!

The REC is committed to providing effective ABA programming for each individual student and that commitment extends to our staff training. REC Staffers join our team with varying degrees of ABA training. The REC promotes staff development through in person trainings, online modules, daily clinical exercises, as well as through other methods.

REC fulltime staffers consist of a team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians and experienced special educators who are passionate about ABA therapy and providing direct staff with the support system needed to create and implement successful programs. In addition to trainings, Senior REC Staffers have created the Clinical Corner to assist staff and reinforce the use of ABA methods.

The Clinical Corner topics change monthly so check out the last few months of creative learning in the staff room!

Positive vs. Negative Reinforcement
Staff was asked to give examples of positive and negative reinforcement based on student experiences. The staff room was decorated with various examples such as,

Positive Reinforcement – Verbal praise, “Awesome job waiting for your turn!” for turn taking during a game with peers reinforces waiting and will strengthen that behavior.

Negative Reinforcement – If a student mands (requests) for a break, “I want a break” to avoid a certain situation (loud, crowded area) the behavior will be strengthened, reinforced and then used to request a break in the future.

Functional Communication and Natural Environment Teaching
There are opportunities for Functional Communication in nearly every moment of programming at the REC. Staff was asked to give examples of various ways that they create opportunities for students to communicate functionally throughout the REC’s Natural Environment.

Examples included the following:
When on the trampoline staffers will ask the student, “What animals jump?” (categorization/class) or request that they “Jump 5 times” (following one step directions).

Also, staffers encourage students Mand (request) for items and Tact (label) for items:
“I want to jump” and “I want a turn” (Mand) or “He/she is jumping (Tact)

 

Are you a good fit for Team REC? Click HERE for a brief job description. Please email inquiries and resumes to jobs@recreationaleducationcenter.com.

Halloween Social Story

The Peabody REC’s 4th Annual Halloween Party was a huge success with over 200 attendees! Thank you to everyone who helped make the event great including the REC Volunteer Staff, Broosalooney the Balloon Guy and Feathers and Flames Face Painting!

Each year we aim to provide a safe and fun setting for children and teens to practice trick-or-treating. If you are planning on venturing out Halloween evening with your kiddo(s) you can download this social story to help make the night fun and safe for everyone.

Halloween Social Story

Additionally, stay tuned for more holiday parties at both REC locations!

Happy Halloween!

REC Pumpkin