P.R.I.D.E. program wins "Champions for Disabilities" award

| 15 May 2012 | 06:14

WEST MILFORD — West Milford Community Services and Recreation’s P.R.I.D.E. Program was chosen to receive the Champions For Disabilities Award for 2012.

This award, given by The Passaic County Advisory Council on Disability, honors individuals and organizations who demonstrate a commitment to inclusion and changing attitudes. Honorees significantly advanced the cause of people with disabilities, whether by being a model of perseverance and determination for their peers or by creating programs and spearheading efforts that recognizes their potential.

"This was a wonderful honor for our program. Some of our participants along with the teachers, myself and our mayor were present to receive this award," said Jayme Mulhern, Community Services and Recreation's director.

The P.R.I.D.E. Program’s Mission Statement reads “The primary purposes of the P.R.I.D.E. Program is to provide the participants with positive opportunities for success and a sense of positive self-worth. Our goal is to help each member to achieve their highest potential, to contribute something to the world around them and most importantly, to feel good about themselves.”

P.R.I.D.E. is a modified daytime life-skills and recreational program for adults with developmental disabilities. Independent living skills, leisure and social skills, as well as survival reading and math skills necessary to function within their community are some of the activities offered. Through the use of “touch screen” and conventional computers participants are introduced to a variety of computer skills. Music and art instructors come on a regular basis and the group maintains a flower and vegetable garden. This garden produces vegetables, which are used for their weekly luncheon service.

Job skills are incorporated into the program through their revenue bearing services such as the luncheon service, where they plan and prepare weekly luncheons, which are sold throughout the building. The P.R.I.D.E. laundry service is offered to the community and the group maintains the soda machine in the building.

Community awareness is a big part of the program; weekly trips to Shop Rite and bowling acquaint the clients with the use of public transportation. Each of the participants are part of the P.R.I.D.E. R.E.A.D. program (Reading, Enhancement and Development) where participants receive a library card and have an opportunity to check out books, and some participate in the T.E.A.C.H. (Training, Education and Confidence Habilitation) program. Currently two T.E.A.C.H. participants are aides in the township's preschool.

For additional information about P.R.I.D.E, call Marlene at the Recreation Office at 973-728-2860 or by email at recreation@westmilford.org.