Ala Costa Centers’ non-profit after-school program for special needs offers school-aged children with developmental disabilities academic support, enrichment activities, and help to develop the skills and self-esteem that this underserved population needs for success in life. Families rely on Ala Costa to provide services that enable children with developmental disabilities to learn so that when they are in the classroom or on their own, they have the skills needed to absorb and process information.
Curriculum & Activities
Being “OF” a Community is just as, if not more important that being “IN” a Community. Ala Costa students are encouraged to not only participate in the community but actively seek out meaningful partnerships and relationships with surrounding neighbors, businesses, vendors, and experiences.
Ala Costa students are introduced to a variety of creative programming to unlock their interests and promote expression in a number of mediums (i.e. art, music). All students have emerging or hidden talents and abilities, and this program provides an avenue to develop different means to express personal creativity through recreational interests.
When children have opportunities to develop executive function and self-regulation skills, they will experience lifelong benefits. Executive function and self-regulation skills depend on three types of brain function: working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control. These skills are crucial for learning and development. Ala Costa students actively engage in student centered and peer interaction activities with appropriate support to become active participants and decision makers in their program and lives.
Inquiry-based learning is a type of active learning that encourages students to ask questions, conduct research, make mistakes, and explore new ideas. This approach to learning helps Ala Costa students develop critical thinking, peer reflection, and problem solving skills in real time.
Ala Costa students are encouraged to participate and engage with their peers to improve social skills, participate in group dynamics, and make group based negotiation and decisions within their program every day. They are actively supported by staff through play, recreation, and leisure activities that promote interaction with one another versus a primary adult.
Ala Costa students are provided real time opportunities, every day to develop Self-Advocacy skills. Self- Advocacy is an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs and rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions. Self-advocacy gives students the confidence to ask for the tools they need to be successful in the real world, and to take ownership of their decisions by developing the ability to speak up for yourself and the things that are important to you.
Adaptive skills are defined as practical, everyday skills needed to function and meet the demands of one’s environment, including the skills necessary to effectively and independently take care of oneself and to interact with other people. Ala Costa students are provided support to grow student independence in all areas of life, from personal care needs, to activities of daily living, communication, and social interation.
- Independent Living Skills
- Mobility Skill Training
- Fine Arts
- Expressive & Social Skills
How This Program Will Help Your KidAla Costa Centers provide students individualized help with schoolwork, opportunities to follow their own interests, to learn about the importance of nutrition and exercise, and to establish connections with concerned and caring adults in an environment of safety. In addition, parents and family members are given support and training in dealing with the difficult issues of raising a child with developmental disabilities and navigating the system of special education.
“Even though my son has been attending Ala Costa less than a year, I already cannot imagine our lives without it. Ala Costa is more than a program for my son‘s afternoons. It is the support system I have always wished for, with staff that genuinely care, very deeply, about my son and our entire family.” -Jackie, Ala Costa Parent
“Ala Costa program has done wonders for our grand daughter… She communicates with us a lot better now and her vocabulary has improved. I want to thank you for helping prepare her for the many life challenges that lie ahead of her in this big complicated world.” -Mr. and Mrs. White, Ala Costa Grandparents
“We are so grateful to the staff at ACT. They have been so good at inspiring our young people. How the staff approach different difficulties is just exceptional. Our young people are treated with kindness, respect and understanding.” -Miriam, Ala Costa Parent