SACRAMENTO – The California State Council on Developmental Disabilities awarded more than $250,000 in program development grants to four community-based organizations.
The council annually awards program development grants and this year the four key areas for Cycle 45 were Education, Employment, Health and Safety, and Housing. With these unique funds, the grant recipients have a necessary resource to help encourage the development of new and innovative programs and services in their respective communities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
The 2022 winners of the Cycle 45 grants include Acorns to Oak Trees, The Pala Tribe of Pala, awarded a $78,298 grant for Education.
“These grants help make new programs possible,” said Wesley Witherspoon, Chair of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. “The Council hopes that the unique dollars will help create out-of-the-box projects for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Pala’s Acorns to Oak Trees program serves 120 people. Tribal families and individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities are facing challenges in accessing education, training, and supports that meet their needs. The organization’s goal is to design a program to help build sustainable capacity in their tribal community and develop local resources to access culturally competent, disability-related, and community-based information, supports and services.
The organization was founded by a family advocate and member of a tribal community who recognized that tribal families needed assistance with identifying and accessing services for their children with special needs. The organization’s mission is to help build a better future for tribal youth, specifically those with special needs, through culturally tailored and evidenced-based therapeutic services, education, and outreach.
The organization's vision is to nurture the growth and healing cycle of the individuals they serve so that they can achieve their full potential in mind, body, and spirit. The organization is grounded in the belief that it takes a village to raise a child – but also a village to restore one.
Submitted by the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities.