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Program Overview - Winter 2023

Our programs focus on therapeutic, recreational, educational, and social opportunities for all ages and stages. We tailor our offerings to reflect the need of our local families as we strive to provide valuable support and quality programs for those in our community.

Empowerment Series

Empowerment Series typically occur once a week for 3 – 5 weeks. The classes build upon each other and are designed to empower individuals with Down syndrome to try a new activity or work on a skill. Registration is required. For most series, there is a one-time $20 fee to participate for the entire series. DSAGC families are welcome to use our Community Participation Fund to help cover the cost.

Tumble Bees - Gymnastics (ages 0 - 5)

Ages: 0 - 5
Date: Sundays (February 5 - February 26)
Time: 12:00 - 12:45pm
Location: Kids First Sports Center, 7900 E Kemper Road Cincinnati, OH 45249
Cost: $20
Description: Tumble Bees is a gross motor development program with an emphasis of gymnastics. The Tumble Bee curriculum is designed so each activity plays a role in developing coordination, strength, spatial awareness, body control, and so much more. The activities are developed specifically to individualize the pace in which each child learns. 

In this four-week series, your child will be introduced to skills of gross motor development, strength and coordination, and early gymnastics fundamentals. This class provides multiple opportunities to roll, jump, crawl, climb, and more. Parents are invited to accompany their child in class to assist with new concepts, be hands on with some skills, and get an up-close view of their child learning.
Register

Soccer Shots (ages 6 - 11)

Ages: 6 - 11
Dates: Thursdays (January 19 - February 23)
Time: 5:30 – 6:15 pm
Location: Cincy Sports Nation, 5999 Meijer Drive, Milford OH 45150
Cost: $20
Description: Soccer Shots is an engaging children's soccer program with a focus on character development. They positively impact children's lives on and off the field through our best-in-class coaching, communication, and curriculum. 
Register

Soccer Shots (ages 12 - 17)

Ages: 12 - 17
Dates: Thursdays (January 19 - February 23)
Time: 6:25 - 7:10 pm
Location: Cincy Sports Nation, 5999 Meijer Drive, Milford OH 45150
Cost: $20
Description: Soccer Shots is an engaging children's soccer program with a focus on character development. They positively impact children's lives on and off the field through our best-in-class coaching, communication, and curriculum. 
Register

Safe, Strong, Thriving: Self-Defense (ages 18 & up)

Ages: 18 & up
Dates: Mondays (March 6 - March 20)
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost: $20
Description: This series of classes will provide a toolbox of immediate mental, verbal, and physical responses to risky situations - from boundary violations and harassment to physical assault. We will practice all 5 safety principles of Empowerment Self-Defense—Think, Yell, Run, Fight, Tell—through discussion, activities, and hands-on, gross-motor technique practice. Key lessons will include communicating and respecting personal boundaries, understanding consent, knowing when to leave an unsafe situation, and getting support when you need help. A primary caregiver is required to attend each session. 
Register

Advocates in Action (ages 18 & up)

Ages: 18 & up
Dates: Mondays (February 6 - February 27)
Time: 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost: Free
Description: Are you an adult with Down syndrome who wants to polish your public speaking skills? This workshop is for you! Participants in this interactive workshop will learn about the fundamentals of effective public speaking. We will spend time working on public speaking delivery and practicing speeches. This is open to individuals comfortable with public speaking who want to improve their skills, as well as first time speakers who may be nervous about public speaking. After completing this workshop, the DSAGC will be compiling a list of "self-advocates" who would like to join DSAGC staff in speaking at community resource fairs, schools, medical trainings, and advocacy work.
Register

Lifelong Learning Lab: Reading (ages 18 - 34)

Ages: 18 - 34
Dates: Tuesdays (January 10 - February 14)
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost: $20
Description: Our Learning Labs are for those who have graduated high school and are looking to continue building educational skills as a young adult. Join Lisa Velagic, M.Ed. to work on reading skills throughout a variety of functional avenues. Dinner will be provided to participants each night and transportation vouchers will be provided if needed.
Register

Tai Chi for Beginners (ages 30 & up)

Ages: 30 & up
Date: Tuesdays (February 7 - February 28)
Time: 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost: $20
Description: Tai Chi is a slow and gentle exercise that is suitable for individuals who are interested in muscle strengthening and endurance training. Each week, participants will be led by a certified Tai Chi instructor through exercises that will improve your health without exacerbating existing impairments. Join us and try something new!
Register

Running Group

Ages: all ages, but one family/friend over age 16 must attend
Time: Tuesdays and Saturdays
Location: DSAGC on Tuesdays and Mercy (1701 Mercy Health Place 45237) on Saturdays
Cost: Free
Description:  Join the DSAGC running/walking group led by Mike Smith "Smitty”. He will focus on many aspects of health and exercise, especially walking and running techniques. Any level of fitness may join, so please register with a friend or relative who is at your same pace so you can enjoy the training course safely together.
Registration:  No registration required - just email Coach Smitty at smithmi@zoomtown.com

Enrichment Classes

Enrichment Classes focus on increasing knowledge about a particular topic or enhancing a specific skill. These classes are different from our Empowerment Series because there is only one class to attend rather than a "series" of classes. Registration is required. Most of our enrichment classes are free or charge a very small registration fee.

Tippi Toes Dance Party (ages 0 - 5)

Ages: 0 - 5
Date: Wednesday, January 25
Time: 5:30-  6:30pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost: $5
Description: Tippi Toes Cincinnati will offer a fun family-friendly dance party! Movements will be adaptable for all abilities. Dance parties are fun, focused on building confidence, and a great way for dancers to connect with their adult loved one.
Register

Sunday Funday (ages 6 - 12)

Ages: 6 – 12
Date: Sunday, February 19
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center 
Cost: $5
Description: Join Special Education Teacher, Christina Nie, for an afternoon with books, crafts, socialization, and fun!
Register

321 Jazzercize (ages 6 - 17)

Ages: 6 - 17
Date: Saturday March 11
Time: 11:00  –  11:45am
Location: Jazzercize Loveland Fitness Center, 9547 Fields Ertel Road, Loveland, OH 45140
Cost: $5
Description: Try this dance party cardio workout including beat pumping, pulse pounding fun!  Your child won’t even know that they are exercising because they will be having a blast with instructor, Chris Auriana.
Register

Knife Skills (ages 18 - 34)

Ages: 18 - 34
Date: Monday, January 30th
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Location: Tablespoon Cooking Co.
Cost: $10
Description: Join Chef Jordan & Chef Daniel for this in-person class that will allow you to gain skills and safety about using a knife. Participants will learn about and watch demonstrations, before practicing the skills individually. Participants will also learn knife skills on a variety of items to understand which techniques are best to utilize and when. Each participant will be utilizing a variety of kitchen knives and tools to cut and prepare foods.
*Due to the popularity of this program, registration will be a LOTTERY DRAW!! 
Register

Adaptive Cooking (ages 30 & up)

Ages: 30 & up
Date: Saturday, March 4
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Location: Boltz to Nutz Farm (10718 Schlottman Rd, Loveland, OH 45140)
Cost: $5
Description: Join us at Boltz to Nutz Farm for a fun adaptive cooking class where we'll be working on activities of daily living such as measuring, stirring, and other cooking skills. This class will be taught by the Boltz to Nutz staff alongside our very own, Rebecca Freeman! Our fine motor skills, those involving small muscles of the hands and fingers, will be enhanced while creating a tasty treat! Participants will meet at the Boltz to Nutz Farm kitchen. Boltz to Nutz is an adaptive group kitchen and processing center that is open to visitors, equipped with adaptive tools, equipment, and a growing. 
Register

Social Opportunities

Social Opportunities occur on occasion and include various learning components, but focus heavily on social networking and building relationships. Registration is required for each individual social. At times there may be a cost associated, but the majority of these opportunities are free.

Early Matters Playgroup (ages 0 - 5)

Ages: 0 – 5 (siblings welcome)
Date: every Wednesday
Time: 10:00 – 12:00pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center, 4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite B Cincinnati, Ohio 45212
Cost: Free
Description: The Early Matters Playgroup is an opportunity for parents to socialize with each other while children interact and play together. Siblings are welcome to attend.
No registration required - just stop on by!

Play with the Pros (ages 0 - 5)

Ages: 0 - 5 (siblings welcome)
Date: 2nd Saturday of the Month (January 14, February 11, March 11)
Time: 10:00 - 11:30 am
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost: Free
Description: DSAGC’s new Early Matters program, “Play with the Pros”, is a non-directive approach to provide parents with therapeutic information. Parents and child(ren) are free to play in their own way like any playgroup. At Saturday “Play with the Pros”, a trained therapist will observe and help you with any OT/PT and Speech concerns you may have at your request. By observation and with input from you, the therapists can give you ideas for next steps to aide in enhancing your child’s fine/gross motor skills.  
Therapists: 
Stephanie Dailey, PT, DPT. Pediatric Physical Therapist
Kelsey Haynes, PT, DPT
Audrey Butler, MOT, OTR/L, Therapy Manager, Occupational Therapist
Allie Demboski, MOT, OTR/L
Stephanie Bare, M.S., CCC-SLP  
Register

Take and Make Valentines (ages 0 - 5)

Ages: 0 - 5 (siblings welcome)
Date:  Thursday, February 9
Time: 5:00 - 6:30pm
Location:  DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost:  Free
Description: Join us at the DSAGC for a fun night of creating your own personalized Valentines! We will have all the supplies on hand for you to create personalized valentines for you to share with your family, friends, and classmates. Siblings are welcome to join.
Register

The Lucky Few Saint Patrick's Day Social (ages 0 - 5)

Ages: 0 - 5 (siblings welcome)
Date: Thursday March 16
Time: 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost:  Free
Description: Let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together with our LUCKY Few. We’ll have fun St. Patrick’s Day themed activities, pizza, and special treats for all the little leprechauns to enjoy!
Register

Tubing at Perfect North (ages 6 & up)

Date: Saturday, February 4
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Perfect North Slopes
Cost: $10
Description: Join us at Perfect North Slopes to go tubing! This is the perfect family activity. Imagine the thrill of sliding down a snowy 1200' long run and then effortlessly riding a lift back up. Tubes are provided and a surface lift is available for you to ride up the hill. Try different runs with varied levels of rollers and pitch. No experience or special equipment is needed. Just hop in our tube and enjoy the ride. No formal supervision will be provided by DSAGC staff at this event, so a parent/caregiver is required to attend.
Register

Let's Get Fancy (ages 15 & up)

Date: Friday, January 27
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost: Free
Description: Let's Get Fancy is pre-Winter Dance pampering event for teens and adults with Down syndrome. Professionals will be on-site for make-up, hair, and nails .... then we take a limo ride to the dance! Note, you must purchase a ticket to the dance to attend.
Register

Social Club Party (ages 18 & up)

Ages: 18 & up
Date: Tuesday, March 21
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Location: Skallywag Tag (5055 Glencrossing Way Cincinnati, OH 45238)
Cost: $10
Description: All social club members are encouraged to join us for pizza, games, laser tag and putt putt at Skallywag Tag! If you aren't in a social club, but interested in joining one - we welcome you to come to this event and learn more!
Register

Art and Apps (ages 18 & up)

Ages: 18 & up
Date: Friday, January 6
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center                  
Cost: $10
Description: Join us for an evening of art and apps! This month, participants will choose between 2 art sessions, both led by Artists from Visionaries and Voices. Appetizers and refreshments will be provided.
Register

Game Night (ages 30 & up)

Ages: 30 & up
Date: Friday, March 10
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center                  
Cost: Free
Description: Join us for a night of fun games, music, laughter, and delicious pizza and dessert! We’ll have a variety of board games, card games, bingo, and maybe even charades set up for you to come and enjoy. Feel free to invite friends and family to join the fun!
Register

Winter Dance

Our annual Winter Dance takes place at The Newport Syndicate on Friday, January 27. Tickets to the dance include appetizers, dinner, drink tickets, dessert, and dancing all night long!
Winter Dance Details & Tickets

Hearing Screenings

Adults with Down syndrome are at higher risk for hearing loss. Undiagnosed hearing loss can be frequently mistaken for stubbornness, confusion, or disorientation in adults with Down syndrome, but if properly identified, it can be greatly improved with hearing aids, ear cleanings, and environmental adaptations. It is extremely important to be receiving hearing screenings every year to help prevent health-related issues. If you attend our FREE hearing screening, you will be entered to win a $100 gift card!

Hearing Screening Details

Ages: 18 & up
Date:  Saturday, January 21
Time: select your time at registration
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost: Free
Register

TELL Program

T.E.L.L. stands for Teaching Engagement and Lifelong Language. This program focuses on enhancing communication by providing useful, beneficial, and personalized supports for each participant. The goal is to increase individual progress when interacting with others to effectively communicate wants and needs. SLP graduate students work under the supervision of our Young Adult Coordinator and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Stephanie Bare.

Spring Session Details

Dates: Wednesdays (February 1 - April 12)
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 pm or 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Cost: $75
Due to high demand, registration will be a lottery draw. Lottery Draw will take place on December 16.
Register

Find Your Way

Find Your Way is a new collection of programs focusing on self-determination in adults with Down syndrome. These programs will include IGNITE, ACCELERATE, NAVIGATE, and CRUISE. These programs will take elements of our former Independent Living Retreat to enhance individual experiences. To participate in these programs, a parent/caregiver is required to meet with our Adult Coordinators to assess the best option for your loved one. Learn more

"Determine Your Destination" Consult Details

There is a place for ANYONE with Down syndrome age 18 and older to participate in FIND YOUR WAY! We want these programs to be successful for your loved one with Down syndrome, so we require a "consult" before registering. This way, we can find the right fit as we work together to enhance self-determination! "Determine Your Destination" consultations will take place January - March.
Register

Tutoring in Your Town

Tutoring in Your Town is a new program designed to offer individualized tutoring services during the school year to students with Down syndrome. Each session will be 1:1 with a certified education professional and tailored to the parent/caregiver desires. There are five tutoring locations to choose from throughout Greater Cincinnati.

Winter Session Details

Ages: students in grades K - 12
Dates: Wednesdays (February 1 - March 15) >> no tutoring on Ash Wednesday Feb 22
Session Times: choose between - 4:30 - 5:15 pm, 5:30 - 6:15 pm, 6:30 - 7:15 pm
Location: choose between - Anderson Branch Library (7450 State Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45230), MidPointe Library West Chester (9363 Centre Pointe Drive West Chester, Ohio 45069), Green Township Library (6525 Bridgetown Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45248), Cold Spring Library (3920 Alexandria Pike Cold Spring, KY 41076), DSAGC Empowerment Center (4623 Wesley Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45212)
Cost: $20 for entire session
Register

Media Production Club

Our Media Production Club is a brand new initiative allowing adults with Down syndrome the opportunity to experience all aspects of media production including content creation, editing, branding, set design, and writing.

Winter Session Details

Ages: 18 & up
Dates: 3rd Sunday of the month
Time: 3 - 4:30 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Description: Our Media Production Club is a brand new initiative allowing adults with Down syndrome the opportunity to experience all aspects of media production including content creation, editing, branding, set design, and writing. Together, we will work as a team to:
• produce a quarterly newscast to keep our community informed on DSAGC news
• create social media tiktoks, Instagram reels, etc. to enhance DS awareness
• design short promotional videos for upcoming DSAGC events
• learn about responsible internet use and staying safe online
• visit news and radio stations to gain a better understanding of media careers
• participate in media interviews as a DSAGC ambassador as needed.
Cost: Free
Register

Respite Care

We offer Respite Care one or two times a quarter. We provide parents with short-term care services in a safe, supportive, and structured setting. Respite events are open to the child/teen/adult with Down syndrome as well as their siblings. After drop-off, parents will have three hours to themselves to do whatever they please! Our “care assistant” volunteers are trained and must pass a background check. Registration is required, but it is FREE to participate.

Winter Respite Details

Dates: Friday, February 24
Time: 6:00 - 8:30 pm
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center
Register

Parent-Focused Workshops

Parent-Focused Classes are held on occasion with local experts to talk about topics related to Down syndrome. Childcare is available.

Parent Workshop: Preschool Transition Panel Discussion

Ages: Parents of children preparing for the preschool transition
Date: Thursday, January 9
Time: 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Location: DASGC Community Room (Virtual Option)
Cost: Free
Description: Join us for a discussion about your child’s transition to preschool. Preschool professionals from both Kentucky and Ohio will be leading an open discussion covering topics such as the IEP process, pre-transition tips, classroom make-up, and other helpful tips on what to expect. This will be an open platform for parents to ask questions and connect with other families who are also starting the transition process.
Panelists:
Joanie Elfers, DSAGC School Age Coordinator
Margo Graler,
licensed and certified Speech Language Pathologist (MA, CCC/SLP). Margo is in her 12th year a school-based SLP and 10 year working with preschoolers.
Amber Baer, Preschool Director, Sycamore Community Schools
Patty Bitsilly - Assistant Director of Special Education/504/Preschool – Campbell County Schools
Register

How to be a financial advocate for your loved one with Down syndrome

Ages: Parents of All Ages
Date: Monday, January 23
Time: 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Location: DSAGC Community Room
Cost: Free
Description: Join Michael Green, founder of three twenty one Financial Outfitters, to discuss the importance of being a financial advocate for your loved one with Down syndrome. Michael founded three twenty one in 2022 after the birth of his son, Luca, who was born with Down syndrome. Their mission is to provide specialized financial guidance and empathic advocacy to special needs families on an unplanned journey. We invite families and caregivers of all ages to this conversation.
Register

Safety Solutions: AngelSense Information Night

Ages: Parents/Caregivers of All Ages
Date: Wednesday, February 22
Time: 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Location: DSAGC Community Room
Cost: Free
Description: A representative from AngelSense: A Complete Safety Solution for Special Needs & Dementia will discuss strategies for keeping your loved one of all ages safe at all times.  AngelSense GPS offers support during transition periods by helping to ease the stress and pressures of change with the added safety that ensures your loved one can reach their personal goals and sustain them. Peace of mind and security for parents & caregivers – a better quality of life for all.
Register

Healthy Aging with Dr. Wang & Clarissa Rentz

Ages: 18+
Date: Thursday, March 30
Time: 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Location: DSAGC Community Center
Cost: Free
Description: We welcome families, friends, caregivers, and adults with Down syndrome to learn more about the aging process and to plan and prepare for the future. Today, individuals with Down syndrome are living longer, healthier lives. In this session, we will discuss ways to continue down a healthy path and proactively plan for the aging process that individuals with Down syndrome experience. By being proactive and learning about issues that may lie ahead you can look forward to a positive aging experience for all.
Lauren Wang, MD, family medicine provider with UC Health and the Freeman Center for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Clarissa Rentz, professional in Dementia care and long-time DSAGC Board Member will share their wealth of knowledge with our community. 
Register

DS/ASD Support Group

In an effort to support families with loved ones who have or who suspect to have a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism (ASD), the DSAGC offers a support group for parents and caregivers. The goal of this group is to connect families to help support one another by talking through challenges and successes while guided by a qualified group facilitator. Participants can benefit from the facilitator’s knowledge of strategies to help in extra stressful situations. They can encourage each other as caregivers and can share and learn firsthand about resources to help in the many stages of this journey.

Winter Support Group Dates

January 10 & 24, February 7 & 21, March 7 & 21
8 – 9:30 pm | Zoom
Register

Virtual Programs

While the majority of our programs are back in-person, we will still offer several virtual opportunities on a monthly basis. Registration is required, but it is FREE to participate.

Virtual Music Therapy

Ages: 0 - 5
Dates: Last Thursday of the Month (January 26, February 23, March 30)
Time: 9:30 - 10:00 am
Location: Zoom
Cost: Free
Description: Enjoy and explore music through song, movement, and stories all through the comfort of your own home with a certified music therapist.
Register

Virtual Family Bingo

Ages: all ages
Dates: Tuesdays (January 17, February 21, March 14)
Time: 4:30 – 5:15 pm
Location: Zoom
Cost: Free
Description: Families of all ages are invited to play a few rounds of Bingo each month! Playing Bingo is fun and also strengthens important skills like recognition, observation, concentration, and turn-taking. You will receive Bingo cards via email.
Register

Virtual Cooking with Chef Harvey

Ages: all ages
Dates: 3rd Thursday of every month (January 19, February 16, March 16)
Time: 4:30 – 5:30 pm
Location: Zoom
Cost: Free
Description: Travel the world with Chef Harvey! In this virtual cooking class, you will create delicious cultural dishes from all over the world.  While learning about kitchen tools, ingredients, and recipes, we will also be working on a variety of fine motor skills and sequencing.  Participating in our cooking classes is another avenue to work on cognitive skills and sensory development.     
Register

Virtual Baking with Chef Jordan and Chef Daniel

Ages: all ages
Dates: February 7 & March 28
Time: 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Location: Zoom
Cost: Free
Description: Join Chef Jordan & Chef Daniel in this fun virtual baking class where we'll be working on activities of daily living such as measuring, stirring, and other cooking skills.  Our fine motor skills, those involving small muscles of the hands and fingers, will be enhanced while baking up a tasty treat! An added bonus of these virtual classes is that you will be practicing cooking in your own kitchen with your own appliances and utensils! You will receive an ingredient list before class to prepare.
Register

Virtual Creative Expression

Ages: 18 & up
Dates: Wednesdays (January 11, February 1, March 1)
Time: 1:30 – 2:15 pm
Location: Zoom
Cost: Free
Description: Join Mazie Wellington, Adult Coordinator, and Emma Daniel, Adult Program Specialist, from your basement, outside, or wherever you want to take some time to get creative and connect! We will express ourselves through writing, drawing, art and more.
Register