What is the purpose program?
PURPOSE is a day program that currently meets on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-2:00, and on Friday we have our Fun Friday program from 10:00-1:00 At PURPOSE our partners (clients) participate in the following areas:
- Purpose Mercantile
- Purpose Produce
- Barn Management
We use these four facets to teach job, social, and life skills in a fun and supportive community. Also, our partners work towards employment in our very own PURPOSE Mercantile Silo. Blue Sky is a place for our partners to belong…a place where their voices are heard and they know they always have a seat at the table.
To gain a deeper understanding of your emotions and learn to self regulate while also considering how emotions affect how you relate to other people and difficult situations.
Self care, preparing meals, cleaning up after yourself and learning responsibilities are all important steps in achieving our ultimate goal…as much independence as possible.
We always share a meal together. We go on outings into the community together. We do life together. At PURPOSE you are a part of an extended family, and being in a family is learning to handle different personalities, quirks and nuances that make us all unique.
Education doesn’t have to stop once you age out of the public school system. At PURPOSE we continue to teach fundamental math, sequencing, writing, money comprehension skills that our partners will need to gain meaningful employment.
PURPOSE….it’s more than just finding something to do. It is finding what you were created to do and sharing it with the world.
At Blue Sky we want to help our partners find what they truly enjoy and help them to refine and enhance their talents. Whether it is sanding wood, making soap or painting…each of our PURPOSE partners are given space to create with structured guidance to ensure success. Independence is always our ultimate goal. Creating beautiful branded products that people want to purchase provides the following:
- SELF ESTEEM
- FEELING PART OF A TEAM AND COMMUNITY
Many of the products we create begin with an idea inspired from items that have either been donated or that we have salvaged from barn renovations. The idea of giving items that are deemed “useless” or “not wanted” a new life is inspiring.
Our PURPOSE Mercantile products are sold in our PURPOSE Mercantile Silo on our Blue Sky property. The Silo is a gift shop and coffee bar. All proceeds from the Silo go directly to keeping the program fees affordable for our families.
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin
Our PURPOSE partners have the opportunity to cultivate all phases of our 2,700 square foot vegetable, fruit and herb garden, which produces our PURPOSE Produce.
Our partners are involved in every step of the growing process…from soil prep to harvesting and from weighing to selling their produce. With our bountiful garden we are able to incorporate fresh produce into our culinary lessons which allows us to teach healthy sustainable eating habits to our special needs clients. We also use our produce to make specialty canned items such as pickles and salsa, as well as using lavender, rosemary and other herbs in our bath and body products, such as goat milk soap bars.
Our community garden is available to our Blue Sky families at all times. Produce is there for them to feed their families.
Although it may not seem as glamorous, this portion of our program is just as vital as the other (3) facets. Working in the barn instills hard work and responsibility, as our clients learn that if you find joy in our barn animals, you will also find joy in caring for them.
Barn work provides our clients the chance to be outside soaking up the sunshine, breathing in fresh air, and getting aerobic exercise.
Our partners are responsible for feeding and watering the goats and bunnies, as well as keeping their cage and pins clean. We occasionally help with feeding the horses, and lend a hand when the horse program needs help with grooming. Moving hay bales, mucking stalls and filling grain bins are just a few of the tasks that are all in a days work!
“When you care for animals, plant, planet and environment, then your quality of life increases.” – Ravi Shankaar
HOW MANY PURPOSE PARTNERS DO YOU HAVE?
Currently we have (15) PURPOSE Partners that come on T, W and TH. During the school year Fun Friday averages around (12-15) clients. In the summer Fun Friday averages between (25-30) clients.
WHAT IS FUN FRIDAY?
Fun Friday is a program that we hold that is free of charge. We still participate in all the same activities as our day program, Fridays are just a little more relaxed and not as structured. It is more of a social time to be with friends and have fun, but still in a safe, happy and healthy therapeutic community.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Our goal at Blue Sky is to always keep our programs affordable for our families. Currently our day program is $25/day. Fun Fridays are free of charge.
DOES BLUE SKY ACCEPT DAY HAB MONEY OR BILL INSURANCE?
No, not at this time.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD WOULD BE A GOOD FIT?
Contact Amy Gayhart (469-450-9594) and set up a time to come visit. We can discuss all the details and see if PURPOSE is right for your family.
DOES THE $25/DAY INCLUDE LUNCH?
No, due to food allergies and sensitivities we ask that our partners bring their own snack and lunch every day. We have a full kitchen where lunches can be prepared.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
9:00 – Welcome/RISE Work
9:30 – Feed Goats and Bunnies
10:00 – Snack Time/Individual Work
10:30 – PURPOSE Mercantile Project (rotation 1)
11:00 – Patio Games/Exercise
11:30 – Garden Time
12:00 – Lunch
12:30 – Video/Free Time
1:00 – PURPOSE Mercantile Project (rotation 2)
1:30 – Wrap up projects for the day
1:45 – Job Rotation
2:00 – Pick Up
MY CHILD SOMETIMES HAS BEHAVIORS THAT HAVE LIMITED THEIR ACCEPTANCE INTO OTHER PROGRAMS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Our goal is to never turn anyone away due to behaviors. We work closely with our families to help each client participate safely at Blue Sky. We will work with outside resources to best serve your child, including behavior specialists, ABA therapists, and TEACCH specialists.
We maintain a safe, happy and healthy environment at Blue Sky. We have implemented a closed environment and evacuation protocol if aggressive behaviors occur, in order to keep other clients and volunteers safe.
ARE THERE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE?
No, we currently do not have scholarship opportunities for our day program, but anyone is welcome to join us free of charge, for our Fun Friday program.
IS IT THE SAME SCHEDULE EVERY DAY?
We try and stick to the same schedule, but activities and projects differ by the day and the season. Also, during non growing months we don’t incorporate the garden every day.
WHAT IS THE RATIO OF STAFF TO CLIENTS?
We design our program with everyone’s individual needs in mind. We have no less than a 1:3 ratio. Some clients may need a little more assistance and guidance and we are able to provide additional volunteers to help in those situations.
WHO OWNS BLUE SKY?
Blue Sky is a 501(c)3 non profit that is an entity in itself. Our property, horses, facilities or organization is not owned by any one person. Blue Sky is overseen by a Board of Directors that are actively involved in the day to day operations.