Experience It Co-Op

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The Experience IT Co-Op is a partnership between the Disability Action Center and the Homestead Farm Center that provides year round career readiness and enrichment programs.

The three key programs of the Experience IT Co-op include the RURAL Program (Rural to Urban Agricultural Learning), Full STEM Ahead (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and Creative Arts (Art4All).

The RURAL (Rural to Urban Agricultural Learning) Program emphasizes personal development and job training through a 12 week summer program focusing on gardening, landscaping, animal care, earth science, and greenhouse operation.  The program introduces participants to farming, gardening, environmental stewardship, wellness and nutrition through improved inclusion of fresh farm produce in the diet, and appreciation of the outdoors.

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Full STEM Ahead enrichment programs include classes in robotics, bridge engineering design, rockets and aeronautics, chemistry, weather and climate, magnetism and electricity, energy generation, and other areas encouraging students to explore science, technology, engineering and math by providing unique hands on education experiences.

Full STEM Ahead! programs include:
Weather and Solar
Robotics-Abilibots Adult Team and High School After School Program
Bridge Building Challenge
Rockets
Assistive Technology
Earth Science (Rocks, Soil, Stars)
Math Masters
Gaming, Web, and Video
Engineering Challenge

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Full STEM Ahead programs are presented with support from the Governor’s STEM Initiative and the WV Department of Education and the Arts, Novelis Corporation, First Energy Foundation, and the Dominion Foundation.

Creative Arts (Art4All) is a new initiative focusing on fun and inclusive creative arts opportunities in the community including exploration in theatre, poetry, wool working, photography, wood projects, graphic arts, and other areas of creative expression.

Creative Arts (Art4All) Programs Include:
Inspire Choir (Positive Chimes Handbell, Christmas Choir, Ensemble Groups)
Fall Colors Art Project
Woodworking
Paper Making
Lights, Camera, Action (Photography)
Wool Gatherers
Theatre
Beginning Piano and Voice
Chalk, Paints, and Clay
Candle and Wax

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Creative Arts programs (Art4All) are presented in part by the generous support from the Art4Moore/Tides Foundation.

Experience IT classes take place three times weekly both at the DAC facility and off-site at the Homestead Farm Center, providing the diversity of facility based and nature based learning opportunities. While Experience IT Co-Op programs may vary in location, delivery, or subject matter, the underlying theme is to provide individuals with special needs the experiences and enrichment opportunities that they have lacked due to an assumption that they are incapable of learning and being successful in these fields.

NOTE: Class size for some programs, including Abilibots, Afterschool STEM, Rockets, Engineering, and Positive Chimes Bell Choir are limited due to technology and equipment needs.  Please contact the DAC to see if you must pre-register.  Participants who pre-register and do not attend the first class will lose their place in the class, as we usually have a waiting list for these offerings.

Experience Co-Op programs are implemented through year round education, training, and enrichment schedule much like a school, college, or vocational center. This model of programming focuses on adult clients during the September-May “school year” with much focus on Career Readiness, science, technology, health and wellness programs, computer literacy, life skills, and independent living. A revised summer schedule of courses include all of the aforementioned programs but with greater emphasis on RURAL Summer Program, middle school STEM activities, summer Camp CAN-DO, and Art4All programs to include younger individuals with special needs and their families.

RURAL Programs take place at the Homestead Farm Center and include:

RURAL 12 week Summer Trainee Program
RURAL Apprentice Program
Sow and Grow Food Bank Program

Additional activities at the Homestead Farm Center include:

Volunteer Farm Visits
Farm Day Programs
Community Gardening
Homestead Workshops and Farm Classes

For a full description of Homestead Farm Center Programs please visit: http://homesteadfarmcenter.org/programs-at-hfc.html

(Full Descriptions available in the 2019-20 catalog at the DAC and on the websites disabilityactioncenter.com or homesteadfarmcenter.org.