RIT Enrichment offers a one-week inclusive exerience

Programs and Services

The Arc of Monroe, a not-for-profit organization supporting people with disabilities in Monroe County, was awarded $15,000 in grants from the Trustee Management Board of NYSARC Trust Services.  A portion of the grant goes towards recreation programs like The Arc of Monroe’s James M. Papero Enrichment Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

For 26 years, the Arc of Monroe has provided a week-long inclusive experience for adults with developmental disabilities in partnership with RIT.  The five-day, overnight summer program which ran 6/25 – 6/29 included classes taught by faculty and student volunteers from RIT, staff from The Arc of Monroe, and members of the community.  The program is named in memory of its late founder James Papero, who was a professor at RIT, former Arc of Monroe board member, and life-long champion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

35 people supported by The Arc of Monroe were chosen to participate in classes taught by experienced instructors in areas such as Nutrition, Creative Problem Solving, Pet Safety, Personal Budgeting, Family Trees, Healthy Mind and Body, Personal Safety, and Canvas Art.  The program provides participants with the opportunity to experience hands-on recreational and educational classes in a college setting. Scholars interact with college students and faculty members and get a taste of “college life” that includes eating in the cafeteria, staying overnight in the dorms, and attending classes.

“The Enrichment program offered the scholars the opportunity to expand their knowledge and experience base beyond what many thought was possible.  The excitement of attending classes, eating in the dining hall, and developing a unique camaraderie carried throughout the week, from Monday morning’s cautious anticipation right up to the completion ceremony on Friday.  Every scholar was able to share what they had learned, and the impact on their lives was clearly visible as they shared stories with their families and housemates,” says Linda Riggs, Senior Director of Programs and Services.

A graduation ceremony was held at RIT on Friday, June 30th in celebration of achievement.