Together We Learn: Giving Tuesday 2022
This year’s Giving Tuesday campaign is centered on togetherness. This past year, over 260 individuals participated in opportunities to build new skills and exercise self-determination and choice through our Adult Learning programs.
We visited the Ignite Norwood Park site earlier this month to hear from program participants about their favorite things to learn, favorite memories and why they love coming to Ignite. (You can also watch our YouTube video here!)
Ignite is an innovative, small and flexible licensed Adult Learning Program designed to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities pursue and achieve their personal goals and actively participate in community life. Ignite offers a dynamic mix of classroom instruction, individual supports, and community-based experiences, as well as access to employment services, therapeutic supports and hands-on training on the use of technology.
About Ignite, Adult Learning QIDP, Ashley, shared, “Ignite is all about exploring the community. It’s about getting our participants active in the community, overcoming fears regarding being in the community and also getting them to experience places that they have never been. Everything is based on them and what they want to explore in the community. We give them the freedom to choose where they want to go and how independent they want to become. They really feel included in the community. It’s a learning experience for everyone here at Ignite!”
When asked what learning means, Ashley shared, “Learning means a lot to me. We learn everything together here. We have modules about taking public transportation, then we use those resources we learned in our workshop and we take them into the community, which is the most awesome thing for us. What does it mean to them? It means independence. It creates a sense of independence in each one of them and makes them feel empowered. I think that the main thing is that we learn together, but it gives them a sense of independence in themselves. It’s pretty awesome here!”
Here’s what Jeorgie, John, Lanni, Sammi and Sean had to say about their Ignite experience:
Q: What does learning mean to you?
Jeorgie: Learning means learning new things every day.
John: You have to have an education. I learn a lot here at Search.
Lanni: Learning more difficult subjects.
Sammi: You can learn many things in life.
Sean: I’ve learned a lot over my 20 years at Search. I got a job shortly after I moved in at Search, and I got a job at Jewel too.
Q: What do you learn at Ignite?
Lanni: We do modules like science and budgeting, learn about current events and go out on outings. In our downtime, sometimes we play bingo. In November, we are going to the Christkindlmarket and celebrating November birthdays.
Jeorgie: We learn how to cross the street and how to take the train, like how to step back when the train approaches. I like to learn how to take CTA.
Sean: I’ve been learning new things; learning about how different changes in life, like having new people come in, see people come and go. I like learning about different techniques and different people.
John: Art – Art is really good. I’ve sold some paintings already.
Sammi: What I learn here at Ignite is visual arts with Tina and also history.
Q: What do you like most about Ignite?
Sammi: What I like most about Ignite is the staff here. They will help you in any way possible and they understand how you feel.
Jeorgie: Coming to see Ashley, Martina and all of the staff. I love seeing my friends here too.
Sean: It’s a wonderful place to be at – meeting new people, new friends and understanding different people. I love Ignite. It’s a wonderful place to learn to be independent lived.
John: Being here with friends, making new friends and going on outings.
Q: Why should someone support Search this #GivingTuesday?
Sean: I just love Search. Search is a wonderful place to be and live. It’s a wonderful place to get staff in to work at the houses. You learn a lot. I think it’s a great place to be.
John: Search is a good center for education. It’s like going to school. I think that the people that support it make it better for everybody to go to. I highly recommend it. Search is great.
Lanni: To support Search is to learn how to live more independently. For people to donate to living skills.
Together We Learn. Together We Are Search.