Memphis surpassed Salt Lake City to rank as the most generous metropolitan area in the United States, giving almost $6 of every $100 earned to philanthropy. With this in mind, the Memphis Moms Blog wants to feature a local Nonprofit every month. There are so many amazing organizations in our city dedicated to looking out for the well being of all Memphians, and we want to feature them. If you know of a Nonprofit we should feature, Let us know by nominating them here!
The ANGEL Program's Mission
We are dedicated to helping children on the autism spectrum achieve their fullest potential in a mainstream classroom setting.
What makes the ANGEL Program special?
Founded in 2010, the ANGEL Program fulfilled Holy Rosary School’s vision of including all children in classroom education, regardless of their learning ability. Designed to offer year round, individualized education and early intervention services in an inclusive classroom setting, the ANGEL Program provides the highest quality support available, based upon the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the only scientifically proven therapy for children on the autism spectrum. The program’s team collects data on an ongoing basis, reassessing each student’s skills regularly to monitor progress and modify teaching strategies as needed. At most, a 4:1 student-teacher ratio is maintained throughout the day.
The ANGEL Program is the only program of its kind in the region, integrating ABA in an inclusive classroom setting for students ages 3-11 within a traditional private school. Both ANGEL Program students and their typical peers benefit from working side-by-side from an early age. Their regular interaction results in increased independence and improved
confidence, with peers gaining compassion for, and acceptance of, their differences.
What is Autism?
Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by repetitive behaviors, difficulties in social interaction, and with verbal and non- verbal communication.
Did you know that Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States? In 2018, a study by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) reported that about 1 in 40 children has been diagnosed with Autism. With the prevalence of ASD diagnoses increasing year over year, having the ANGEL Program in the heart of Memphis is more important than ever.
How does the ANGEL Program benefit those it serves?
Here's a testimonial from the Betsy McLean, whose son Jim is thriving at Holy Rosary thanks in large part to the ANGEL Program:
"Kids on the spectrum can be extremely perceptive, and it was clear [when our son entered The ANGEL Program] that he knew he was in a safe place, with people who understood him. Within weeks of starting in the program, Jim went from spending much of the morning in The ANGEL Room to spending most of the day in the classroom with his typical peers. He has since grown leaps and bounds, knocking out goals thanks to his hard work and that of his therapists and teachers. Everyone has encouraged him with love and understanding, and it has meant everything to him and to us.
The inclusive nature of the program has been very important to Jim as he has gotten older and formed a sense of social belonging and community, and it has been crucial as he has worked on social goals. He continues to make progress, and there is no doubt that we would not be where we are today without the ANGEL Program. Parents of kids on the spectrum just want what any parent wants for their child, to have them reach the full potential that God gave them. Autism Spectrum Disorder can cruelly limit that potential with its effects, but with the intervention of The ANGEL Program, that potential can be rediscovered and unlocked. It is no understatement to say that The ANGEL Program gave us our son back; but of much greater importance, it has given Jim his life back."
How Can I Support the Program?
Without question, the most fun way to support the ANGEL Program, as well as autism awareness and acceptance, is the Memphis Runs for Autism 5K. This is a family fun run and kids dash through the Colonial Acres neighborhood ￼￼surrounding Holy Rosary Catholic Church and School, near Marquette Park in East Memphis.
This year, the 5K takes place Saturday, August 17
, so SAVE THE DATE! Follow us on Facebook
to keep updated on the race, and once you're registered, tell your friends and family, because the after party is one you won't want to miss, no matter your age! You may also visit www.theangelprogram.com/give
to donate anytime. With your support, we can expand the program
’s reach for the benefit of the lives it can, and does, impact every day.
MB features a nonprofit organization every month
. If you know of a nonprofit that is making a difference here in Memphis, we want to know about it! Let us know by nominating them here.