To provide young people with special needs the opportunity to participate in recreational activities that are geared to their level so that they may enjoy the growth and satisfaction that result from experiencing success.
The Program Director supervises and staffs the program utilizing her vast experience and training in special needs. She works with her team to create a program that is stimulating and enjoyable for all participants. The policies for the program are established by a Board of Trustees. It is made up of individuals with a diverse background in business, education, and human services.
We meet on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday after school at the Madison Community House. Activities include, recreation, field trips, sports, music, cooking, arts and crafts, and much more.
"As the mother of 4 daughters, ages 27, 24, 22, and 18, I can't say enough about how EPOCH has touched the lives of our family. My youngest daughter, Macclaren, was born with Down Syndrome and has been an active participant with Eileen and the student volunteers at EPOCH since she was 6 years old. The craft activities, singing, dancing, snacks, swimming, mini day trips, and most importantly, the sense of camaraderie among the EPOCH participates and volunteers alike, is what I love about EPOCH. My 3 older daughters grew up with volunteering at EPOCH and their lives have been enriched. They are not afraid of people who might be different than others, they do not walk away, they stay and spend time with a smile and kind words or lend a helping hand if needed. "
"Becoming an EPOCH volunteer was one of the best decisions I ever made. Not only did I have fun, make friends and form meaningful connections with the EPOCH students, but I found my career as an occupational therapist! One day when I was a freshman volunteer, I had a conversation with one of the EPOCH students about his day, and he mentioned that he had OT that day and how much fun he had. I went home, looked up occupational therapy, and decided at that moment that occupational therapy was the career for me. Fifteen years after a simple comment, and I am a practicing occupational therapist working with special education students, and I have EPOCH alone to thank for that. Working with the EPOCH students was a rewarding experience that taught me the value of appreciating everyone's differences, the importance of patience, the ability to think on my feet, and how small acts of kindness can have the largest impact. Simply put, without EPOCH, I do not know where I would be today, and I cherish the memories of the years I spent volunteering and working with the EPOCH students "
"I have been working with the EPOCH program and its members for about 8 years now. A program I joined when I was a freshman in high school, continued to attend during college, and still volunteer with. Often when I brag about my time spent at the program, I often get asked, “You still volunteer there?” My response is always; “Yes I do. EPOCH holds a special place in my life, one I couldn’t let go of. It is a place where anyone is free to be themselves without any room for judgment. It has allowed me to form very special, unbreakable bonds with each of our members. The members of the EPOCH program are truly my heart and soul. With their help, I have been able to refine my skills in patience and I have been able to become a more caring and compassionate person. My special connection with each member has allowed me to choose my career path of becoming a nurse. Because of EPOCH the missing puzzle piece to my heart has been found and placed in the right spot "
"My son has been an EPOCH participant for 11 years. It is a wonderful place for him and his peers to socialize by playing games, swimming, going on local walking field trips, or just hanging out. The Program Director and volunteers provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all participants. One of the few after-school activities we've tried that has never gotten old!"
"When I first joined EPOCH as a volunteer my freshman year, I had no idea that I would become a part of such an incredible and welcoming community of people. Working with the children at EPOCH was some of the most rewarding work I have done in my life. The students I got to see grow over the four years I was there made a lasting impression on me. I had so much fun getting to know each of them during my time there. Although I graduated high school a few years ago, I make sure to visit EPOCH whenever I get the chance to catch up with the students. I’m amazed by how kind and caring everyone at EPOCH is and I am truly grateful for having gotten a chance to be a part of it."