At this time of great concern for all of us, we sincerely hope that you and those you care about are healthy and safe.
The current COVID-19 situation has shaken up the world, and navigation of everything has become beyond challenging. At Crossroads Center for Children, we have been struggling since Day 1 of our school closure, and are more in need of help than ever before.
With NYS schools closed through mid-May or later, the last two months have our students learning at home, parents taking the reins as therapists and teachers. In practice, this would be challenging for any parent, when we recognize that most do not have backgrounds or training as educators. For parents of children with special needs, though, attempting to implement the structures and processes of schooling at home, the word "challenging" is a vast under-statement.
Our student body consists largely of children with extraordinarily significant learning needs. Our organization, our entire reason for being, is to meet the needs that are unable to be met in their home districts or in any other setting. A break over Christmas causes regression. An entire summer off would be devastating. Breaks are needed, but are carefully planned for, with programs and communication in place to uphold skills. We worry that this unplanned extended COVID-19 break will be devastating to the progress they've worked so hard on all year, and the team at Crossroads is doing everything in our abilities to deliver instruction remotely.
Our critical concerns?
Regression of skills: Students with developmental disabilities are always at risk for losing ground on the skills they've worked hard on all year, and this is why the students we serve are typically qualified for extended school year services, meaning their schooling takes place all year. When they are not here, we worry about this greatly, and hope that we can give parents and families all that they need to keep skills and routines in practice as best as able.
Vicki S. Ramotar, MSED K ave paused or stopped, our expenses have not. For example, we are blessed to have over 85 dedicated, hard-working individuals working for this organization, and what keeps our Executive Director awake at night is worrying about being able to pay them. Income is halted. Our model of billing and receiving doesn't provide an ample cushion. Our upcoming major event has been postponed, and more than one grant that was hoped to help cover operating costs has been turned down. She and the board have already had to make some very difficult decisions. T he fact is that this time and its losses can never be regained.
There is always a silver lining if you look for it. In response to these unreal times, we can find real power in our choices to embrace teamwork and collaboration, with the positive connections we have to each other. The Crossroads “family” includes more than 85 team members, 120 families, and 3,000 supporters, whether social supporters, volunteers, and/or donors. Each day that goes by our gratitude increases for caring, compassionate people who are in our community.
If you can, please help today.
We are enormously proud of our community’s sense of togetherness and determination to look out for each other. When times are tough we always come together to protect the most vulnerable among us and we hope you are in position to ensure this proud Crossroads quality continues by making a gift today.
With our thanks and very best wishes. Please stay safe.
Vicki S. Ramotar, MSED Resource Development Specialist
518-280-0083 extension 126
P.S. You can give now by visiting our secure webpage http://crossroadcenter.org/donate/, or right here on our GoFundMe site.