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Value-Added Programs

What We Do

Our Value-Added programs enhance our consumers’ experiences with the Arc-Solano. These include programs like our Art@Arc, which is a safe space for our consumers to practice freedom of expression and choice-making skills. To participate in a Value-Added program, you must be a client of at least one Core Program. Our Value-Added programs are supported by our Core Programs as well as generous donations of money and time.

 

Art@Arc

Art@Arc is the creative arts program of the Arc-Solano. Established in 1995, this program provides consumers with a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental atmosphere in which to explore their creative voices. The freedom to create and the freedom to make individual choices in this program are the cornerstones which provide our consumers with the opportunity to gain recognition and increase self-esteem.

We have exhibited in a variety of local galleries and other venues, including the Solano County Fair. As a group, our artists average at least 13 awards per year from the Solano County Fair. We also have the Amy Scopesi Art Gallery at our office, which is open to the public! All the artwork is for sale, with proceeds going back to the program for more supplies and to the artist as a commission.

This program is open to consumers in all three of our core programs. Attendance is one morning per week at our office in Vallejo. Please note: limited number of spaces available.

Please visit our gallery here.

Much of our artwork is available printed on merchandise on our CaféPress store. Check it out.

 

Literacy

The ability to read makes a person independent. Without it, you can’t sort your mail, figure out your bills, find bargains in ads, send a birthday card, a thank you note, or a complaint letter.

Many of our consumers at the Arc-Solano come to us with very limited or no ability to read or write. To help them, we formed a partnership with the Solano County Library adult literacy program to adapt their program to the needs and schedules of our clients. We report our students’ progress every month. In turn, the library staff meets with each student every six months for a check-in and to see if they have new goals they want to achieve.

The tutors are staff and volunteers at the Arc-Solano, and we provide the meeting rooms, writing supplies, and moral support, while the Solano Library adult literacy program provides supervision and core materials. Additional books and reading material are purchased by the tutors. Three of our consumers have taken the library’s Adult Literacy Training course and are now Literacy Teaching Assistants, working with the tutors and assisting students.

This program is open to consumers in all three of our core programs who have less than a 5th grade reading level. After an assessment by the library staff, consumers are matched with a tutor. Tutoring usually occurs once per week at the office for ACT consumers and in the community or home for TDS and TS consumers.

 

Choir

“Music is natural to the heart and soul, and our voices are our own personal instruments. Our consumers just needed a safe and encouraging space in which to learn to play theirs.” –John Kelly, Choir Director

The Arc-Solano Choir originally began as a Friday morning drumming group. However, it was quickly discovered that our consumers had never been taught simple songs, like “Mary had a Little Lamb,” during their youth. This made teaching them the drumming versions impossible. So, we changed directions and formed the choir so our consumers could learn the songs.

From the beginning, barriers kept popping up, including physical barriers like speech impediments, hearing difficulties, and vision problems. When we handed out pages of lyrics, it became apparent that many of our consumers were illiterate or nearly so. This was the impetus to begin our literacy program. Consumers also had difficulties learning to sing together.

What we really have is a group of soloists, so we break the songs into parts for people to sing separately and chorus is sung as a group. In our choir, it doesn’t matter if you can carry a tune. What does matter is the passion the consumers bring and the creative joy they feel when singing. We have sung, not always well and not always in synch, at retirement homes and baseball games. We are proud of our choir and the confidence our consumers exhibit when performing in public.

This program is open to our ACT consumers.

 

BEADdazzlers

The amazing BEADdazzlers are a small group of 5 consumers from the ACT program, who design and create a variety of items such as earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. They pride themselves in using quality products like crystals, stones, glass, and ceramics for their creations.

The BEADdazzlers create one-of-a-kind designs that are on display at the Arc-Solano. The group also exhibits their designs at other venues such as the Benicia Farmer’s Market, art & craft fairs, and their creations are also available for purchase in our office.

The group is self-supported and self-governed. All decisions, including financial, are made by the group as a collective. The money they earn from their sales either goes to purchasing new supplies or is used by the group for fun events and outings.

This program is open to our ACT consumers, depending on available openings.

 

Theater

Mike Huckins and the ACT program staff spend a half an hour every Tuesday morning having a theater program for our consumers. Theater fun and exercise have included: acting, improvisation, singing, dancing, reader’s theater, puppetry, storytelling, dressing up in costumes, utilizing props, and creating commercials for upcoming events!

Please join us on the Arc-Solano’s Facebook page to be our virtual audience with some of the videos and photos taken of these activities.

This program is open to consumers in all our core programs. As this program occurs in the ACT program room, TDS and TS consumers are responsible for transportation to/from the office.

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