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Life Skills & Learning Center June Update

June 30, 2021

An Update from Advocates Life Skills and Learning Center 

Warm weather is upon us and we are so happy to be outside! 

In July, we will welcome back even more friends in person, although we are still mandated to follow all social distancing guidelines at Advocates Life Skills & Learning Center.

More than 100 individuals are on-site, with our remaining friends participating in remote services, including virtual and in-home visits.

Many new staff members recently joined our team in our Day Habilitation, Autism, Community Based Day Supports, and Employment Services programs!

As we await new guidance from the state on next steps for programming, we are hopeful that more positive changes are soon to come.


Elizabeth Bardasz
Senior Director of Developmental and Brain Injury Day Services



Update brought to you by Hugh Doherty, Health Care Coordinator

Advocates Day Services step club is off to a hot start this summer!

Through a generous grant from the Gallagher Fund, members of our Step Club each received their own pedometer to track their steps. More than 60 friends are participating and exceeding expectations in our 100-day challenge!

Our goal was to get a combined total of one million steps over the course of the summer, and we would celebrate with a picnic. We beat that goal three weeks into the challenge!

Our friends are doing an admirable job of encouraging their peers and creating an environment of healthy competition. Together, we strive to walk a little bit more each day!



Update brought to you by Kathy D'Errico, Director of Day Supports

Staff lip sync battles remain a big hit with those participating in Day Services remote programming! While many returned to in-person services, we continue to see many friends on Zoom and through weekly home visits. Friends continue to enjoy a range of themed Zoom programs.



Update brought to you by Alex Bobola, Case Manager

Gardening season has begun and we are so excited to be back in the community! Our friends are working diligently to maintain our garden plots in Holliston. 

With the warm weather, we're enjoying more time on our patio, as well as taking daily walks around the building. Weekly day trips include local trails, reservations, and sanctuaries.

New places we've explored lately include Battleship Cove in Fall River, Fun & Games Arcade in Framingham, World War II Memorial Park in North Attleboro, and Gloucester Harbor.



Update brought to you by Eric Dwinnells, Senior Case Manager

Exciting news! A new case manager joined the Community Based Day Supports (CBDS) program! Our friends warmly welcomed her to the program, and she even joined us for Meals on Wheels deliveries.

A visit to spooky Salem, also known as "Witch City," was among the exciting trips we've taken recently. In honor of Patriot's Day, we visited the sites in Lexington and Concord where historic battles of the American Revolution took place.

As volunteer opportunities open up, we can't wait to start helping out at the Framingham Food Pantry, Unity Farm in Sherborn, and even more Meals on Wheels deliveries.



Update brought to you by Colleen Graham, Assistant Director of Employment Services

More than 30 of our friends returned to working in a community location! We've also welcomed two new employment coaches to our team, who are working closely with those who have been furloughed or are looking for new positions.

This month, we're highlighting Laurie Armstrong, a sales associate at Marshall's. While patiently waiting out the height of the pandemic, Laurie worked closely with her vocational coach to develop a range of skills. She started working at Marshall's in February for one day a week and quickly increased her hours.

Greeting customers with a smile and keeping a head count of people in the store are some of Laurie's responsibilities. For Laurie, this is one of the most exciting jobs she has had! She loves that she can walk to work and her much-appreciated store discount is helping her build a new wardrobe. With her new position, Laurie is starting to save for an apartment and is excited about her future!

About the Life Skills and Learning Center: Through our Day and Employment Services at the Life Skills & Learning Center, Advocates staff partners with adults who have disabilities and their families to customize experiences and activities uniquely suited to each person’s interests, skills, needs, and goals. Learn more at