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In partnership with families, the Greater Richmond ARC creates life-fulfilling opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Tag Archives: ICDS

Meet Liam

Liam had such a rough start to life that mom Nicole wanted to cry.

Two years later, she did. But they were tears of joy, thanks to the help of ARC.

Liam was born with a hernia, colic, reflux, and developmental delays, and was an “unhappy and unhealthy little boy,” Nicole said.

Now twenty-seven months, Liam’s “life has improved so much. He's an extremely happy little wild man."

_RSP4794Nicole credits the help of ARC occupational and physical therapists who meet with her and her son regularly to help him catch up.

While it was "quite horrible" in the beginning, Liam improves every week; now sitting and even beginning to stand. Nicole said she worried initially about being a good mom, because even though she already had a four-year-old, there is so much to know about Liam's care. ARC showed her how to help him tackle self-feeding, and to continue developing his fine and gross motor skills.

It's been a tough journey; one that Nicole says she couldn't have undergone without ARC ’s “miracle workers.”

Meet Becky

In a cozy room at ARC, five-year-old Becky and her speech therapist Stephanie are playing a word game.

"What do cows drink?" asks Stephanie. "Milk," comes the reply.

"What does a red light mean?” "Stop."

_RSP4888Becky has come a long way from being the shy youngster who didn't speak at all before she was three, and was "tentative and timid," according to her dad Jose through an interpreter.

"What I respect most about ARC is their sensitive approach in helping my daughter," he added, saying that Becky has become so much more confident.

In fact, she now speaks in full sentences.

"I think you might lose," Becky says to her therapist, smiling, as the word game begins to wrap up.

Meet Hailey

As a baby, Hailey didn't babble. By the time she was three, she could only say five words.

Everyone said, "one day she'll just wake up and talk."

But she didn't, and that's when her mom Sarah turned to ARC.

"I was so worried about what would happen in kindergarten," if Hailey couldn't communicate, she said. Children were already asking why Hailey wasn't more talkative.


Her diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech meant she needed help in forming and then saying words. So every week, Hailey and her speech therapist meet at ARC to practice --with some dramatic results.

Hailey now speaks in full sentences.

"I know a lot of her improvement came from ARC" says Sarah. "And her therapist. I love her."

Reading is Fundamental, Inc. Selects the Greater Richmond ARC for Book Grant

RICHMOND, Va. (June 4, 2014)—Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, selected the Greater Richmond ARC to receive 360 new books that will be given to children with developmental disabilities participating in ARC's Infant and Child Development Services (ICDS) program this year.

Funding for the book donation was provided from Macy's.

“It is important to foster a love of reading beginning at an early age,’’ said Cara Coffman, co-director of ARC’s ICDS program, adding that one of the organization’s goals is providing each child with one book per month to promote reading and help families build at-home

About Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) delivers free books and literacy resources to children and families in underserved communities in the United States. By giving children the opportunity to own a book, RIF inspires them to become lifelong readers and achieve their full potential. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, RIF has placed 410 million books in the hands of more than 39 million children since it was established in 1966. To learn more and to help provide books to children who need them most, please visit


“We know that one of the best ways to enhance language and cognitive skills is through books,“ Coffman added, saying that research continues to show that access to books and family engagement in reading activities are important factors in ensuring a child’s success in school – and their future.

“We are very grateful for the support of organizations like RIF and companies such as Macy’s, who have made it possible for our group to provide books to each of the children in our program, and the lifelong benefits that come with enjoying them,” Coffman added.

RIF Selects the Greater Richmond ARC for Literacy Grant to Help Richmond area Children

Funds Raised through Macy's Be Book Smart Campaign to Benefit Local Literacy Efforts

Richmond, Va. (August 5, 2012) Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's largest children's literacy nonprofit, selected the Greater Richmond ARC's Infant & Child Services (ICDS) program to receive a $396 grant for free book distributions and literacy activities benefitting Richmond area children and their families. The funds were raised during RIF's 2011 Be Book Smart campaign in partnership with Macy's.

In March of 2011, Congress eliminated $24.8 million in funding for RIF, having a significant effect on its ability to provide book distributions and literacy resources to families in need. Support from Macy's is critical to local programs like this one. Additional support from local communities, foundations, corporations and individuals will also be key toward helping RIF fulfill its mission of getting books to kids in need.

In low-income neighborhoods in the United States, there is only one book for every 300 children. Research shows that access to books and family engagement in reading activities are the single biggest factors toward ensuring a child's success in school and the future.

We are extremely grateful for the RIF grant through Macy's, said Cara Coffman, an ICDS therapist who coordinates the program through the Greater Richmond ARC. The grant allows us to meet one of our program goals, which is to provide each child in our program one book per month to help promote a love of reading and build their home library.

The teachers, librarians and volunteers who run RIF's programs locally are helping put children on a path to success, said Carol H. Rasco. RIF is grateful for Macy's continued support and leadership on literacy issues throughout the years. Macy's customers should know that their dollars are having a real impact on literacy issues in their own backyard.

Since 2004, Macys has been a proud supporter of RIF, raising more than $21 million for RIF.

About Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF)

Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provided 4 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources last year. For more information and to access reading resources, visit RIF's website at

One for the Books — and Many for the Children

The Greater Richmond ARC's annual holiday party for children with special needs was one for the books, literally.

Held on December 7, 2010 at Trinity United Methodist Church, ARC called on Richmonders to donate new books for children with special needs ages 1-10 through venues including bbgb tales for kids at 3100 Kensington Avenue and at The Greater Richmond ARC at Saunders Avenue.

While the original goal was 125 books, more than 200 were collected, including 61 from The Richmond Alumnae Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity. bbgb also plans to donate $108, which is 15% of the total ARC-related purchases made at the store.

Lisa Cox, head of ARC's Infant and Child Development Services program, said, "We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our fellow Richmonders, including ARC employees, who donated more than 30 books themselves," she said. "Books are long lasting and meaningful gifts and reading to a child is a great way to celebrate the holiday season."