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Scituate CORSE Foundation (Community of Resources for Special Education)

 PO Box 512
 N Scituate, MA 02060
[P] (781) 545-7736
[F] --
www.corsefoundation.org
[email protected]
Tracy Johnston
Facebook
INCORPORATED: 2006
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 20-4264838

LAST UPDATED: 09/08/2017
Organization DBA CORSE Foundation (Community of Resources for Special Education)
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

CORSE (Community of Resources for Special Education) was established by a group of dedicated parents and educators to raise funds to provide high quality and affordable programming so children with special needs can reach their full potential. CORSE has developed an innovative model that designs programming for children with special needs within a blended framework of integrated or specialized social, educational and recreational activities. Our variety of programs are staffed appropriately through customized staffing ratios and special education expertise so ALL children, those with and without special needs, can successfully participate together within their community.

Mission Statement

CORSE (Community of Resources for Special Education) was established by a group of dedicated parents and educators to raise funds to provide high quality and affordable programming so children with special needs can reach their full potential. CORSE has developed an innovative model that designs programming for children with special needs within a blended framework of integrated or specialized social, educational and recreational activities. Our variety of programs are staffed appropriately through customized staffing ratios and special education expertise so ALL children, those with and without special needs, can successfully participate together within their community.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $132,947.00
Projected Expense $125,830.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Integrated and specialized social, academic and recreation community programming for children with special needs

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

CORSE (Community of Resources for Special Education) was established by a group of dedicated parents and educators to raise funds to provide high quality and affordable programming so children with special needs can reach their full potential. CORSE has developed an innovative model that designs programming for children with special needs within a blended framework of integrated or specialized social, educational and recreational activities. Our variety of programs are staffed appropriately through customized staffing ratios and special education expertise so ALL children, those with and without special needs, can successfully participate together within their community.


Background Statement

CORSE is a truly grass-roots organization created to help address a void in supplemental programming within their community for children with special needs, ranging across all disabilities - physical, behavioral, developmental, learning, psychological. We primarily serve children with special needs, ages 3-22, across South Shore Massachusetts.

We grew from a vision of 2 people to a board of 15 and now to a member constituency of over 3,500 participants, all volunteers, representing parents of children with special needs, parents who have all typically developing children, educators and community members that are interested in supporting the Foundation’s efforts. As of May 2017, CORSE has provided over $900,000 to address various supplemental needs including professional development, equipment and technology, music therapy, parent resources and most significantly social, academic and recreational student programming (489 programs, 6,576 student registrations, 957 student mentors). Each year we run approximately 50 programs with 850 student registrations.

Awards:

  • 2016 South Shore Conservatory Community Partnership Award
  • 2016 Scituate Recreation Community Spirit Award
  • 2016 FOX25 Hometown Team Award 
  • 2015 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award second prize winner from the New England Patriots Foundation

  • 2014 primary speaker at the first Flutie Foundation Partner Summit to discuss our innovative model providing children opportunities for social development and an active lifestyle

  • 2011 Massachusetts Recreation and Park Association Program Outreach Award 

  • 2009 “Citizen of the Year” in Scituate

  • 2008 Massachusetts Community Partnership Award from the Federation for Children with Special Needs 

Our all-volunteer board and member constituency represents parents of children with special needs, parents who have all typically developing children, educators and community members that are interested in supporting the Foundation’s efforts. The board is responsible for:

Overseeing all foundation planning, administrative and networking activities

  • Overseeing the management of all fundraising activities

  • Managing CORSE student programming

The officers of the board are nominated and selected among these particular members. The board receives no compensation; all board members and our member council work as volunteers.


Impact Statement

Programming funded by CORSE:  

  • Integrated social development programs that help children build lifelong social skills in communication, cooperation and self-confidence that are critical to their future integration and success in school and life.

  • Integrated academic support programs that provide grade level skill development in math, reading and writing.

  • Sports programs (running, karate, swimming, tennis, etc.) that improve self-confidence and self-esteem by helping children develop physical skills and learn the fundamental skills in each sport in a non-competitive, structured environment.

  • Socially-based summer camps that provide a typical summer camp experience for children with special needs, including field trips, presenters, crafts, music and sports: customized for ages 6-10 and ages 11-16 with age-appropriate activities.

  • Specialty camps: therapeutic riding, iCan Bike Camp, Maritime Adventures through AccesSport America, skateboarding

  • Customized peer mentor and Best Buddies models

  • Let’s Go Community Events: a variety of ongoing family-focused events (movies, skiing, dining out, etc) designed to provide a positive community experience for children with special needs and their families.

  • SibShop programs where siblings of children with special health and developmental needs obtain peer support and education within a recreational context.

  • Supplemental student services such as music therapies, band consultants, yoga, etc.

The main goals of our innovative programming and resources are:

  • Integrate children with special needs and their families into their community, bringing inclusion opportunities to all, those with and without special needs

  • Strengthen student, parent and educator skills

  • Build student confidence and engagement in social, academic and recreational areas

  • Build peer mentor models that reinforce training, integration and social outings

  • Provide these opportunities at an affordable rate despite the program’s special education instructor support and high staffing ratios


Needs Statement

Social & Academic Programming 
Recreation Programming
Peer Mentor Programming
Financial Assistance  
Music Therapy 
Yoga
Sibshops 
 
 

CEO Statement

The reality is that our special education population is rising. However, there are insufficient resources in town, state or federal budgets to assist these children to receive the necessary services and skills within the school systems and their communities to help them succeed. CORSE is a model that successfully demonstrates and can be adapted to communities throughout the nation as an example of how parents, educators and community members can come together to develop the necessary resources to better serve this population.

The special needs population does require costly and more intensive services; it is the responsibility of both parents and schools to identify ways to make this happen in the current economic climate. In a time where educational, behavioral and therapeutic services are in short supply and given the increased demand of students with special needs, this type of collaborative programming spearheaded and designed by parents and educators is a critical resource to children. Not only is this community foundation able to develop customized programs to meet children’s specific needs, it can also offer programs that are more affordable to families than private services that are overenrolled and very costly. Most importantly, children with special needs are provided the opportunity to successfully participate in programs within their own community, alongside their classmates and neighbors. Usually children with special needs cannot access regular programs, making their options limited. Providing these students the chance to reach their full potential is the right thing to do- for the child, the family and the community’s future benefit. We have searched for other models similar to ours to research and learn from, but cannot find any out there that have made this specific collaboration work. We have learned a lot and are willing to share our successes and challenges. The state and community have viewed us as pioneers in this innovative and collaborative service delivery model.


Board Chair Statement

CORSE programming provides a measurable impact to our community in the following ways:

Access: Parents are grateful to have appropriately staffed community programming; they often stress how important these classes are to their child’s socialization. Usually, children with special needs cannot access community programs, making their options limited. Otherwise, these children might just be sitting at home. Enrollment continues to dramatically increase each year.

Skill development: The fundamental difference these programs make is that children gain important social, academic and physical skills they need to succeed in life.

Quality: CORSE requires specific follow-up reports for every program on quality, enrollment, costs and improvement needs as well as parent evaluations on quality and benefit to student. Feedback from staff and parents has been overwhelmingly positive, demonstrated by an overall average of parent evaluation scores of 4.8 on a quality scale of 5 excellent – 1 poor.

  • Parent Quote: “Any program which has been offered through CORSE has been incredible. My experience with CORSE has shown me that they will only hold programs with the proper staff, the proper support and the desire for the children to learn new skills while having fun in the process.”

Cost: All parents contribute a minimal registration fee. CORSE absorbs >60% of overall budgeted programming costs, including financial waivers. Program costs are very high for specialized programs for children with special needs. Social skills/tutoring programs range from $11-65/hr; CORSE $8/hr. Camps range from $415-1,125/ wk; All-Stars $225/wk. Despite the instructor’s expertise and high staffing ratios, the fee is comparative to regular community programs.

CORSE has been successfully operating for over 10 years, continually implementing, expanding, enhancing and pushing into new territories with this unique programming that is the result of true parent, school and community collaboration. CORSE has proven that our commitment to this population can provide a wealth of high-quality supplemental opportunities for children with special needs that never existed before.

What cannot be “measured” is the inclusion that our communities’ families now feel through CORSE programming. Once feeling very isolated, these families now have access to the same type of programming that their neighbor does – it has brought families together, to be more accepting of children’s differences in the community. Families have a network to develop friendships - for the parents and the children. One mom said, “My child now has play-dates”, an incredibly “huge” statement if you have a child with special needs. Our program mentors and volunteers, many of them middle and high school students, state that being a part of CORSE programming has been the “best experience” of their lives and have fundamentally forever changed their perception of people with disabilities and their own sense of community. Since so many constituents within our community are coming together (those with and without special needs), it has increased understanding of friends’ and neighbors’ challenges of raising children with special needs and brought down many barriers. Our community has grown tremendously closer.


Geographic Area Served

SOUTHEAST REGION, MA
South Shore Massachusetts

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  2. Recreation & Sports -
  3. Education - Special Education

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Integrated and specialized social, academic and recreation community programming for children with special needs

  • Integrated social development programs (Pre-K through High School) that help children build lifelong social skills in communication, cooperation, self-control and self-confidence that are critical to their future integration and success in school and life.


  • Integrated academic support programs that provide grade level skill development in math, reading and writing.


  • All Stars sports programs (baseball, basketball, soccer, running, karate) that improve self-confidence and self-esteem by helping children develop physical skills and learn the fundamental skills in each sport in a non-competitive, well structured environment. We also offer swimming, tennis and skateboarding classes with area providers.
  • Socially-based summer camps that provide a typical summer camp experience for children with special needs, including field trips, presenters, arts and crafts, cooking, music and sports. They are customized for younger children (ages 6-10) and older children (ages 11-16) with age-appropriate activities.
  • Unique camps that give young people with special needs the opportunity to experience the joy of riding a horse (therapeutic riding), learning to ride a bike (Lose the Training Wheels Bike Camp), and become comfortable with a wide variety of water sports including sailing, windsurfing and canoeing (Maritime Adventures through AccesSport America).
  • Customized peer mentor and Best Buddies models, training and socialization to support CORSE student programming


  • Let’s Go Community Events: a variety of ongoing family-focused events (movies, dining out and more) designed to provide a positive community experience for children with special needs and their families.


  • SibShop programs where siblings of children with special needs obtain peer support and education within a recreational context.


  • Supplemental student services such as music therapies, band consultants, yoga, student and mentor scholarships, etc.


  • Professional development programs for educators and staff including expert training on language-based learning disabilities, executive functioning, reading instruction, social development, anxiety, bullying and differentiated instruction.


  • Educational programs and resource materials for parents including social thinking, executive functioning, anxiety, PAC website, study skills, social stories and web-based program generalization materials.


Budget  $125,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

On a more basic level, the fundamental difference these programs make is that children gain the most important skills they need to succeed in life. With these skill-building programs for active and successful student participation alongside peers, reinforced with parent training and support materials, children and families are making great strides.


Program Long-Term Success 

The major long term impact is the inclusion that our communities’ families now feel through CORSE programming. Once feeling very isolated, these families now have access to the same type of programming that their neighbor does – it has brought families together, to be more accepting of children’s differences in the community. Families have a network to develop friendships - for the parents and the children. One mom said, “My child now has play-dates”, an incredibly “huge” statement if you have a child with special needs. Our program mentors and volunteers, many of them middle and high school students, state that being a part of CORSE programming has been the “best experience” of their lives and have fundamentally forever changed their perception of people with disabilities and their own sense of community. Since so many constituents within our community are coming together (those with and without special needs), it has increased understanding of friends’ and neighbors’ challenges of raising children with special needs and brought down many barriers. 

Program Success Monitored By 

To measure and monitor program quality, CORSE requires specific follow-up reports for every program. We request instructor reports on program quality, enrollment, costs and improvement needs as well as parent evaluations on quality and benefit to student. A CORSE Board Member also writes an observational assessment. Feedback from staff and parents has been overwhelmingly positive, demonstrated by an overall average of parent evaluation scores of 4.8 on a quality scale of 5 excellent – 1 poor.

Examples of Program Success 
Testimonial
  • I am the legal guardian of my nine year old grandson who carries a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. When Timmy came to live with me full time, one of the biggest issues was finding affordable and accessible after school activities that were designed for students with special needs. Luckily, my pediatrician advised me to contact the C.O.R.S.E. Foundation. In the four years that we have been involved with C.O.R.S.E, Timmy has participated in numerous social skills groups, therapeutic horseback riding, summer day camp, and sports for students with special needs. We have also enjoyed special events sponsored by C.O.R.S.E., such as movies, ski trips, and a Polar Express holiday event. Finding affordable activities that have a therapeutic element is extremely challenging. Thanks to C.O.R.S.E., my grandson has had the opportunity to try new things and to benefit from the skilled instructors and specialized activities designed for fragile learners like him. We look forward to many more hours of fun and challenge through the wonderful programs sponsored by the C.O.R.S.E. Foundation. Therapists, doctors, and educators are always quick to point out to me, “how far Timmy has come.” A large part of his progress is due to his experiences in C.O.R.S.E. sponsored programs.  They have enabled Timmy to learn the social pragmatics that are so difficult for a student with ASD. Timmy is learning how to be a friend and how to have a friend. What experience could be more valuable for a child?

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Mrs Tracy Johnston
CEO Term Start Feb 2006
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Our CORSE President has previous high-level management experience working in customer service, finance, Human Resources and quality management and has demonstrated success given the wide range of accomplishments demonstrated by the CORSE Foundation in the past nine years.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Scituate Public Schools
Scituate Recreation Department
Scituate Youth Center
Briggs Farm
Norwell Technical Skate 
McMullin Pool
 
 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 250
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 10
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 15
Caucasian: 210
Hispanic/Latino: 10
Native American/American Indian: 5
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 200
Male: 50
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Governance


Board Chair Mrs Tracy Johnston
Board Chair Company Affiliation Volunteer
Board Chair Term Feb 2006 - 2020
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Brian Collins Volunteer Voting
Patrick Concannon Volunteer Voting
Kathleen Cozzi Volunteer Voting
Kristin Erickson Volunteer Voting
MaryBeth Fassnacht Volunteer Voting
Tracy Johnston Volunteer Voting
Colleen Lewis Volunteer Voting
Erin McLoughlin Volunteer Voting
Robert McQuaid Volunteer Voting
Julie Meredith Volunteer Voting
Jennifer Novak Volunteer Voting
Melissa O'Brien Volunteer Voting
Amy Pischel Voluteer Voting
Jennifer Spinale Volunteer Voting
Michelle Sullivan Volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 15
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 12
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $132,947.00
Projected Expense $125,830.00
Form 990s

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $143,993 $110,285 $107,590
Total Expenses $137,651 $113,166 $122,286

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$30,713 -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $75,194 $90,719 $80,741
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $20,748 $10,474 $14,851
Investment Income, Net of Losses $70 $87 $177
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $17,268 $9,031 $11,821
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- $-26 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $130,841 $106,237 $115,104
Administration Expense $6,810 $6,929 $7,182
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.05 0.97 0.88
Program Expense/Total Expenses 95% 94% 94%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $130,908 $122,524 $115,639
Current Assets $130,908 $122,524 $115,639
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 --
Current Liabilities $16,299 $14,257 $4,491
Total Net Assets $114,609 $108,267 $111,148

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) Joe and Deb Annese $6,520.00
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) Grace E. Brooks Trust $5,000.00
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) Evan Henry Foundation $5,000.00
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 8.03 8.59 25.75

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

The main goals of our innovative programming and resources are:

  • Help integrate children with special needs and their families into their community, bringing inclusion opportunities to all, those with and without special needs

  • Strengthen student, parent and educator skills

  • Build student confidence and engagement in social, academic and recreational areas

  • Build peer mentor models that reinforce training, integration and social outings

  • Provide these opportunities at an affordable rate despite the program’s special education instructor support and high staffing ratios

Programming includes:

  • Integrated social development programs (Pre-K through High School) that help children build lifelong social skills in communication, cooperation, self-control and self-confidence that are critical to their future integration and success in school and life.

  • Integrated academic support programs that provide grade level skill development in math, reading and writing.

  • All Stars sports programs (baseball, basketball, soccer, running, karate) that improve self-confidence and self-esteem by helping children develop physical skills and learn the fundamental skills in each sport in a non-competitive, well structured environment. We also offer customized dance, swimming, tennis and gymnastics classes with area providers.

  • Socially-based summer camps that provide a typical summer camp experience for children with special needs, including field trips, presenters, arts and crafts, cooking, music and sports. They are customized for younger children (ages 6-10) and older children (ages 11-16) with age-appropriate activities.

  • Specialty camps that give young people with special needs the opportunity to experience the joy of riding a horse (therapeutic riding), learning to ride a bike (Lose the Training Wheels Bike Camp), and become comfortable with a wide variety of water sports including sailing, windsurfing and canoeing (Maritime Adventures through AccesSport America).

  • Customized peer mentor and Best Buddies models, training and socialization to support CORSE student programming

  • Let’s Go Community Events: a variety of ongoing family-focused events (movies, skiing, dining out and more) designed to provide a positive community experience for children with special needs and their families.

  • SibShop programs where siblings of children with special health and developmental needs obtain peer support and education within a recreational context.

  • Supplemental student services such as music therapies, band consultants, yoga, student and mentor scholarships, etc.

 
Our integrated programs provide students with special needs the additional support they require within their own community by providing higher staff ratios and expert instructors with special education background. CORSE wants to offer an accessible and familiar environment where the greatest impact can occur. Our goal is to have our special needs students integrated with peers, which is critical for these children to prosper within their community. Depending on the type of integrated program, 30-70% of student registrations are typically developing children. Parents are grateful to have appropriately staffed community programming to allow their child to access and successfully participate alongside peers; they often stress how important these classes are to their child’s socialization. Usually, children with special needs cannot access regular community programs, making their options limited. Otherwise, these children might just be sitting at home.

To measure and monitor program quality, CORSE requires specific follow-up reports for every program. We request instructor reports on program quality, enrollment, costs and improvement needs as well as parent evaluations on quality and benefit to student. Feedback from staff and parents has been overwhelmingly positive, demonstrated by an overall average of parent evaluation scores of 4.8 on a quality scale of 5 excellent – 1 poor.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

We conduct periodic parent and faculty assessments to gain input on the greatest supplemental needs within this student population by grade level. This data has allowed us to prioritize funds to provide the most beneficial impact.


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

CORSE, Scituate Public Schools, Scituate Recreation and our community affiliations all participate in coordinating an evaluation process for each program. This collaboration allows the foundation to produce such a high quality product for student programming.

CORSE is very proud of these innovative community programs and continually strives to enhance quality and expand offerings, allowing our programs to become more and more successful and popular.

  • CORSE has programming coordinators who oversee curriculum development, program quality as well as annual instructor and aide training

  • Integration of Michelle Garcia Winner’s social thinking curriculum (and other experts) to social development and recreational programs is enhancing social skills curriculum to be more diverse and age appropriate

  • More community field trips are continually being incorporated so students can practice and generalize skills learned as well as provide more social networking opportunities in community settings

  • Development of an expanded, more integrated Best Buddies model and our own customized peer mentoring models supported by direct training and a supportive reference manual for social and recreation programs

  • Supplemental social development and behavioral management training resources for our social and recreation instructors and paraprofessionals

  • Annual parent training 

  • Social stories are made available for all recreation programs to acquaint children beforehand with the process, expectations and “game” rules.

  • Design of web-based resource materials for our programs are being provided to parents on the CORSE website to assure follow-through in learning and generalization at home.

  • Standardized program management processes 

  • New programs are also continually being launched

When the foundation receives philanthropic grant monies specifically targeted for these successful programs, the CORSE Board is able to redirect our internal funds for program expansion or new proposals for unmet supplemental needs. Utilizing this funding strategy, CORSE is committed to funding these core student programs and will continue to primarily target our fundraiser monies for them, since they are so beneficial to our students and valued by the community. CORSE has three major fundraisers every year: our annual Gala/Auction, Golf Tournament and the North Pole Express Holiday Train. We raise about $45-60,000 a year through these community-based fundraisers, which does not provide an extensive base of funds to work with, given that we provide @$125,000 a year supplementing these student programs. CORSE supplements over 70% to make it more affordable for families. Because of the high cost of funding our specialized programs, it is very important to secure outside philanthropic monies to continue their impact and continually strengthen these valuable programs.

We earnestly try to keep parent registration fees as low as possible, since families have so many other costs associated with raising a child with special needs and provide financial assistance where needed.. We are very active in writing grants to a variety of philanthropic organizations with an interest in helping children with special needs. We understand that the scope of our work is not as large as some of your grant applicants. However, the nature of the work and the demonstrated quality and success of this type of programming is just as important. Considering our size and “community philosophy”, we purposely ask for only $2500-$5,000 from larger organizations. Because of the high demand for grants from many remarkable non-profits, especially those serving low income populations, we realize the most successful strategy for CORSE is to request moderate amounts from multiple sources, truly exemplifying our “Community of Resources”. Multiple sources allow us to keep growing and expanding rather than reliance on one single large source to fund our programming.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

To measure and monitor program quality, CORSE requires specific follow-up reports for every program. We request instructor reports on program quality, enrollment, costs and improvement needs as well as parent evaluations on quality and benefit to student. A CORSE Board Member also writes an observational assessment. Feedback from staff and parents has been overwhelmingly positive, demonstrated by an overall average of parent evaluation scores of 4.8 on a quality scale of 5 excellent – 1 poor.

What cannot be “measured” is the inclusion that our communities’ families now feel through CORSE programming. Once feeling very isolated, these families now have access to the same type of programming that their neighbor does – it has brought families together, to be more accepting of children’s differences in the community. Families have a network to develop friendships - for the parents and the children. One mom said, “My child now has play-dates”, an incredibly “huge” statement if you have a child with special needs. Our program mentors and volunteers, many of them middle and high school students, state that being a part of CORSE programming has been the “best experience” of their lives and have fundamentally forever changed their perception of people with disabilities and their own sense of community. Since so many constituents within our community are coming together (those with and without special needs), it has increased understanding of friends’ and neighbors’ challenges of raising children with special needs and brought down many barriers. Our community has grown tremendously closer.


On a more basic level, the fundamental difference these programs make is that children gain the most important skills they need to succeed in life. Social and communication skills are primary challenges, especially for children with autism. With these skill-building programs for active and successful student participation alongside peers, reinforced with parent training and support materials, children and families are making great strides. We are meeting a need that cannot be met solely at school and that taps in to community integration.


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Our annual goals are met each year