2017-10-01 / Features

Capstone Academy helps children succeed

Three-year-old Carter Pompei has shown remarkable progress since enrolling in Capstone Academy. Three-year-old Carter Pompei has shown remarkable progress since enrolling in Capstone Academy. Three-year-old Carter Pompei started Capstone Academy’s Exceptional Student Education Pre-Kindergarten in January 2016 where he received speech and occupational therapies for his developmental and speech delays. He also enrolled in Capstone’s “Our Time” after school child care program.

During Carter’s first year of school he would make requests using single words. A year later, with continued therapies, his teacher reports he is requesting using three-to-four word sentences. Crystal Pompei, Carter’s mom, states, “Just this year alone, Carter made tremendous strides with speech.”

After school, Carter leaves his school class and walks down the hall to “Our Time.” His mom said staff are “in tune” to Carter’s needs and understand a smooth transition between school and child care is important. His dad, Marc, said, “Carter’s progress since attending Capstone Academy is more than a parent could ask for.”

Nearly 2,000 individuals with and without disabilities (autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, etc.) and their families were assisted last year in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties through Capstone’s Adaptive Learning and Therapy Centers (f/k/a United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Florida or UCP) many programs.

For 64 years, Capstone has advocated for inclusion and opportunities for individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities. Capstone has successfully developed and implemented cutting edge programs and services for children and students who are primarily on Medicaid, low income, and have significant physical, medical, and cognitive disabilities. UCP changed its name to Capstone in 2014. The new name no longer focuses on a disability, but on what someone CAN do. Capstone’s programs consist of group homes; adult day programs; charter schools; occupational, physical, and speech therapies; child care; and nursing services; to name a few.

In 2004, Capstone opened Capstone Academy Pensacola, the FIRST and ONLY inclusive charter school in Northwest Florida for infants to age five. Capstone Academy’s programs include a public charter school, voluntary pre-kindergarten, early intervention therapies, and after school for children with and without developmental disabilities. In 2010, a second school opened in Milton.

Today, nearly 150 children are served at EACH campus. During the past 13 years over 2,500 infants and children have been served at both Capstone Academies.

For Capstone to continue serving children like “Carter” support of the “Bay Area” community is needed. You may donate to Capstone’s Bequest Society in honor of a loved one or visit www.CapstoneLearning for a wish list and more information or call 850- 432-1596.

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