World Children’s Day is a time to reflect on the challenges that children face and to highlight the initiatives that are making a positive impact on their lives. This year, we’d like to draw your attention to the critical issues surrounding children’s healthcare and the efforts we’re making here at the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development to address these challenges.
One of the most pressing issues in children’s healthcare is the glaring disparities in access to medical services. Many children in underprivileged communities continue to lack proper healthcare due to financial, geographical, and cultural barriers. We recognize this inequality and have made great strides to help bridge this gap in central Pennsylvania.
We provide comprehensive pediatric care services and affordable healthcare options. As one of the only pediatric therapy centers in the area to accept Medicaid insurance as a payment option we service many children who otherwise would not receive the pediatric therapy services they need. Our ‘Kids’ Care Fund’ ensures that every child that comes to our center for therapy receives the care they need, regardless of their family’s financial situation.
Children with disabilities require specialized care and support to thrive and reach their full potential. One size does not fit all when it comes to healthcare for children. Which is why we offer a range of therapy services, including mental and behavioral health, physical, occupational, and speech therapy, each tailored to the unique needs of the individual child.
Through these programs, our Schreiber kids are provided with the tools they need to overcome the challenges they face, enabling them to flourish in their own way.
Pediatric Mental Health
The increasing mental health challenges in children are a mounting concern for parents, with far-reaching implications for the community. To help address this issue, we have integrated a new mental and behavioral health therapy department into our holistic approach to pediatric care that focuses on play-based and cognitive-behavioral therapies.
Our pediatric therapists specialize in diagnoses such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, depression, stress, anxiety, trauma related disorders, adoption, divorce, abuse, grief, and more. By providing counseling, emotional support, and resources, it is our goal to contribute to the emotional well-being of both children and their families and is an essential part of our commitment to the overall health and happiness of the children we serve.
Inclusive Education for Kids
The link between education and health is undeniable, yet many children face health issues that hinder their ability to access quality education, creating a cycle of disadvantage. Our S.T.A.R.S. Preschool is dedicated to reverse mainstreaming and has expanded our program that was once exclusively designed for children with special needs to include children of all abilities.
It is our hope that by playing together, our kiddos learn to not only understand and accept diversity, but to also value it. We also collaborate with the IU13 program to ensure that children with disabilities have equal access to quality education and are receiving any additional help they need. It is important to us that every child has the opportunity to learn and grow, regardless of their physical or mental challenges.
Support for Special Needs Children
We are proud to serve children with special needs and ensure that they receive the care and attention they require to thrive. We never hesitate to go the extra mile in providing resources and support for children with complex medical needs and chronic conditions. This includes assistance with obtaining medical equipment, specialized care, and respite services. We believe that by providing these services and support to our Schreiber families, children with special needs can lead fulfilling lives, and their families can find solace in knowing that their child’s unique requirements are met with compassion and expertise.
On World Children’s Day, we strive to be a beacon of hope and support, addressing the multifaceted challenges that children’s healthcare faces. Through our commitment to accessible, compassionate, and comprehensive care, we are working to improve the lives of children and their families, helping them overcome obstacles and reach their full potential. When every child receives the healthcare, support, and opportunities they deserve our purpose will be fulfilled.
To help us continue to provide necessary therapies to our Schreiber kids, consider donating to our Kids’ Care Fund to support our uncompensated care costs.
As a nationally recognized pediatric facility, the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development provides family-centered education and therapy programs for infants, children and adolescents with disabilities, developmental delays, and acquired injuries. Our goal-oriented approach maximizes each child’s ability to function independently within the community.
At Schreiber, we love to partner with other community organizations where missions overlap. We have exciting news about two new collaborations to talk about.
The first is about art. Lancaster Artwalk presents its next Artwalk Weekend Oct. 5-7, and there are at least 36 different locations participating.
The vast majority are in downtown Lancaster’s many art galleries and shops, but Artwalk has moved into the suburbs this year by adding a stop at Homestead Village’s Bachman Center, right next to us here at Schreiber.
The Bachman Center will be open for Artsfest 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7.
The best news: We will submit some 90 pieces of art, all made by Schreiber kiddos, for display at Homestead throughout the weekend.
Art from our preschoolers and day care kids and by clients will be next to works by 11 Lancaster County artisans, including Barry Smith, Doug Good, Barbara Ulmer and Kitty Filling.
Jay Graver, Schreiber’s director of educational services, has been coordinating the gathering of art from Schreiber kids. There’s a chance you could see a piece by Malcolm Corley, a Schreiber kiddo and emerging young artist we wrote about recently.
The schedule at Homestead will also feature pottery and glass-blowing demonstrations (Saturday) and screen-printing by the Thaddeus Stevens STEM Truck (Sunday).
Donations made during the event will benefit the Homestead Village endowment fund. Schreiber is happy to support’s Homestead as they have supported us, through sending volunteers for our Intergenerational Program, their annual Mother’s Day Jewelry Sale and contributing to our special events, like our Gala and the Rubber Duckie Race.
The other collaboration taps more directly into our expertise in providing therapy services for children. In this case, these would be services for some of the most vulnerable children.
The Lancaster County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services is launching a pilot program to serve families that have babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. The program could be expanded later to serve families that have other conditions present at birth, including Down Syndrome.
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS, happens when a baby is exposed to drugs in the womb and suffers withdrawl after birth. The condition can cause many serious problems, including low birthweight, breathing and feeding problems and seizures.
The county selected three Early Intervention special instructors to start the program, and one of them is Schreiber’s Catherine Donohue, an early intervention teacher who specailizes in working with kids ages birth to age 3 that have developmental delays.
“They were looking for people who wanted to do this, and I wanted to do this,” said Catherine, who has worked at Schreiber for 13 years. “I’ve always been interested in that hospital connection.”
That hospital connection will make this program different than the work she typically does. Most of the time, Catherine sees kids at home, at day care or here at the Center. For this new BHDS program, the babies will still be in the neonatal intensive care unit, and she will be working with families in their homes.
The teachers will show families “how can they prepare themselves and their home to bring a special needs child home,” Catherine said.
The program calls for teachers to work with biological families and foster families.
“That’s one of the things they were looking for in the teachers, and I’ve done that,” she said.
The teens from the Club 625 Camp gathered this week for one of their last outings of the summer, a visit to Sky Zone. Before they did that, they had an important job to take care of.
Every year, the campers do some kind of community service project. This year, as in the past few years, they collected non-perishable food items to help stock the food pantry at Grace Lutheran Church in Lancaster.
Every Wednesday, Grace Lutheran servces about 150 dinners to those in need of a free home-cooked meal. The Schreiber kids and their parents brought in numerous bags of pasta, spaghetti sauce, canned bake beans, salad dressings and more.
The kids have a week of fun activities and they help out some neighbors that are less fortunate. Nice work by Jay Graver and Carla Yando, who organize the camp, and by all the families who participated this year.
Speaking of Jay and Carla: After all of our camps end this month, they will be getting ready to welcome another group of S.T.A.R.S. preschoolers back to the classroom. And, once again, we would like to invite any Schreiber supporter who is also a customer of Giant Food Stores to participate in Giant’s A+ School Rewards Program. The program lets you earn cash for the schools you designate just by using your Giant BonusCard. If you have supported Schreiber in the past, you don’t need to re-register your card.
If you’re a new supporter or you want to make a change to your account:
Go to www.giantfoodstores.com.
Sign in to log into your Giant account, or register a new account.
Once you signed in, click on Manage My Account.
Click on the Rewards & Savings tab.
Click on the Change Schools button in the A+ School Rewards area, then select Schreiber S.T.A.R.S. from the list of schools.
Earn points and money for Schreiber from when the program runs, from Sept. 7 through March 16.
Register your card for Schreiber today!
Miles eventually received occupational and speech therapy, along with continuing his PT. He was with Jay Graver in preschool for two years, and he was joined the second year by his younger brother Levi.
“Miles was here three times a week for preschool and therapy, Levi was here twice a week,” said Dani, who lives in West Lampeter Township with her husband, David, and the boys. “We were coming every day for that year.”
“When we were looking around for preschools for Miles, I liked the emphasis here on diversity and that there are children of all abilities,” said Dani, who has an associate degree from Harrisburg Area Community College in early childhood education. “I liked it so much I’ve sent all my boys here.”
Well, almost all. The youngest, Asher, is only 4 months old. He comes along when Mom drops off Levi and Isaac, so he’s getting to know Schreiber, too. Even if it’s only as the place where he gets his morning feeding and a nap.
Soon enough, though, Mr. Jay can probably expect to see the fourth Brenneman boy come through.
The book took about six months to produce, start to finish. The basic idea came out much more quickly, during a therapy visit in November. Harper was a toe walker. After about a year and a half of physical therapy, including a combination of bracing, casting and gait training, she is almost completely free of the toe walking.
“I was here with Harper for PT,” Randall said. “I had brought my notebook, and I just wrote a couple things down. It came out in about a half-hour. I kind of based it on her and her sister (Elle, who is 3) and how they get when they’re hungry and tired. The idea I had was a GrumpaSaurus.”
All the parents reading this are nodding their heads right now. Hungry and tired, GrumpaSaurus — sounds right.
“You used to be pleasant and sweet to all of us,
But now you’ve turned into a huge GrumpaSaurus.
You yell and you scream for no reason at all.
Then smash your block buildings with your favorite ball.”
Later in the book, Randall conjures up more scary creatures, including a GrumpLope, a GrumpaPotamus and even a dreaded StinkaLinka. Jaci Rice’s illustrations, simple and watercolor-ish, creatively complement Randall’s wordplay. Jaci is Randall’s sister-in-law; her sister Leah is married to Randall.
“(Jaci) is an artist,” Randall said. “She always wanted to do a children’s book, but she never had an idea. I gave her the words I had, broken down into pages where an image could go. She took a couple months to come up with the pictures.”
This is Randall’s third book. His first was a nonfiction book about his great-grandfather’s experience in World War I called “My Life in the U.S. Navy.” He also wrote a young-adult book called “Elijah B: The Treasure of Morgan Malone.”
“He’s always told me he likes writing,” Leah said. “With his military background and the first book, this is a 180 from what you would assume he would want to do. But we had these two little girls, so he has all kinds of inspiration. It’s really just to help them take care of themselves: Eat a snack, take a nap and you won’t turn into a scary monster.”
He was happy to spend some of it coming to Schreiber for the reading to a bunch of preschoolers. From the way the kids settled in with their own individual copies of the book – each copy signed – it looked like they were happy, too.
Help us provide therapy and educational services for children like Harper. Visit our DonateNow page here and set up a recurring gift. Your $10 monthly gift will pay for one half-hour of therapy or two weeks of preschool. Questions? Call the Financial Development Office at 717-393-0425 ext. 105.
We have a better building. We obtained several substantial donations, including grants from the Stabler and High foundations, that allowed us to replace our aged HVAC system. We also replaced the plumbing, carpeting and repainted throughout the public areas. We managed this without having to spend one dollar from our operating funds.
We have better technology. After raising more than $85,000 in dedicated funds, we were able to completely overhaul our IT infrastructure. We replaced two aging, overloaded servers with two new servers. We updated our billing and scheduling software for the first time in 12 years, and we purchased new accounting software for the Finance Office.
We raised the bar on fundraising: One of the four main goals of the Schreiber Strategic Plan passed by the Board in September 2014 was to raise $1 million net on annual basis within three years. We reached our goal after one year through increases across all areas of Financial Development. We had the largest fundraiser in Schreiber’s history when our annual Phonathon, which only began three years ago, brought in more than $180,000.
We also hired staff in all therapy departments to keep pace with increased demand, and our rebranded daycare is filled to capacity. But here’s the most important thing to remember: Thanks to your continued partnership and support, we will continue to provide the life-changing services that are so needed within our community. We look forward to sharing more successes as we celebrate our 80th anniversary in 2016.
James DeBord is president of Schreiber Pediatric. Jon Hill is chairman of the board of directors.