Julia Chapin Bozzo has been on an equestrian crusade for 20 years. She founded NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center in 1993, and has overseen its Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) programs since day one, fostering a welcoming, nurturing environment for riders with disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and brain injuries. Adhering to the strict guidelines set forth by PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International), her facility leverages the healing power of horses to enrich the well-being of riders of all ages. Whether they're toddlers or seniors, each participant reaps the physical, mental, emotional, and social rewards of riding with the center’s gentle horses—gaining strength and coordination, interacting with the natural world, and, most importantly, building self-esteem. Thanks to Julia’s efforts and the assistance of certified riding instructors and a 30-strong team of weekly volunteers, the center conducts more than 950 lessons annually, each individually tailored to the rider’s therapeutic goals.
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When most of the local boating club's members decided to venture into sailing large cruisers and racing, a small group of sailors remained loyal to their first love—sailing dinghies. This tightly knit crew formed Rocky Point Sailing Association, which today encompasses a fleet of about 40 boats and a staff of more than a dozen Sail Canada instructors.
At their headquarters inside of Rocky Point Park's Old Mill Boathouse, the sailors instruct kids as young as 4 years up through adults in all levels of sailing. Rocky Point's team also extends membership privileges, such as the use of a restored Columbia 27 cruiser, the Orane. To indulge competitive spirits, RPSA's crew also maintains a race team.
Through its Monroe Service Dog Partnership, Summit Assistance Dogs recruits inmates at the Monroe Correctional Complex to help increase its capacity to train service dogs. After being taught extensively in the art of animal training, carefully screened and supervised inmates work in pairs during two months of dog training, during which they help to groom, exercise, and train dogs from shelters, all the while evaluating the animals’ progress and temperament. In turn, the participating inmates get an opportunity to serve the community, take on new responsibilities, and earn incentives for good behavior. Summit Assistance Dogs funds training staff and prison administration time, as well as training equipment and treats for the dogs.
Though it’s only been open less than one year, Supernal Arts has already amassed an impressive cache of art in its private gallery. Paintings burst from their canvases in the form of an impressionist-style bouquet of red and white roses, a riverbed dotted with copper-hued stones and cascading water, and a wintry forest full of stark, bare trees. Visitors to the space can peruse paintings or take one of the many classes that teach the skills needed to craft such pieces. The instructors, all experienced artists themselves, harness their backgrounds and skills to lead students of all ages toward their own artistic goals, such as becoming a professional painter or exhibiting works somewhere other than inside the lion cage of the local zoo.
During the course of a 3.5-month classroom-gardening program, chefs visit an elementary classroom every two weeks to help students plant and tend windowsill vegetable gardens. In the meantime, students play games and engage in other activities designed to teach them about plant growth, local agriculture, sustainability, and nutrition. Once it's time to harvest the vegetables, the chefs teach students how to cook nutritious meals with their homegrown goods. Growing Chef! organizers hope that after participating in the program, students will be more likely to eat healthful meals on their own based on what they've learned about growing and cooking healthy foods.