This week marked the first day of summer, and the season is already in full swing here at Grafton. Our clients are enjoying playing outside, working in our gardens and greenhouse, and reconnecting with the local community again after a long hiatus due to Covid-19.
In Berryville, a handful of students have been making weekly trips to the local farmers’ market to sell produce, flowers, and herbs that were grown on campus. They love interacting with customers, and the customers love supporting Grafton. We’ve been earning about $900 every Saturday! Of course, this money goes right back into programming for our amazing clients.
Our talented music therapist, Fredrica Dooley-Brown, has been hard at work planning live summer music performances in Winchester. Grafton students will be performing a “Fun in the Summer Sun” concert at our Ruth Birch campus on July 15th, which will be open to families and agencies. Anyone who has attended one of these shows knows how heartwarming it is to watch our students—many of whom didn’t have opportunities to shine in their previous schools—dancing, singing, and making beautiful music on their favorite instruments.
Fredrica is also working with Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre to produce a “relaxed” performance of Cinderella on August 2nd. This is a wonderful event for young children, those with sensory sensitivities, or anyone else who may have trouble quietly sitting through a live show. Grafton will also be providing Ukeru training to the theater staff, so families can expect a trauma-informed and safe experience. Keep an eye out for a blog post about the performance next month!
As we head into summer, I can’t help but feel grateful for how much we have overcome during the last two years. More challenges undoubtedly lie ahead, but with your continued support, I’m confident we will continue meeting the needs of underserved individuals for many seasons to come.
Be well and have a great summer,
Jamie Stewart, Chief Executive Officer