Contact: The Elaine Clark Center
The Elaine Clark Center
5130 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
Chamblee, GA 30341
The Elaine Clark Centerís rich history of support to children with special needs spans over 40 years in the Metro-Atlanta area. The roots of the Center began with Sister Robert Therese of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Atlanta who tutored young children with special needs in the mid 1960s after observing that many of them had no place to learn and grow. Sister Therese incorporated the Elaine Clark Center in 1969, naming it in honor of one of her profoundly deaf students whom she taught to read and communicate. Though Elaine passed away at 7 years old in an automobile accident, the legacy of Elaineís growth under Sister Thereseís instruction lives on at the Elaine Clark Center.
Until the mid 1990s, over 70% of the Centerís services were funded by government grants. Major federal funding shifts instigated the organizationís leadership to pursue diverse funding streams that help maintain affordable services for children with special needs in our programs through focused efforts on grants, fundraisers, and individual and corporate donors. With a strong belief in the successes of inclusion, children who are typically developing have been admitted to the Elaine Clark Center since 1994 and act as role models for our children with special needs. As an added bonus, these typically developing children learn valuable lessons about themselves, acceptance, and sensitivity, and experience the benefits of attending a superior educational facility with an exceptionally low student to teacher ratio.
During the summer of 2009, an accredited nonprofit school named Heart of Hope Academy that serves children with developmental challenges between the ages of five and twenty-two merged with the Elaine Clark Center. Heart of Hope first opened its doors in 2003 as an educational alternative to the otherwise limited options facing families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental delays. Following the vision of Heart of Hope Academy's founder, Angela Matthiessen, the program is tailored specifically to the needs of children with mild to severe developmental disabilities through a combination of academic and functional learning.
This unification between the Elaine Clark Center and Heart of Hope Academy fulfilled the visions of both organizations to become a stronger resource for families through comprehensive care for individuals with special needs in all stages of childhood growth. Resulting from the merge, the Elaine Clark Center now provides a continuum of care for children with special needs from birth through adulthood. This unique entity is unlike any other in the area and presents an opportunity to fully support families of children with special needs in every stage of each childís growth.
Developmental Disabilities,Special Needs
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