More Than Just Salsa at CP

Oct. 11, 2021 8:50 am

There is a day in October that everyone at CP looks forward to. Salsa Day in the Adult Day Services program! That's right, homemade salsa, right in our own backyard. 

But planning for salsa day starts well before October. After all, there's a lot that goes into making salsa. First, the Garden and Science class plants the seeds for vegetables like onions, tomatoes and a variety of peppers. For weeks the seeds are nurtured until they sprout into plants that are then transferred to the accessible outdoor garden. At this stage, clients take tremendous care to make sure each plant thrives. Care that is rewarded with an abundance of fresh produce! After the harvest, supplies are sent off to the kitchen class where clients dice tomatoes, chop onions and add spices to create... SALSA!

So, when salsa day finally comes around, our staff - with money in hand - heads over to the ADS department to buy the only-once-a-year salsa! There really is an energy in the air about it, it's that good. To put it another way: it's a day you don't want to forget to bring tortilla chips.

While salsa day certainly makes everyone happy, it's a great reminder of all the hard work and the diversity that classes in Adult Day Services provide. Just this one project flowed through multiple classes, and involved lots of clients, all who bring different skills and ideas, but worked together for one final result.

The Adult Day Services program offers a variety of classesfor clients to work on skill building while having fun. Classes like karate, newsletter, Pinterest, brain games and ceramics provide clients the opportunity to work on goals unique to them and socialize with their peers. It's a chance for each client's personality to shine through. And when all of these elements are combined together in a class, the result is something pretty amazing.

Kind of like our salsa.   

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Make A Difference Day @ CP

Sept. 27, 2021 8:11 am

 CP had a pretty memorable day last week. Our Green Bay location was bustling with activity for our first ever Make a Difference Day. Friends from Festival Foods, Associated Bank and United Health spent part of their work day learning about CP, participating in an interactive tour of the building, meeting and chatting with clients, including their tour guide, Dale, and enjoyed a food truck lunch.

The day gave CP an opportunity to show some of our closest partners how they make a difference to CP through their time and resources. It was a chance to get them onsite and see, firsthand, how their support moves in waves throughout the agency and effects our clients every day.As we took people on tours, I noticed there were certain comments that kept repeating: "I didn't realize how big CP is," or "I didn't know you helped this many people," and "I didn't know you helped people with different conditions, not only cerebral palsy."

While we stated as a nonprofit serving those with cerebral palsy back in 1954, CP has grown its services to support what our community and families have needed from us. While we certainly provide services to those with cerebral palsy, we also help individuals with Down syndrome, spina bifida and autism, to name a few. Some clients have medically complex cases or very rare conditions, while others are undiagnosed. We help people who have had their conditions since birth as well as those who need our services because something changed in their lives like a traumatic brain injury, recovery from surgery or post stroke. No matter the diagnosis, condition or path taken to get here, on thing is true: CP is a reflection of amazing human spirit.    

What was so great about Make a Difference Day is that we were able to show our staff's expertise and the joy and determination our clients feel each day with our partners. I think everyone left that day with a better understanding of why their place of business supports CP. I hope they also left with a more personal connection as well; excited to share what they learned with co-workers, family and friends.

"You won't believe what I saw at CP today!"

While safety precautions over the pandemic kept our Make a Difference Day participants at a safe distance, the impact was there. We are looking forward to making this an annual tradition at CP!

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CP Auction - Get Ready to Bid in Person!

Sept. 7, 2021 9:31 am

The CP Auction is coming up fast (where did the summer go?) and details are being put in place for what is sure to be an entertaining in-person event. We've been picking up some amazing auction items donated by community members and local businesses, we've booked the Gatsby Gang Jazz Band and food has been selected. Auction is a popular community event and we are excited to be back together for an evening of entertainment, friends and bidding!

Client art from past Auction events.

One of the highlights of Auction is the array of client artwork up for bid, displayed between amazing baskets filled with local goodies, weekend getaways and other unique items. In fact, I've been lucky enough to have made the winning bid on a few pieces of art that I proudly hang in my office.

It goes to show that while this is a fun night out, it also provides opportunity for CP to highlight the skill building that clients work on each day to be as independent as possible. It's a reminder of our mission.

While we continue to modify Auction to ensure the safety of all, the reason why we hold an auction remains the same - to help raise critical funds for CP. Funds that help so many people not only reach their goals, but surpass them by magnificent margins.

CP's goal is to help people live the lives they want, and with your support of events like the Auction, that is exactly what we are doing. Through every art class, speech therapy appointment, swim lesson and mobility class, clients leave each day feeling accomplished and are engaged with their peers.

You can be a part of it. You can play a role in a client's success simply by circling Friday, October 22 on your calendar and joining us for the CP Auction at the Johnsonville Tailgate Village at Lambeau Field. It promises to be a fun and inspirational night.

Be sure to purchase your tickets at the early bird rate soon - prices increase on October 8. You can also follow new developments and items that will be up for bid on our Facebook page.

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Getting Our Rocky On in September

Aug. 23, 2021 11:41 am

 In September, there is a Rockyvibe going on around CP. You know the iconic moment when Rocky runs up thestairs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and raises his arms triumphantly? It's kind of like that. You can almost hear the music...

Getting strong now.... Gonna fly now...

That's because September 1 is the start of the ForsiteBenefits MOVE Challenge. It's a company vs company step challenge where area businesses compete against each other for the most steps taken during the month. This is the third year that CP has been fortunate enough to be the charity partner of the challenge. 

The MOVE challenge is a great employee event as it's something that everyone can do on their own, or in small groups, but in the end, contributes to the success of the overall team. In a way, it's kind of like how we do things here at CP. Every client has individual goals to work on. From improving fine and gross motor skills and learning new life skills, to working on socialization and building strength and endurance.

Even though each client's goals are personal to them, we work as a team to help them find success. Whether it's with a therapist, a teacher, an instructor or being cheered on by their peers, we applaud everyone's accomplishments together; it's what celebrating all abilities is about at CP.   

So as 45+ Forsite Benefits MOVE Challenge teams give it their all to get their steps in during the month of September, know that CP's clients will be doing the same thing, every day, and cheering YOU on as well! Good luck to all of the participating teams!

Special thanks to Forsite Benefits for supporting CP and having us as the charity partner for such an amazing event. Learn more about our friends:

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Being Able to Adjust Keeps Adult Program Going Strong

Dec. 7, 2020 1:51 pm

By Susan Rodd

A day in the Adult Day Services (ADS) program is typically full of busy activity; clients and staff moving through the hallways, chatting and hanging out.

But like many organizations and businesses, that all changed last March when COVID-19 made itself known in Northeast Wisconsin, and we quickly realized we needed to adjust. Providers like CP must always be prepared to adapt and reimagine their programs to better align their offerings with the needs of our clients always in mind. And that is exactly what we did, albeit gradually.

While we were all safe at home in March and April, our instructors created impromptu videos to share on Facebook and CP's website so clients could stay engaged. Topics included making guacamole and stress balls, to important stretching exercises. Some even shared updates on projects classes were working on prior to Safer at Home. It wasn't much, but it was a start and served as a way to remain connected to clients who rely on CP for activity and socialization each day.

Our ADS team never imagined that we would need to revamp our programming with so much safety in mind in order to reopen. But our team was up for the challenge if that meant we could allow clients to return to programming. We spent weeks developing new policies and procedures and determining needs so when we did reopen at the end of May, we were ready.

Those new changes meant that the schedule for our Green Bay site needed to completely change. Instead of holding our typical morning and afternoon classes as usual, we decided to form "pods" to allow the same 15 clients and 4-5 staff to stay together for classes, lunch and any personal care needs throughout each day. Keeping groups together, while really different for us, went a long way to ensure the safety of clients and staff.

To form pods, our team looked at everyone's current classes and grouped clients who shared similar interests. They also considered client social wellbeing, ensuring everyone had a few friends within their pods, too. Our goal was to keep everyone safe within their pods while causing the least disruption.

CP always strives to make programming individualized for each client. And what feels like 137 months later, we feel that we're still offering quality programming and keeping the clients' best interest in mind, while maintaining everyone's safety. In fact, the pods have really been working well and everyone has adapted well to their classes. A few clients have even discovered some new classes they never thought they would enjoy.

After pods were well underway, we looked for other ways to expand programming, especially to those clients who needed to stay at home. So, in August we began offering opportunities where a few clients were able to join a class virtually. Most recently, we introduced more structured, 8-week group virtual classes, to include even more clients that are still safe at home. Classes include Fitness Champions, Virtual Tours-Around the World in 8 Weeks, Once Upon a Story, Games Galore and Craft Junkies.  We're excited to see everyone that we haven't seen in while and the social interactions have been just as meaningful as the actual activities.

While all of these new ways to hold classes - from quick Facebook videos, to instructor lead virtual programming - have been key in continuing to serve our clients, we are very much looking forward to the day when we can welcome everyone back at CP.

Susan Rodd is the Manager of Curriculum Development at CP.



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7 Tips to Help with the Holidays and a Picky Eater

Nov. 16, 2020 7:33 am

By Jessica Getter

Let's face it, the holidays can be stressful for all of us. As a parent of a child who is a picky eater, you may feel like you just can't win when it comes to holiday meals. Here are some easy, straight forward tips to making it through a family gathering during the holidays with your picky eater in a way that will make both of you feel successful.

Tip #1: Stay Calm and Stay Positive

When picky eaters are pressured to eat food that they perceive as a challenge it triggers a stress response. This response causes the release of hormones that will reduce their appetite, thus having the opposite effect of what parents are trying to achieve. Remain calm and encourage family members to do the same. Focus on the small victories such as your child being able to come to the table or having a small portion on their plate. The positive energy that you emit will make your child feel less stressed about the meal situation. 

Tip #2: Even adventurous eaters are stressed during the holidays

New smells, new foods, changes in routines, a house full of people...the list goes on as to the stressors that affect all of us during holiday gatherings. For even the best eaters, all of these factors can affect appetite and how well (or not well!) they eat for the holiday meal.

Tip #3: Stick to normal meal and nap times

Obviously, this can be a big challenge for the holidays. We know that kids do best when things are predictable and routine. Overtired kids who have been snacking all day will not make the best meal time companions and getting them to eat a good meal will be difficult.

Tip #4: Offer some familiar foods

Plan ahead. If it's a potluck, bring something to serve that you know your child will eat, even if it's non-traditional. If you think other family members will be offended by your child not trying their traditional recipes, have a conversation ahead of time and remind them to stay calm and positive when you all arrive. If your child likes dipping their foods, bring the dip along and you might be surprised that your child may experiment with dipping other new foods, too!

Tip #5: Do a practice run

A few days or weeks ahead of time, do a practice run. Talk about what foods will be there and which people will be there. Together with your child, prepare and cook a few of the traditional foods that may be at the holiday gathering. This will allow your child to experience new foods in a safe, familiar environment. We know that repeated exposure is key for picky eaters and this technique will allow them to become acquainted with holiday foods ahead of time.

Tip #6: Keep serving sizes small

The goal when offering new foods is to underwhelm (not overwhelm!) your child. A heaping scoop of mashed potatoes may look like a mountain of a challenge to your child and they will quickly avoid and refuse to explore. Offer 1-2 teaspoons of new foods and this may trigger their curiosity.

Tip #7: Encourage self-serving and family-style serving

If your child is old enough, allow them to go through the line on their own if serving buffet-style. When given the control, they may surprise you as to what choices they make and the new foods that may make it on their plate. If serving family-style at the table, again allow your child to serve themselves or others; this will allow for exposure to the sights, smells, and textures of various foods without the stress of having to eat it. (Remember, repeated exposure!)

Use the tips that work best for you and your picky eater to make holiday meals enjoyable and fun for the entire family! Happy Holidays!

Jessica Getter is an Occupational Therapist at CP

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Being an Adult Instructor at CP

Nov. 9, 2020 8:19 am

During November, CP is highlighting our Adult Day Services staff. You can see who we are focusing on and learn about what our team does by checking out our Instagram stories.

During all of the busyness of "a day in the life" of staff at CP, we were able to get Ted Huebbe, an adult instructor, to take a moment and answer a few questions about what he does at CP, and more importantly....why. 

CP: What do you do at CP?

TH: As an Adult Instructor, I work directly with the clients in the Adult Day Services(ADS) program. I lead and organize the classes that CP offers. I have worked at CP for almost two years now. 

CP: What interested you about working at CP and in the Adult Program?

TH: I had previously work as a transport driver, and through that job I met a lot of the CP clients, and drove the busses for CP outings. I realized what great people the clients and staff at CP were, and wanted an opportunity to work in that environment.

CP: What's a typical day in ADS like?

TH: There are two scheduled class times, morning and afternoon, with a variety of topics, from game classes to arts and crafts, kitchen classes, swim sessions, exercise classes and many others.  I also help get the clients settled in the morning, assist at lunch time, and get them ready to go home at the end of the day. 

CP: What's your favorite part about working in ADS?

TH: So many of my personal interests are relatable to class topics at CP, so whether it's gardening, cooking, games, photography, world cultures and customs, arts and crafts or music, I find that I have some level of knowledge to share with the clients, and to help keep the clients engaged with the class.

CP: What have you learned by working in the Adult program?

TH: Especially after the last 7 months with COVID, where all of our lives have been upended and changed, I have come to realize that our clients at CP are deeply affected by the social distancing imposed on them by their diagnosis. CP gives these folks a chance to come together, socialize, go on outings and be challenged by new experiences. We should all have a sense now of how important that feeling of community and togetherness is.

CP: When people ask what it's like to work at CP, what do you say?

TH: I have found CP to be a family of people, both the clients and the staff. Everybody greets each other so enthusiastically each morning and shows genuine interest and concern for each other during the day. This is a place of positivity.

Does CP sound like a place you'd like to work? If so, check out our open positions and apply today. 

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Being Thankful All November Long

Nov. 2, 2020 8:41 am

It's November, a time of year where people turn their focus to what they are thankful for. I think it's safe to say that, given what 2020 has become, we are all putting a bit more thought into what or who we are giving thanks for - our families, friends, community and where we work.

At CP, we have a lot to be thankful for every day. But right now, we are truly thankful for our staff. Like many nonprofit organizations, since we reopened after Safer at Home back in May, our team has had to ebb and flow with the changes COVIDbrought. This is especially true with the team in our Adult Day Services program in Green Bay, Fox Cities and Lakeshore, where so much of the day is spent interacting with clients in classes, helping with personal cares and transfers, and just overall daily interaction.

Classes got smaller, masks and PPE became a priority and our team needed to find a way to adapt programming so that it was still effective to help clients gain skills to meet their personal goals.

We had to separate clients and instructors into "pods" to help mitigate the risk of exposure, which means social interaction hasn't been what we are used to.

But through it all and despite the ups, downs and challenges, our team has come through big. In an ever changing environment, our ADS team has been doing what they can to bring some normalcy back to CP and to their clients through new class projects and adaptive activities to keep everyone socially distanced. Not to mention that for some clients, just seeing the friendly face of their instructor is really all they need. For that, CP is truly thankful.

All through November we'll be highlighting our ADS team on CP's Instagram page and giving you a glimpse into what our staff does... and maybe a little bit about who they are. It's kind of like a takeover - and with this group, you just never know what is going to happen.

You'll meet Ted, Tiffany and Whitney later this month, but we kick it all off with Jenna, a Core Program Supervisor. She's awesome with the clients, caring, can make a mean salsa and, apparently, has a lot of shoes (we'll get to the bottom of that later).

And if you follow us through the month and think that CP would be an awesome place to work, feel free to drop us an application and we'll take it from there. We'd love to hear from you.

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Get Out and VOTE!

Oct. 27, 2020 9:17 am

While 2020 is a year many of us are looking forward to saying goodbye to, there are still a few important events taking place that we can't forget. One of those is voting on Tuesday, November 3.

And if you or a loved one has a disability, understanding your rights and options on how to vote are extremely important. In Wisconsin, there are several invaluable resources that can help ensure every vote counts. 

Everyone who has the right to vote should have an equal chance at voting on Election Day. In fact, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, all polling places in Wisconsin must provide accessible voting equipment. If you are unable to physically go inside your polling place due to a disability, curbside voting from your car should also be available. This video from Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition explains it rather well.

Voting Resources

In addition to the video, the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition is a great resource full of information to help educate on topics including the rights voters with disabilities have, how to register to vote, how to safely vote during COVID-19, absentee voting and how to make your voting plan.

If your voting plan includes in person voting on Election Day, in Brown County, the Aging and Disability Resource Center offers a list of transportation options to help get you safely to your polling place.

Voting is an important right, and some say that voting in 2020 is more important than ever. So, make it a point to exercise your power to vote on Election Day. If you do, take a photo or send us a note to We'd love to see it!

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