At Vista, we are looking forward to several of our "fall favorites," which we will experience in new and creative ways...
Over the next six weeks or so, we will be sharing several of our "revised fall favorites" with you...we hope that the stories we share help to inspire you to be open-minded and flexible in your planning as well...
Vista's Connect day programming allows members to engage with their peers while participating in enriching daily activities.
While some aspects of our Connect Program have changed in response to COVID-19 (social distancing, mask wearing, etc.), the program has continued to provide positive and impactful engagement with its wide range of both in-person and virtual programming options.
Many things have changed over the last six months, but two of the main tenants of the Connect Program – community involvement and wellness-focused curriculum – have not.
"Prior to COVID-19, a day at Connect gave members a variety of opportunities to access the local community to meet their day-to-day needs, such as getting lunch or taking out money at the bank," explains Sabrina Wilcox, a Connect Program Instructor. Although Connect is not engaging with the local community in the same way, members are taking this opportunity to learn about their global community. Steven, a Connect member, particularly enjoys watching travel videos of foreign countries during virtual programming. These experiences give the members a new perspective and a virtual pathway to learn about the beautiful diversity of our world.
A few Connect members showing off their dance moves
As for wellness initiatives, Connect members have been choosing to participate in a variety of activities designed to foster healthy bodies and healthy minds. Chair fitness, yoga (and one of the most looked forward to activities) freestyle dancing!, are a few ways members work out their bodies regularly. For example, in freestyle dancing!, participants let loose while grooving to the music – getting a workout and relieving stress at the same time!
One of our healthy mind activities – self-esteem flowers – is also a meaningful way for members support one another while fostering personal growth. In this activity, participants write positive descriptions of themselves on each of their flower petals, mirroring words said to them by one of their peers. For example, a phase like "you are a good friend" said by a peer can be so impactful. While the "flower imagery" used (pictured below) is straightforward, the message of seeing yourself in a positive way is a lesson for all of us to remember!
Members of Connect with messages of positivity written on their self-esteem flowers
Although the Connect Program has looked different over the past six months with members wearing masks, socially distancing, and some virtually communicating over screens, the principle of fostering personal growth and connecting with others is stronger than ever. Sabrina observes, "The Connect participants have shown both patience and flexibility during this time. Whether it's in-person where you can see the members smiling through their masks by the excitement in their eyes, or during virtual programming where members work together to facilitate personal growth over Zoom, Connect members continue to move forward with positive attitudes."
It is inspirational to see how the members of Connect, and Vista as a whole, continue to move forward with optimism and enthusiasm!
*Currently, Connect offers virtual programming five days a week and in-person programming four days a week