Students with disabilities need your help to learn, grow, and thrive!

Students THRIVE with a unique program!

Little City has been a vibrant community for individuals with disabilities for more than 60 years and what makes it vibrant is what you do to help innovate our mission and continually meet the growing needs of those we serve.

Your latest vibrant innovation? The Little City THRIVE program (Teaching, Healing, Realizing Individual Victories Everyday)a first of its kind in the state of Illinois!

Launched in August 2022, this program is designed to help students who are most severely challenged with behaviors that prevent them from fully accessing their educational potential. These students previously would have been sent out of state because no school in Illinois would take them. But they have found a home at Little City.

Our THRIVE program is providing an academic and residential home for students who are discovering that they can reach their unique potential.

What makes the THRIVE program work? It starts with specially designed classrooms that allow the full focus to be on each individual. Instead of eight to 10 students in each classroom, THRIVE classrooms are limited to four students. Instead of a single classroom, two classrooms share a door with one room primarily for academics and the other for sensory needs. Just these two basic changes help create an environment where each student feels safe and can learn at
their own pace.

Each THRIVE classroom is also staffed by multiple team members with different skills and abilities. Each classroom with four students has five paraprofessionals, a specially certified teacher and a full therapy team that includes behavioral, communication and more. With the large space and the large staff, we can work through the behaviors in a more complete, full way than is possible in other environments. Instead of immediately stopping a behavior, staff can safely allow the student to work through the behavior and better understand what caused it and how to prevent it in the future.

Consistent assessments help determine if a student is eligible for the THRIVE program. And just as importantly, assessments throughout the year determine whether a student is ready to move on from THRIVE into one of our less
restrictive environments later in the year.

We have already seen success in the program with students like Brady. In Brady’s case, a combination of maladaptive behaviors and dependency on tablet usage hurt his ability to learn, transition, and interact with staff and students. He spent 2022 in the THRIVE program and exceeded all expectations. His growth led him to being placed in one of our least restrictive classrooms for the 2023 school year where he is poised to learn and grow at an even greater rate thanks to the life-changing transformations he achieved in the THRIVE program.

Brady’s independence, academic stamina, and ability to transition without issue have all substantially increased thanks to his year spent in the THRIVE program.

And because of your support, this vital program has expanded from eight students to 12 students in the 2023-24 school year – helping provide this vital educational program to more students who need and deserve it to reach their unique potential.

These students, who would otherwise be sent out of state or denied entry into a school setting, now have the chance to learn and grow among peers and realize their full potential, thanks to you!