Horizons Unlimited is unique in that we offer two different day habilitation programs to our individuals: Project Learning and PACE.
Iowa Lakes Community College has offered project Learning since 1974. In 1982, Horizons Unlimited and Iowa Lakes formed a partnership and have since then offered Project Learning together for almost 30 years. It is a one-of-a-kind program because it is the only program in the State of Iowa where an organization like Horizons works with a community college to provide a program for adults who have disabilities.
Project Learning currently works with more than 60 adults with disabilities. It focuses on individualized opportunities that are specifically suited to each participant’s special needs. Training and activities focus on daily living skills, pre-vocational training, computer training, social skills training and community activities. Project Learning also focuses on improving adult literacy. In June of 2008, Horizons received a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to increase literacy at Project Learning.
Project Learning and PACE (Palo Alto Community Explorers) are Horizons’ day habilitation programs and are both focused on community integration. Project Learning also offers Adult Basic Education. Another major difference is that Project Learning is held in a building on the campus of Iowa Lakes, and PACE is offered at Horizons’ main campus on Highway 4 South.
Some activities PACE participants have participated in over the last year include touring the Grotto of the Redemption, utilizing the Wii Fit Pad and Wii American Idol games, karaoke, building Horizons’ float for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and riding in the parade, several trips to the Summer Theatre program in Okoboji, walking on trails in Spencer, attending matinees in Emmetsburg, utilizing the Smith Wellness Center, visiting the Emmetsburg Public Library, attending an Iowa Cubs game in DesMoines, & seeing the World Famous Rocketts perform.
Some other activities PACE participants have enjoyed include social stories where individuals learn by listening and role-playing on how to handle certain social situations. Individuals have also learned about anger management and leisure studies. Through leisure studies, individuals learn how to occupy free time on the weekends and evenings.
PACE also had a very successful fund-raiser for the community during their first year of the program. PACE participants sold buttons for $5.00 each through “Toys of Joy” and then used the proceeds, which was $350.00, to purchase and donate toys for Upper Des Moines Opportunity. Upper Des Moines Opportunity, whose main office is located in Graettinger, is one of 18 community action agencies in Iowa that offers programs to fight poverty.