The 4th annual Bryan County Resource Fair was held on Saturday at Richmond Hill Elementary School. The event was hosted by the Bryan County Board of Education, United Way of the Coastal Empire and Reaching Milestones.
Over 80 vendors participated by offering information about the services available to Bryan County residents and their loved ones with special needs.
“Having a family member with a disability affects the entire family, not just the individual with the disability. This event is for the entire family,” said Bryan County parent mentor Celena Hughes.
Resources ranged from information about recreational camping opportunities for adolescents with disabilities run by Georgia Southern University to Reaching Milestones which aims to improve the lives of children with special needs through the science of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Jamie Andrews, community outreach director for Reaching Milestones stated, “We have a lot of families in our county that have children diagnosed with special needs. We want to make sure that all of these families know about all these amazing resources that we have within our community.”
Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy was one of over a dozen sponsors of the event. The outpatient pediatric therapy clinic has been in Richmond Hill for two and a half years.
Kimber Zellner, occupational therapist at Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy added, “We are here to reach out to families to let them know that occupational, physical and speech therapy services are available in their local community. This helps many of those with special needs not have to travel so far. It can be accessed here.”
Free child care was provided by Reaching Milestones. There was also face painting, indoor games, and a Kid Zone inflatable bounce house that was sponsored by CJ’s Inflatables, confectionaries and Kona Ice.
Betsy Collins and her daughter Janie attended the event and when asked what she enjoyed most about the event, Janie said, “Playing the games.”
“Our goal is to create a more inclusive community for individuals with disabilities and their families," Hughes said. "It’s all about family engagement and building partnerships with families, schools and community members."