Sweetheart Dance

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with all of your friends at Whole Children!

Join us on February 12, from 6:30-8:30 pm, dressed in your fanciest attire for our annual Sweetheart Dance.

There’ll be tasty treats, an awesome DJ, and great music that’s sure to get you dancing! For those who prefer a quieter celebration, there will be games available in the game room and space in the cafè for socializing! The preschool room will also be open to some of our younger party-goers.

All ages are welcome, but children under 13 need to be accompanied by a parent; those over 13 can be dropped off with prior permission. Call ahead and check with the staff if you’re unsure.

We can’t wait to see you there!


Seeking Interns for Fall 2016!

Whole Children Intern
Intern Jack Kapinos working with director Matt Meers as they film a scene for Northampton Community TV’s “Crowdsourced Cinema.”

Are you a film or photography student looking to develop a portfolio of promotional videos and graphics? Are you interested in creating fresh media content in a diverse setting? Whole Children has a communications internship program that offers these opportunities and more.

Whole Children provides recreational, social, and enrichment programs for children and teens of all abilities, including those with special needs. As our communications intern, you will have the opportunity to work in an inclusive office space and assist in showcasing Whole Children’s community events, programs, and services.

Interns in the past have worked on a variety of projects, including video editing and camera work, photography, graphic design, drafting press releases, and creating content for our website and social media pages, to name a few. That being said…

We value your input! This internship is what you want to make it, so feel free to let us know if you have a specific interest you want to pursue, or a new skill you want to develop. We want your experience here to be productive and beneficial, and the best way to ensure that is by doing work that you are motivated to do!

The following video was produced by our fabulous intern, Jack Kapinos, pictured above!

Whole Children is conveniently located on the Route 9 bus route in Hadley, and is easily accessible from any of the 5 colleges. You may receive academic credit for the internship, and work hours can be arranged to fit your schedule.

If the Whole Children communications internship sounds right for you, email Brittany Brown at


Annual Dinner 2016

The Association For Community Living’s Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony, 2016

WC photo booth

Whole Children photo booth fun at The Association For Community Living’s Annual Dinner.


Last night, The Association For Community Living held its Annual Dinner at The Log Cabin in Holyoke and, per usual, it was a delight. Whole Children had a number of exciting moments, including a performance by our theater group! Our students treated dinner guests to a dance mashup of some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biggest hits. They were lead by instructor Matt Meers, who later on was fittingly honored alongside chorus director Nancy Janoson for their outstanding work as performing art teachers. Also among those honored was Ruth Wade for all of her hard and fruitful work in organizing Whole Children’s Wild Goose Chase. All of the awards were much deserved, and we are very proud of each recipient’s passion and dedication.

Each award was presented by Barbara Pilarcik, our beloved Executive Director who is sadly retiring in August. Since this was Barbara’s last annual dinner, she was introduced with a surprise rap performance from Brian Melanson and Chris Harper that brought smiles to everyone’s faces, most of all Barbara’s. After the rap, which detailed her many career accomplishments, Barbara treated everyone to a few dance moves of her own before taking the podium. All in all, it was a fantastic night and we’re already looking forward to next year!


Making the Invisible Visible: The Sprout Film Festival

Sprout Banner for Website

Join us for a February film festival!

Whole Children and Five College Realtors will showcase a series of short documentary films from the Sprout Film Festival on Sunday, February 28 from 4-6 pm in the Cole Assembly in Converse Hall at Amherst College for a $5 suggested donation (to support Whole Children).

The Sprout Film Festival’s mission is “to inspire audiences, promote inclusion, and support transformative filmmaking as an integral part of social change.” All of the Sprout films highlight the lives and experiences of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. By embracing differences and encouraging acceptance, Sprout aims to “make the invisible visible.”

Come enjoy the films and stay afterward for an informal reception and discussion with local filmmaker, Ted White. White’s powerful film The Unexpected Gift: A Father’s Story, is one of six films being showcased at the film festival; it explores how the birth of his daughter with Down Syndrome ultimately transformed his family’s life for the better.

To take part in this meaningful afternoon of film, RSVP here


Our Trip to Cold Spring Orchard

photo-2           945991_638832052824328_500070796_n


Yesterday, Milestones took a trip to Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown, MA. When we got there we had a picnic lunch outside, then we started our tour.  The tour started in a classroom where we learned about all the different kinds of apples and how they grow them. We also learned how they can tell when apples are ripe, it was very cool! Next we went for a walk through the orchard. We saw all the different kinds of trees. Some were very small and some were very big! After the walking tour we each got our own bag and got to pick Macintosh apples. It was a lot of fun! We also got to try fresh apple cider, which we all enjoyed. Some of of favorite parts of the day were learning about different kinds of apples, picking our own, and seeing the giant refrigerator they keep their apples in. We had a great day and are looking forward to making applesauce with apples we picked!