Manos Unidas founded its first project, Centro de Educación Básica Especial Particular “Camino Nuevo” on March 3, 2009.
With a professional staff of 30 members, the school serves approximately 75 children 3-25 years of age who are directly affected by an intellectual disability. We work directly with dedicated families from all income levels who are interested in improving the academic, behavioral and social skills or their children.
Camino Nuevo functions as an education center with an inclusive focus. Our goal is to prepare students as able to be included into a regular education and/or vocational setting.
Significant Disabilities Program:
The Program for Children with Severe Disabilities is directed towards children with intellectual disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and other multiple disabilities that severely affect communication, autonomous skills and motor development of the child.
Our program is dedicated to improving the quality of life for these children by teaching functional and appropriate communication skills, self help skills and providing physical and occupational therapy to improve their fine and gross motor development.
Our classroom set up provides a small student to teacher ratio of 3 students to 1 teacher with individualized learning for each child. Students receive 18 hours of education and 2 hours of physical therapy per week.
Autism Education Program:
The Manos Unidas program for children on the Autism Spectrum is dedicated to delivering quality educational services for children, training teachers in best practices for autism education, empowering and uniting families for children with autism and implementing awareness education in the community.
We currently serve 22 children between the ages of 3 and 20 on the Autism spectrum across all of our programs but we have two classrooms dedicated specifically to autism education: preschool and early elementary. The two classrooms serve 12 children with a small student to teacher ratio. In each classroom there is one head teacher and 1-2 teaching assistants.
The program uses teaching principals such as the TEACCH model and Applied Behavior Analysis to educate the students. Our focus is on independence, communication, academic excellence and behavior modification.
Several times a year we host a parent school for parents of children with Autism so parents can unite and be part of a family. We show improvements in the students work as well as open up the meeting for a topic related to their interests.
Other activities within our program are community awareness events to improve the knowledge of Autism in our community such as World Autism Awareness Day.
The Autism Education Program is funded by the Bungie Foundation and partnered with Alcanzando (Lima, Peru) to provide educational services based on Applied Behavior Analysis through teacher training and continued supervision.
Teen Transition Program:
The Teen Transition program is a community based program. We receive students between 13 and 17 years old with mild to moderate disabilities and focuses on daily living skills, social skills, artistic workshops (art, music, dance, theater), functional academics, sexual education, work skill preparation, physical activity and independence in the home and community.
The program maintains an inclusive focus, using the community as a classroom where 60% of the activities take place in natural context environments and incorporate typically developing peers and community members within daily activities.
Young Adult Vocational Training:
The Vocational Training program is an INCLUSIVE program operating in the vocational training school Inca Educa.
The program receives students 18-25 years old and offers certificed preparation for Housekeeping, Bakery and Bar and Dining Room service. The program supports students for independent or supported employment based on skill level.
The vocational training program offers an additional life skills and job readiness curriculum taught by Manos Unidas teachers in addition to the vocational modules.
Students in the vocational training program go on to apply real world job skills at Manos Unidas Cafe.
Functional Life Skills for Teens or Youth:
The Functional Life Skills program is directed at teens and youth 13-25 years old with significant disabilities to teach them independent skills that will contribute towards their home and community environment. Students also assume responsibilities within the school setting, participate in community outings and projects in the organic garden.