Breaking Barriers Participants Marking Progress

Breaking Barriers participant Jimmy is show using a gait trainer/walker at this program operated by Helping Hands Respite Care.

It’s the Small Things that Count

By Breaking Barriers Today Supervisor, Elizabeth Krumm


Wow! I can’t believe it’s already Fall! The leaves are changing, the weather getting cooler, and new participants to welcome to the Breaking Barriers Today program.
First, I’d like acknowledge new participants who started attending BBT – Blaine, Scott, and Bethany. They’ve been a pleasure to have here at the program and I look forward to getting to know them throughout the year.


Marking Progress at Breaking Barriers

The participants here at BBT have been enjoying the program and it has been exciting to see little changes that have been happening marking their progress. Jimmy (an all-day participant) recently got a gait trainer/walker to help him get up on his feet and start using those leg muscles. Xzavier (an After School Care Participant) has been on his own learning where to place dirty dishes when we are done with snack time. This is without anyone prompting him. Blaine has been doing awesome with getting comfortable with his surroundings and has been more vocal.

As the program matures we are finding comfort in routine here at BBT. The current goal is to look at how we can incorporate individual goals for each client to help them become ever more independent. I’m excited to announce that we expect some Physical Therapy and Occupational interns from Baker College to be arriving here in January to help participants with their physical therapy and occupational training needs. In preparation over the next few months, I’ll be assessing and incorporating goals for individual participant into their plans. This will help the interns to assist our participants on working on their daily living skills.

Time at the Gier Community Center always provides new opportunities for experiences and enrichment for our participants because of the many programs that come to the center. For example, this month we were able to watch the Senior Cloggers put on a show for BBT. Our participants seemed to love the tapping of the shoes and the music playing in the background.

There are three important things that are part of the new Breaking Barriers Today program for participants: enhanced socialization, achieving new life skills, and community inclusion opportunities. Here we mark progress in small steps, but it is progress …it truly is the small things that we count.
Be sure to visit the Helping Hands Facebook page to stay up-to-date on our participants having a great time enjoying football games, bonfires, Halloween, the sunshine and crisp air during this beautiful season.

Transitioning into the School Year

Clean Up Day at BBT is all part of transitioning to the new school year. Executive Direct John painting as participant Jimmy supervises.

The Breaking Barrier Today (BBT) program made it through its first summer and is transitioning into the school year! This was an accomplishment for all of us including parents and your loved ones, care providers, Gier staff, and others. BBT has cleared many hurdles to get to where we are now. Between moving to the Gier Community Center; setting up our spaces; getting used to having a summer camp and many campers running around; and going on field trips, we have learned many new skills. We transitioned from the Beekman Center to the Gier Community Center, and now we are learning to transition from a Summer program to Fall Program and merging the former After School Program into our processes at BBT as we offer after school care.
A special thank you goes to the parents for how flexible and patient they’ve been throughout this transition. As we venture into the first Fall Semester of BBT, this again will be a transition but also a time to establish a great foundation for BBT and all that it can be for families and participants as we go forward.
On Thursday, September 10th Helping Hands Respite Care coordinated a spruce-up day at Gier Community Center, especially in the arts and crafts room. The arts and crafts room is just one of the wonderful assets we have at our disposal at the Gier Community Center and we are happy to do our part to make sure that all the spaces we use are in good shape and ready to benefit our participants and the community.
On September 14th from 6-8pm at Gier Community Center, BBT will be holding an Open House for those who would like to find out more about the program and may be interested in having their loved one attend.
Lastly, the program has been published within the Lansing Parks and Recreation Program Guide and has been mailed to households throughout the City of Lansing. This is great exposure for BBT and also Helping Hands Respite Care. Yet another way to make it known that respite care exists and the benefits offered to families, especially those with children and young adults with special needs.
We hope everyone had a great Labor Day, and that it has been a smooth transition for those of you who are going back to school and/or work!  Should you have any questions about the BBT program, please feel free to contact Elizabeth Krumm, BBT Supervisor at

Breaking Barriers Today Outing

Breaking Barriers Today Outing pictured at Lugnuts stadium with Big Lug the team mascot

Breaking Barriers Today Outing!

On a warm, sunny day the participants of Helping Hands Respite Care’s youth and young adult activity program, Breaking Barriers Today, experienced the excitement of going to a professional baseball game.

You might remember these old baseball lyrics:

Take me out to the ball game. Take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack. I don’t care if I never go back. For its root, root, root for the cubbies. If they don’t win it’s a shame. For its one, two, three strikes, you’re out at the old ballgame!”

Or, perhaps you recall the fun of doing the wave or beach ball toss in the crowd at a baseball game or waiting with excitement to see the mascot and players take the field.

Breaking Barriers Today joined Lansing Parks and Recreation along with other organizations such as CMH, CADSA to hang out at Cooley Law Baseball Stadium.  The Lansing Lugnuts played against the Bowling Green Hot Rods with a final score of 4-2. Lugnuts took the win!

Before the game, our “kids” from Breaking Barriers Today and Lansing Parks & Recreation participated in a parade on the baseball field and met with Big Lug, the Lugnut team mascot, on home plate! Everyone came home happy and also tired, but we all enjoyed our time and meeting up with other friends at the ballgame.  All in all, it was an exciting day for the whole group; especially with this being something that has never been done in the history of Breaking Barriers Today or After School Program.

Good game, good day, with good friends!