HARDIN COUNTY, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It can be tough for students to maintain what they've learned during the school year once school is out and that's especially true for students with special needs.
With help from the WHAS Crusade for Children, students in Hardin County have a place where they can keep learning, maintain their life skills and have fun when school is over.
The children at the Association for Retarded and Handicapped of Hardin County warm up for a day of art and learning where they will get one on one attention thanks to paid instructors and volunteers from schools and businesses in the Elizabethtown area.
The summer retention program gets high marks from parents like Sharon Briggs. Briggs' son, Robert, is on the autism spectrum. He's just beginning at the ARHHC.
"This is our first year with the summer retention program. And I’m so excited for him to be here to help with his social interaction skills," Briggs said. "And I’ve seen some improvement. Robert tends to want to be by himself, but I wanted him to get involved, get engaged. That's one of the largest skills we're working on with him this year."
Briggs and fellow parent, Susan Samuel, said the summer retention program is the perfect fit for both their sons. The two moms, along with the staff, credit the success of the program to the funding provided by the Crusade.
"We wouldn't be able to have our summer program with crusade funding. The funding that we get helps support all the activities that we do throughout the week and also for the people that work here," ARHHC staff member Alison Kimble said.
Kimble said over the past 20 years everyone's generosity to the Crusade and the ARHHC has given thousands of children with special needs in Hardin County the chance to continue their education even when school is out.