Lekotek of Georgia, a nonprofit that supports children with special needs and their families, will relocate one of its satellite offices to North Fulton.
Since opening its doors in 1983, Lekotek, founded by Helene Prokesch, has served more than 6,000 children with a wide range of disabilities, providing accessible play, adaptive technology & toys, and resources to facilitate inclusion in family and community life.
Services are available in Atlanta and five satellite locations, which as of March, will include Alpharetta.
The Cumming location will relocate to the Royal South office park off of GA-400 and Haynes Bridge Road.
Additional locations are in Duluth, Kennesaw, Peachtree City and Gainesville.
All locations provide one hour play and learning sessions in which the child, siblings, parents and even grandparents and aunts and uncles participate.
Lekotek leaders hold degrees in special education, model the use of educational materials, adapted toys, iPad and computer technology for the family, who receive the materials on loan from the nonprofit.
The nonprofit recently received a $70,000 grant from the foundation to be able to continue serving the children and families of Georgia.
Lekotek received ‘seed money’ from the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta in 1984 and it has continued throughout the nonprofit’s 35 year history,” according to Founder and Executive Director Helene Prokesch.
She described the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta is “one of the largest and most respected in the United States.”
“This grant funding will be used to increase capacity in the areas of physical space, staff expansion and increasing the inventory of adapted toys and technology,” said Prokesch.
Additional Smartboards and eye gaze systems will be purchased.
“With apps and iPads, we are creating menus so children can order their own meals when eating at favorite restaurants,” said
An eye gaze system provides a child the ability to use the computer just by sight. A camera affixed to the computer tracks the child's pupils, which allows the cursor to move.
According to Prokesch, the application process is extensive and lengthy.
“Foundation officers meet with staff and board members to evaluate each nonprofit's request, along with additional documents,” she said.
Documents include, but are not limited to; audited statements, mission statement, number of those served and board structure. Additionally, site visits are also part of the grant process.
Prokesch anticipates Lekotek to expand its reach to more families in the near future.
“We expect to increase the number of families from 728 to 828 within the next 2 years,” she said.
More information is available at http://www.lekotekga.org.