The Social Learning Center (SLC) opened in Fall 2008 to provide a naturalistic venue for children enrolled at the ICD to develop social and play skills. The Social Learning Center was made possible through the generosity of hundreds of families and friends who believe in the power of play. We are most grateful to our major donors, especially the Shamrock Five Foundation, for whom the Social Learning Center is named. The grand entrance gate bears the Gaelic greeting meaning a hundred thousand welcomes. We hope that all who enter feel welcome, safe, and inspired to grow.
Since the grand opening, the SLC has served as a safe place to play outdoors, where children can interact with their siblings and other children and where staff can observe and provide treatment in a community-like setting. Many of our children have difficulty with movement and safety judgment and require an environment free from natural materials such as leaves and grass, which can be harmful if eaten. Some children need quiet spaces where they might participate in small-group activities or observe - and then try - more challenging activities. The SLC was designed specifically to meet the special needs of our children year round. Safety features include top-quality, all-weather safety surfacing and a variety of playground equipment approved by the National Program for Playground Safety.
We have been fortunate to have both graduate and undergraduate students and staff from our programs volunteer to support opening the SLC for special Saturday events. These special Saturdays have allowed more time for our children and families to utilize the SLC to build important social and play skills. More recently, we were able to have a special Ice Cream SLC Saturday that wrapped up our event with an ice cream truck with treats for children and their families. We sincerely thank all those who made SLC Saturdays possible. In particular, we'd like to recognize the Wendy's Walk for Kids for their support of the ICD and SLC Saturdays.