Almost 40 years ago, Father Patrick Farrell saw the need to provide a program designed to address the challenges of children with special needs. This program started with only two children and has continually served special needs children. This program has been and continues to be a vital part to the Jackson community.
The program is designed to help high school students with developmental disabilities. It is a ministry that provides individualized programs for each of its students. Each child’s goal is different. One might strive to study academics, while another one strives to learn life skills and live alone. We serve ages 13 to 21. Our students are from all denominations and faiths.
The students are taught and loved by three dedicated teachers, along with a community of volunteers. Volunteers share their talents with the students from art, dance, cooking, & more. We do not have a limit of how many students well take, but our goal is to have 12.
The church has just completed a new building for these students. There is a kitchen, a social area, a classroom, and also an open space that will provide for one-on-one interaction with students, where teachers work with the children, and where children can have space for iPads, art, and other actvites.
We believe every child is a gift from God and each is given his/her talents in special ways. The children in this program form an integral part of the St. Richard community. Since 1980, St. Richard has addressed the need to make available a regular classroom atmosphere and curriculum for mentally, emotionally and physically handicapped children.