The small pool in the Peck Aquatic Center will be closed for the remainder of the day (6/21). The large pool will remain open. Check the My J App for the Pool Schedules.

Member Communications 3 min read

Wellness 360 Continues to Grow

By JCC Milwaukee June 21, 2023

Wellness 360 Continues to Grow
When the JCC Center for Inclusion & Special Needs (CISN) and the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin (DSAW) partnered to launch Wellness 360 in January 2022, no one could have predicted the impact the program would have on its participants and the community.

What began as a twice weekly group wellness class for adults with disabilities to learn the importance of mind and body health has evolved into a year-round, 5-day per week program with individualized goals, and includes a wide range of social, educational, recreational, and volunteer opportunities for participants. 

Wellness 360 participants improve life skills with a full curriculum of art, nutrition, cooking, and socialization classes. Students exercise with certified fitness instructors and enjoy serving the community in meaningful ways at the Milwaukee Diaper Mission and the Jewish Community Pantry. Participants also help at the JCC by assisting during JCC Kids Center Vacation Days, and operating a weekly coffee cart, which has quickly become a staff favorite! They’ve had opportunities to tour the Whitefish Bay Police station, Milwaukee Recycling Center, City Hall, and Stone Creek Coffee. While this program benefits participants and their families in numerous ways, it also serves to break down barriers and makes inclusion second nature across the Greater Milwaukee area.

Lisa Votapek, parent of Ethan, a Wellness 360 participant, had this to say about the impact this program has had on her son: “Our son Ethan is always excited to attend Wellness 360 and event refers to it as his ‘college.’ Because of Wellness 360, his self-esteem, confidence, and independence have noticeably improved. What this program has given Ethan is a place to go where he not only feels like he is a contributing adult, but he is on par with kids from his graduating high school class. He especially enjoys the social aspect and the physical activities like pickleball and working out in the fitness center with a JCC trainer.” 

Wellness 360 also partners with local schools to integrate current high school students into the program before graduation and help them transition into adult life. This has proven to be life-changing for families and caretakers facing the question of, “What now?”
Wellness 360 is the first program of its kind in the North Shore. To learn more, contact Sarah McCutcheon at 414-967-8198.

Click here to read more stories of impact from the 2022-23 Annual Report