Following a fire that devastated the home of Augusta Levy Learning Center on July 7th of 2018, the search began for a new permanent home for ALLC. It was extremely difficult to find a space that would meet the unique needs of our students. As 2018 came to an end, the staff started to think they had exhausted all possibilities until over an exchange of Holiday greetings an idea was born. Jonathan Bedway met with the executive staff to discuss building a center for ALLC and before we knew it our dream started to become a reality. We worked hand and hand with Jonathan and architect, Joseph Sekely to design a space specifically for the needs of our children. The new space will have 8 large classrooms, 8 individual classrooms, a living skills room, a sensory room, and an occupational therapy room to name a few. The students will once again have a playground and a garden, which were lost in the fire.
The new space is not only designed to provide high quality services to our current population but to many more children on our ever-growing wait list. Within the next 5 years we plan to serve twice the number of children currently enrolled at ALLC. Increasing enrollment also means hiring more staff. This plan will enable us to create more jobs in our community, while helping to expand the field of Applied Behavior Analysis in our state. Three years ago, ALLC started the Independence through Intervention program, which serves children 8-12 years old and focuses on functional living skills, language development, and behavior reduction. In the short 3 years of its existence the Independence through Intervention program has tripled in size. There is a great need for ABA services for older children with autism. Our hope is to respond to the need by continuing to expand this program and to eventually start an adolescent program in the next 5 years.
In 2011, West Virginia passed the Autism Insurance Law which required private and public insurance companies to pay for the diagnosis and treatment of autism. Even though some insurance policies pay for ABA treatment, there are many limitations or additional costs with each plan. Some plans only pay for a portion of the recommended 35 hours a week or have limits based on the child’s age. Some policies have $90 per day co-pays. The cost of these life-changing services can create a financial burden. Our plan is to create a scholarship fund to help offset the costs of ABA treatment for our families.
Executive Director, Angela Wood said, "As we embark on a new chapter, we have a lot to look forward to. We are both excited and eager to proceed. In order to reach our goals in this tremendous space we once again look towards the members of the Ohio Valley who have continuously wrapped their arms around us and supported us through the years. As we look forward to our future, we launch our Capital Campaign “From Ashes to Bricks” to go towards the building, program expansion, and to develop a scholarship fund. Augusta Levy Learning Center has already raised 1 million dollars and hopes to raise 6 million dollars by 2025."
Since the center opened its doors in 2005, Jim and Sue Porter have supported its mission. Sue, or “Sue-Bee” as some of ALLC alumni call her, was one of the first employees at ALLC. She always greeted everyone with a smile and shared in the joys of each child’s accomplishments. Her husband, Jim loved to attend the annual Kickball tournaments and would always lend a helping hand, especially if the refs needed assistance making a tough call. Sadly, Jim passed away last spring. To commemorate his continuous support to the Center, we are delighted to announce that the building will be named, through the generosity of an anonymous donor, “The James and Sue Porter Building”.
If you would like to donate to the "From Ashes to Bricks" Capital Campaign, please use the donate button at the top of page, send a check to P.O. Box 6711, Wheeling, WV 26003, or call (304) 242-6722 to schedule a meeting. Thank you for your support! You are truly a HERO for autism!