Rural Outreach Center earns grant for Babies ROC pilot program

The Rural Outreach Center (ROC), a nonprofit organization based in East Aurora that helps the rural poor transition to self-sufficiency through a variety of programs, was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York. The Health Foundation is an independent private foundation that advocates for continuous improvement in health and health care by investing in the people and organizations that serve young children and older adults. 

Funds will support Babies ROC, a social/emotional pilot program modeled after the Rural Outreach Center’s successful ROC U program for adults and Kids ROC program. Babies ROC will be specifically developed for children up to the age of five. The foundation of the program will be weekly parent/child theraplay sessions using normal activities to enhance child-parent attachment and promote sensory stimulation and motor development. 

“For infants to children three years of age, we envision a program where participants will attend supervised Parent and Me play time twice a week at the ROC. Where desired, an additional theraplay session will also be scheduled,” said Frank Cerny, executive director of the ROC. “For children three to five years of age, ROC will provide access to local preschool programs through scholarships. And again, where desired, additional theraplay sessions will be scheduled.”

For more information on the Rural Outreach Center, located at 730 Olean Road, please visit or call 240-2220.

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