Encompass celebrates 40-year history

After 40 years, Encompass is still going strong. This year Encompass will be celebrating its 40th anniversary by holding a special activity once a month each month all year. The first celebration, "How To Fly" with the Nomadic Theatre Co., will be held in the Mount Si High School commons in collaboration with Encompass' family night event.

The celebration will include a large birthday cake, buttons and balloons in addition to the usual family night activities. Family nights provide entertainment, a light supper and a craft activity. To get the word out about Encompass' 40th anniversary, members of the organization are sending out flyers and stickers, complete with the new logo of three smiling faces. The event will be held Friday, Jan. 12, from 6:15-8:30 p.m. and will be free to any families in the community.

Encompass began 40 years ago, in 1967, when a few parents who had developmentally disabled children got together and decided a special school was needed in the Valley.

"I was one of the people that helped start it," said Margaret Fischer, a founding parent. "We have a daughter with very severe cerebral palsy."

When her daughter was about 2 and one-half years old, Fischer began taking her to a children's preschool in Seattle for two or three days each week, she said. That lasted for two years.

"It was just getting to be too much," Fischer said.

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