Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Thank you for making 2017 another productive and successful year for our programs. Our staff have outdone themselves yet again by providing quality, yet fun and engaging programs and supported employment for our friends with developmental disabilities.

For every dollar spent, 81% of that went directly back into Valley Educational Associates’ programs to benefit the participants. We are so proud of that percentage!

This year’s program highlights:

  • Celebrating West Hatfield’s Program Manager, Mike Barrett’s thirty years of dedication and service.
  • We acquired funding from DDS to purchase a wheelchair accessible van.
  • Several program participants successfully completed the CVS Soft Skills Training Program.
  • VEA’s Springfield site underwent an extensive renovation.
  • Two brand new positions were created in our Supported Employment department. The Employment Development Liaison and Employment Project Manager hit the ground running!
  • The 5k Cider Run hit a record number this year at 203 runners.

The Department of Developmental Services has forecasted budget cuts across the board and we are ready and prepared to continue our quality programming despite this news. Our activities and learning options will continue to remain resilient. Valley Educational Associates is growing in program participants and staff. Four new participants have joined us at Valley Educational Associates this year and we are happy to have them at our community-based day programs. Each newcomer brings fresh personalities and positive interactions.

Our Board of Directors is pleased to announce Barbara DiClementi as the new treasurer and secretary. We also welcomed Betty-Jo O’Brien as our newest board member. Our board makes impactful decisions that affect our annual budgeting process and program directives.

We are actively seeking volunteers for our Human Rights Committee that meets every other month in Chicopee. The responsibility of the Committee is to promote, safeguard, and protect the human dignity and the legal rights and liberties of the participants. Please contact our Human Resources if you or a friend might be interested in joining our Human Rights Committee.

I am so very appreciative of all the generous donors, underwriters and sponsors, as well as staff and volunteers who have helped make VEA an amazing organization to represent.

Warm holiday wishes to you and your families,


Kate DaSilva, MS

Executive Director