A Message to Contributors
The Vista School® is a Section 501(c)(3) Public Charity for Federal and State Tax purposes. Donations to Vista are tax deductible, subject to the same limitations applicable to other gifts you make to Public Charities (e.g., churches, colleges, and universities). The Vista School® relies on contributions to best serve the children enrolled in our programs.
School Districts in Pennsylvania are experiencing increasing strain, both financially and programmatically, as they strive to meet the increasing incidence of autism. The Vista School provides a high-quality and affordable service to school districts that have difficulty meeting the children’s considerable needs.
While Pennsylvania has not yet implemented a registry to document the incidence of autism in Pennsylvania, Vista has endeavored to estimate the total prevalence of autism in Central Pennsylvania by utilizing figures published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) in February 2007, which found that autism affects an alarming 1 in 150 children and 1 in 94 boys. Other studies published recently have found that approximately 1 in 500 children have severe symptoms requiring significant attention.
This table indicates the predicted number of cases of Autism Spectrum Disorders in people under the age of 18, based on the year 2000 Census data for several counties within The Vista School’s service area and the statistical data published by the CDC.
The Vista School enrolls students diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and whose symptoms require the intensive intervention provided by our program. During the 2006-07 school year, The Vista School’s old facility was stretched to the limit, and our ability to grow to meet the demands of the public school and parent communities was effectively curtailed by the lack of additional classroom space. Given the fragile nature of the children in need of our services and the critical need for children with autism to receive services without delay, Vista secured a lease for its new facility located in Hershey, PA which would meet its expansion needs for the next five years.
Vista’s new facility in Hershey is capable of serving more than 72 children. The graph below shows Vista’s historic and anticipated growth in terms of students served by our program. The graph below shows Vista’s historic and anticipated growth in terms of students served by our program and illustrates why we are and will remain in need for additional space in which to serve our students.