Dresner Foundation Awards Grant Towards Friendship Circle’s Pilot Lessons For Life 2.0 Program

West Bloomfield, Michigan – [1/31/16] – The Dresner Foundation has awarded its support to Friendship Circle’s Lessons For Life 2.0 program in the amount of $50,000 for the development of the program’s sustainability and metrics.

Lessons For Life (L4L) is a life skills program that utilizes the Friendship Circle’s unique Weinberg Village that provides students with special needs extensive life skills learning opportunities. This program fills the gap between classroom learning and real-world experience.

Since the 2005 opening of Friendship Circle’s Farber Kaufman Lifetown on Meer Family Friendship Center, 10,000 students from 200 schools and 50 school districts have participated in the L4L program. Lessons For Life 2.0 (LFL 2.0) is a more robust version of L4L, which includes the creation of individualized lessons for each student directed to his or her IEP, tracking of progress of each individual student and reporting against their predetermined goals. The predetermined goals will measure each student’s growth in key areas of the national Common Core State Standards Initiative, such as speaking, listening, math and language skills while participating in the program.

A student participating in the Lessons For Life program withdrawing money from the bank in Weinberg Village.“By tracking the progress of students, L4L 2.0 will provide data on the success of the program, thus making the program more sustainable, said Kevin Furlong, CEO of Dresner Foundation. “If the pilot is successful, then Friendship Circle can provide outcome evidence to seek additional funding.”


Nancy Sinelli, Educational Director of the Lessons For Life program, says “I am very excited that Lessons for Life 2.0 will be getting off the ground. It will provide not only the participating teachers but LFL staff as well with much-needed data to enhance our program. We will also be able to provide learning opportunities to students in schools with funding limitations.”

About Friendship Circle:

Friendship Circle is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in West Bloomfield, Michigan that provides annual assistance and support to 2,700 individuals with special needs and their families through recreational, social, educational and vocational programming. Since 1994, our programming has enabled individuals with special needs to face the challenges of everyday living by preparing them with the skills necessary to become participating members of their communities.

Today, Friendship Circle provides services to more than 300 children and their families who attend one of our 30+ weekly programs and to 2,400 children from special education classrooms through our Lessons for Life program each year.

About the Dresner Foundation:dresner logo

Established by Joseph and Vera Dresner, the Dresner Foundation is an independent private organization dedicated to positive change through grants focused on health, youth, and animal welfare. The Dresner Foundation’s goal is to provide organizations the necessary resources so they can continue offering services to those most in need.

Dresner Foundation and Friendship Circle:

The Dresner Foundation has also generously supported initial operating costs of Friendship Circle’s new Farber Soul Center Program as well as contributed $1 Million towards Friendship Circle’s endowment. The art studio inside the Farber Soul Center will be named the Dresner Soul Studio in honor of the Dresner Foundation founders Joseph and Vera Dresner.

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