Helios Education Foundation awards $1M grant to Phoenix autism group

October 3, 2008

By hammersmith

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal ] – Helios Education Foundation awarded the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center a $1 million grant for early childhood services.

SARRC is a Phoenix nonprofit focused on autism research, education and resources. SAARC will allocate $950,000 of the funds to an endowment to ensure that its early intervention services and training programs remain available to children, families, educators, physicians and other professionals in Arizona.

Another $50,000 will be used to help launch an early intervention school consultation program to be called Helios Early Intervention Initiative for Exceptional Children. The goal is to work with toddler and preschool programs to create learning environments for children with autism spectrum disorders and other behavioral challenges from birth to age 5.

“Our partnership with SARRC will open doors to more training, resources and professional development for early childhood education professionals, focusing on intervention programs for young children,” said Vince Roig, chairman of the education foundation that benefits communities in Arizona and Florida.

“Early intervention programs that focus on behavioral, social and cognitive issues are an integral part of keeping children on a path that not only gets them ready to learn, but helps them succeed in elementary school,” said Helios President and CEO Paul Luna.

Helios Education Foundation was created through the sale of Southwest Student Services Corp., a student loan services company. Since its inception in 2004, the group has invested more than $48 million in education-related programs and initiatives in Arizona and Florida.