UCP brings party bus to celebrate students birthdays

One by one, staff members from United Cerebral Palsy of Central California surprised Cicely King with a birthday greeting she will never forget.

"That was awesome," said Cicely King, UCP student.

Cicely danced as they sang to her. It's been months since she saw familiar faces in person.

"I still call them, but it's not the same as being there," King said.

UCP serves hundreds of adults and children with disabilities. Its day program in Fresno provides a place for adults to socialize and participate in programs like art.

UCP has been sending packets to their homes and trying to virtual learn.
The bus, which used to transport students, is now bringing joy to others.

"Trying to make it as inclusive as we can. They've been isolated for so long that at this point, it's just another way for us to keep connecting with the community," said Roger Slingerman, UPC Executive Director.

Slingerman says UCP serves an important need in the Valley.

The governor has considered cutting funding for programs that serve people with developmental disabilities.

"We're waiting on the state budget to come out tomorrow. They're looking to sign it today. Hopefully, they don't make major cuts to what we're doing and how we offer our services. So we are praying for that as well," Slingerman said.
They provide programs for more than 1,100 children and adults. They hope to have people back July 6.

As for Cicely, she had a had a memorable 32nd birthday during this pandemic.

UCP says it will be using the party bus until its students can return safely.
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