Wispact Foundation Grant Spotlight: Bloom360 Learning Community, East Troy, WI

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Interview with Laura Rauman, Founder & President and
Dawn Frasa, Director of Development & Marketing

Bloom360, a non-profit private learning community, supports neurodivergent children and adults. Learners, aged 5-21, can attend the Day School or homeschooling supplemental program while adults attend Bloom360 on a part-time basis in a new program that blends life skills with micro business opportunities. All Learners benefit from Bloom360’s unique social-emotional and project-based learning approach.

While no two people have the same unique neurological make up, individuals who have neuro-diverse needs have significant enough differences in one or more areas of how the brain works that it impacts their ability to fully participate in traditional classrooms and workplaces. Diagnoses may include many unique conditions such as Autism, Down Syndrome, ADD/ADHD, etc.

People with disabilities represent 27 percent of the population, the largest minority group in the country. Adults with disabilities are twice as likely to be unemployed and those who have jobs often are underemployed. Bloom360’s approach is to go upstream and help children and young adults get the support and customized learning programs that can set them up for future success.

With more than half of teens 12-17 nationwide reporting they are depressed and feel persistent hopelessness, Bloom360’s goal is to help its Learners gain valuable tools and strategies that will guide their wellbeing now and throughout their lives.

“We serve Learners who, in traditional settings, are at best marginalized and at worst are left behind, traumatized, and bullied. Bloom360 provides a refreshing developmentally appropriate approach that recaptures the joy of learning,” said Laura Rauman, Founder & President.

The Wispact Foundation is proud to have supported Bloom360 over 2 years with consecutive grants.

“Wispact has made a huge impact on our program. The grants were used for playground equipment and our indoor sensory equipment which helps our Learners regulate their nervous system. Our model embraces the whole person, including the body, the emotional and social being, as well as the mind and the spirit. And so, this equipment gets our Learner’s minds, bodies, and emotional systems ready to learn. Having a wider range of equipment and tools gives our Learners options to get what they need to be regulated and ready to learn,” said Dawn Frasa, Director of Development & Marketing.

“I would say that with without Wispact’s support this equipment would have remained on our wish list, but now it’s a dream come true. We greatly appreciate that the foundation sees us and supports what we’re doing with their generous grants; it’s validating and meaningful to us,” said Rauman.

Now in its seventh year, Bloom360 has generated measurable success. Most (70%) of Learners have attended for three or more years and, in total, last year Learners averaged academic success of 3.61 on a 4-point scale. But not all success can be judged by numbers.

“At the end of every day, we ask for daily reflections. A new learner who recently joined us had a pretty tough time in public school and she missed many days due to bullying. After two weeks at Bloom360 she shared her daily reflection of gratitude and said she ‘finally found my people,’” concluded Frasa.

If you’re interested in learning more you can visit the Bloom360 website at bloom360.org.
Personal tours are available and like all our grant recipients, financial support is always greatly appreciated.