RCS’ 2014 Holiday Appeal


Dear Friends,

Each day, so many youth and adults across our communities wake up, get ready, and head to a paying job. One’s job – even for just a few hours a day— can provide ongoing education, financial stability, new challenges, and a sense of pride and accomplishment. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, an estimated 85% of adults with autism are currently unemployed or underemployed.  Even worse, 50% of young adults with autism between the ages of 21 and 26 have never had a paying job outside of their home. These statistics are truly frightening, but RCS Learning Center’s “Let’s Get to Work” Vocational Program can help change this for our students and those who follow. So, this holiday season, RCS Learning Center is asking for your help.


Your donation will help us purchase and maintain a school van to transport students to a variety of job opportunities in our communities.

Your donation will allow our students to earn wages for the great work they do here at RCS and out in the community.

Your donation will support RCS’ ability to spread awareness and acceptance in our communities by simply allowing our students to share with everyone how amazing they truly are.

Your donation will help to make sure RCS students don’t become part of the above statistics, but instead create a new trend of having young adults and adults with autism working alongside all of us at our jobs.


We trust that with your support, we will raise enough funds to greatly benefit our “Let’s Get to Work” Vocational Program this year. Please consider making a gift of any amount to RCS Learning Center and you will have a direct and positive impact in the lives of our students. To make your tax deductible contribution today, please send a check or cash in the enclosed envelope or make a donation online at www.rcslearning.org/donate/.

On behalf of all of us here at RCS Learning Center, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!



DRSignature                                         CCsignature

Denise Rizzo                                                      Caroline Cooke

Founder & President                                       Development Manager

FundraisingPosted in %s, News & Events

RCS’ Final Report

RCS has received the Final Report from the onsite review that was conducted in April 2014. Please click here to read the report.

You’re Invited! RCS’ 7th Annual Fall Festival

RCS is proud to announce the 7th Annual Fall Festival presented by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. The event will take place on Saturday, September 27th from 12-4pm at RCS Learning Center in Natick (rain date is Saturday, October 4th) . The event is open to the public and admission is $10 per person or $30 per family. Guests will enjoy a variety of activities from arts and crafts and face painting to bouncy houses and animal shows. Families can enjoy food and drinks that will be available for purchase, live music, raffle prizes, and a variety of exhibitors.

Mark your calendars–we look forward to seeing you on September 27th!


100% of the proceeds will benefit RCS Learning Center to help us continue to pursue our mission of providing exceptional educational and behavioral services to children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.


Thank you to our Sponsors: 

Presenting Sponsor


Friends of RCS

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RCS Receives $11,675 Grant from Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation

Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation, the nonprofit, private charitable foundation established to further carry out the philanthropic mission of Middlesex Savings Bank, recently awarded a grant in the amount of $11,675 to Natick-based nonprofit private day school, RCS Learning Center. The funds will help support the organization’s “Let’s Get to Work” Vocational Program, a specialized experience-based program providing students ages 14-22 the opportunity to explore and develop important job related skills to become quality members of our communities.

“We are extremely honored to have received this grant from Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation,” said Denise Rizzo, President and Founder of RCS Learning Center. “These funds will aid in RCS Learning Center’s ability to provide invaluable programming to help prepare our students for employment in our communities. This grant will go a long way in making certain that we are able educate, train, and support the students during this important transitional time in their lives.”

“Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation is proud to help RCS Learning Center serve the children and families that are impacted by autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities,” said Mike Kuza, Vice President of Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation. “Denise and her team have already helped so many children and families achieve developmental milestones. We are pleased to help them continue in their important work.”

To see photos from Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation’s visit to the RCS School Store, visit our Facebook page!


About RCS Learning Center

Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide the highest quality of individualized behavioral and educational services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. We believe that every child has unique skills and we are dedicated to helping each child develop these skills and reach their full potential. Started in 2006, the Natick-based Chapter 766 approved private school serves over 40 children ages 3-22 with Autism and other developmental disabilities from over 30 towns and cities in Massachusetts.

About the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation

The Foundation was established in 2000 to carry out further the philanthropic mission of Middlesex Savings Bank by supporting the communities served by the Bank. Over the past 13 years, the Foundation has provided more than $2 million in grants to over 200 nonprofit organizations, supporting services, and programs in a wide variety of fields, including education, and basic human services. Since the inception of the Foundation, Middlesex Savings Bank has funded the endowment with over $11 million in contributions.

About Middlesex Savings Bank

Middlesex Savings Bank, founded in 1835 and headquartered in Natick, Mass., is a mutual savings bank. As one of the largest independent banks in Massachusetts with assets exceeding $4 billion, the bank has been committed to providing outstanding value in consumer banking and business banking products for over 175 years. The FDIC and DIF insured bank has 29 branch offices located in 23 communities – Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Bellingham, Boxborough, Concord, Framingham, Franklin, Groton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Littleton, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Natick, Needham, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, and Westford.

Recent Staff Accomplishments!

This Spring, many staff members celebrated as their hard work paid off! We want to take a minute to congratulate everyone on their recent accomplishments! Our first Cohort of Simmons College students graduated with their Master’s In Behavior Analysis in May. Congratulations! We also had members of our administration present research at the Massachusetts Applied Behavior Analysis Annual Conference in April, the MAAPS Annual Conference in May, and the Applied Behavior Analysis International Annual Conference in Chicago in May.Congratulations to Christina Boyd-Pickard, Colleen Yorlets, Liz Kelsey, Meg Breault, and Stacee Hansen!
To learn more about our staff and their qualifications, click here.

$8,500 Raised at 2nd Annual “A Toast to Progress”!

On Friday, June 13th, RCS Learning Center hosted their 2nd Annual “A Toast to Progress” at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center. The evening focused on sharing RCS’ important mission and the progress our students continue to make at the non-profit school. With over 100 staff members, parents, donors, and community members in the room, the event successfully raised $8,500 to benefit the organization’s “Let’s Get to Work” Vocational Program.

Guests in attendance enjoyed live music, a raffle featuring prizes such as Vineyard Vines ties, gift certificates to local restaurants and cultural institutions, and custom jewelry, and a silent auction, with popular items including a private wine tasting for 10 at Westport Rivers Winery with transportation from Accent Limo.

The highlight of the evening included a moving speech by RCS President & Founder, Denise Rizzo and an emotional video celebrating the progress and successes of 5 RCS students. “The night was truly a celebration and we want to thank everyone for joining us and supporting the event,” said Denise Rizzo. “We strive everyday as an organization to ensure that no student falls through the cracks and that every one of our kids is reaching their full potential. We’re so proud of all of our students for their hard work and all of their accomplishments.”

The evening could not have been such a success without the generosity of our sponsors.  Thanks to our Video & Entertainment Sponsors: R.W Holmes Realty Co. and Telamon Insurance and Financial Network, our Hospitality Sponsors: Align Credit Union, Eastern Bank, Mini-Miracles Child Care Center, and RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting, and our Champagne Toast Sponsor: The George Family.

To see photos from the evening, please visit our Facebook page.

RCS Celebrates Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month and RCS Learning Center is celebrating all month long! We hope you’ll join us at some of the planned events, support our community partners that are helping us out, and share how you are celebrating Autism Awareness! A calendar of events is included below and links to coupons and event flyers are included as well. Please contact Caroline Cooke at ccooke@rcslearning.org with any questions!

Uno’s DoughRaiser Information

Fresh City’s

Thinking Fresh Information

Chocolate Therapy Tasting Event Information

Calendar of Events:


RCS’ 2nd Annual “A Toast to Progress”

Purchase Tickets


Purchase Tickets

Join Us In Thanking Our Sponsors:

Entertainment & Video Sponsor

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Hospitality Sponsors


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Unable to join us? You can still help us celebrate by making a tax-deductible donation to RCS Learning Center. You can send a check to 6 Strathmore Road, Natick, MA 01760 or make an online donation today!

RCS’ Fall Festival Raises $2,000

RCS Learning Center’s 6th Annual Fall Festival was another great success this year! Thanks to everyone’s support, we raised $2,000 to help purchase materials for our RCS School Store as part of our “Let’s Get to Work” Vocational Program. The weather was perfect and we had a lot of families and friends join us to celebrate and enjoy an afternoon of fun. Please visit our Facebook page for photos from the event!

A special thank you to our sponsors:

  • Next Step Living
  • Middlesex Savings Bank
  • SPaN
  • Kiwanis Club of Natick-MetroWest
  • Roman Music Therapy

We hope you can all join us next year for another wonderful festival!


In Focus with Martin Sheen Documentary Features RCS Learning Center

In February of 2013, RCS was proud to open our doors to a production team from In Focus with Martin Sheen. As a leader in the field of Autism, the producers of In Focus were interested in our approach toward successfully educating children with Autism and sharing our schools ’ uniquely intensive yet loving school program with the world.

The segment covers hot topic questions in the field of Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis, and features interviews of our President, Denise Rizzo; Daria Gere, a parent representative and Dr. Russell Maguire, a leading clinician in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, and professor and department chair of the reputable Behavior Analysis program at Simmons College. This is a tremendous accomplishment for RCS and we are so grateful to our staff, students, families and administration for working so hard to make a school that we are so proud of and others recognize for its success and innovation.

We are proud to officially share the In Focus documentary with you! Please enjoy and share with your family, friends and colleagues.

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