Children with autism have a couple of upcoming opportunities to have fun and get creative. Cooking and art classes are being offered in March and April through The Kennedy Center’s Autism Project. Both programs will be held at The Kennedy Center Children’s Building, 4021 Main Street, Stratford.

Artworks will meet on six consecutive Tuesdays, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, March 3 through Tuesday, April 7. This hands-on program for children and teens provides an enjoyable and unique experience through art. Participants will explore different types of mediums, including drawing, painting and mixed media.

Cooking Kids will meet on six consecutive Thursdays, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. starting on Thursday, March 5 until Thursday, April 9. This new cooking program is geared to children of all ages and abilities with autism. Its purpose is to develop cooking skills and make children feel comfortable in the kitchen. The course will teach kitchen safety, healthy eating habits, and a “take home” cookbook. Recipes include all natural ingredients and gluten-free alternatives.

Contact Jessica Sachse at 203-908-3915 or jsachse@kennedyctr.org to register for either class. Both classes cost $155 for the six-week session.

“Because of the success of our social activity groups and movement programs we wanted to bring something new and different to the families we serve at The Autism Project, “said Emma Genster, Youth Autism Services Coordinator at The Kennedy Center. “We felt that the arts is a place where a child can expressive themselves in a unique way and build confidence. Cooking Kids is another innovative way for children and teens to learn an important and lasting skill with the benefit of a take home cookbook to practice at home with family members.”

In 2006, The Kennedy Center created The Autism Project in response to the growing number of children with ASD and the critical need to provide financial support for these underfunded services. The Autism Project provides a host of social activity groups, respite services, recreation and sibling groups, family supports services and information/referral services to over 300 children and families in the Greater Bridgeport community. This program has grown and expanded over the years due to high demand.

The Kennedy Center is a nationally accredited, non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently serves 2,400 individuals annually. The agency actively responds to the needs of the community by offering innovative, comprehensive service options to persons with disabilities and special needs, from birth to senior years. The Kennedy Center operates 26 community experience programs, 16 group homes, an industries program composed of six businesses, supported and competitive employment and job placement services, a family support and respite service, travel training, and a variety of children’s programs. Visit www.thekennedycenterinc.org for more information.