It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child & It Takes Community Partnerships to Support Sara’s Garden & Its Families!

They say, “It takes a village to raise a child;” and Sara’s Garden believes that it takes a community and community partnerships to support its children and adults with disabilities and other special needs, as well as their families. Sara’s Garden wants to thank and recognize its many community partners and partnerships for all they do for our clients and their families!

Through fundraising efforts, vocational partnerships, organizational collaborations, community partnerships, and the love and support of our volunteers and donors, Sara’s Garden, New Horizons Academy (NHA), its Career Center, and its latest venture—Special Grounds Coffee impact the lives of so many in need from across Northwest Ohio. Through these community partnerships, Sara’s Garden is able to support and lift up so many children and clients with disabilities and their families with the power of hope, help, and healing!

Sara’s Garden believes that when a child with special needs is given the opportunity to become as independent as he or she can possibly be and to fulfill his or her full potential, families and communities are changed forever! Among the many community partners and partnerships, which bring hope, help and healing to our clients and families are: Anderzack-Pitzen Construction, Andres O’Neil & Lowe, Arrow Tru-Line, Auto Images, Babcock Flooring Installs, Beck Insurance, Blue Layne Boutique, Car 1, Circle K, Continental Plaza Car Wash & Drive Thru Carry Out, Cordy Insurance Agency, Creighton Electric, Csehi Family, Defiance Moose Family Center, Edward Jones, Everence, F&M Bank, Gearig Flooring, Golf Graphics, Grieser Transportation, Guy O’Connor, Haas Door, Hite Concrete Equipment, Holthues & Associates, Ironwood Golf Club, Kinsman Propane, Krauss-Lane Electric, Meijer, Meyer-Badenhop Insurance, Miller Brothers Construction, Nagle Companies, Pettisville Grain, Reinbolt Family, Reitzel Ag Equipment, Returning American Warriors (RAW), Riley Tractor Parts, Rupp Seeds, Rychener Seed, Schuette Construction, Subway, Swanton Welding & Machining, Terry Henricks Auto Group, The Image Group, The Leaf and Seed Café, Tomahawk, Wauseon Chamber of Commerce, Wauseon Machine & Helping Hands, Weeping Willow Florist, Winzeler & Bok, and Wolf Creek YMCA.

Through community health and educational partnerships, Sara’s Garden is able to provide the highest quality of medical and educational programming available and empowers individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential. According to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines, over 80% of NHA families are considered low-income with 63% considered very low-income. Our special needs students and their families are dealing with multiple medical, mental health, and financial issues and concerns. NHA students are from over 25 Northwest Ohio public school districts with many of them participating in Special Grounds Coffee fundraisers and other activities to help support vocational skills training for youth and young adults with disabilities. Among the schools working with NHA, Sara’s Garden, its students, and Special Grounds Coffee are– Bryan City Schools, the Delta Parent Athletic Club, Evergreen Local Schools, Liberty Center Schools, Millcreek-West Unity School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA), Pettisville Local Schools, Stryker Local Schools, and Wauseon Exempted Village Schools. Through its medical and health care partnerships, Sara’s Garden also works closely with numerous medical providers including Dermatology Associates and the Fulton County Health Center (FCHC).

Special Grounds Coffee works closely with its local school partners and other organizations through coffee fundraisers to help provide meaningful vocational opportunities for NHA’s special education students. Those that have been a part of the coffee fundraising program have seen a great return on their investment both financially and through hands-on product preparation, bagging, and delivery. Among Special Grounds Coffee community partners are: Christy’s Corner, Continental Plaza, Crossroads Church, Diamond Jim’s Pool Hall, Enviroscape ECM, the Fulton County Commissioners, Fulton County Humane Society, Fulton County Sharp Shooters & Showman, Johnston Fruit Farms, Lange Bakery, Living Word Galena, Lugbill Supply Center, Marigold Market, New Hope Community Church, Pathfinders, Penny Crest, Pettisville Missionary Church, Redemption Church, RAW, True North Church, and Wyse Guys.

NHA and its Career Center also work with numerous community partners to provide vocational skills training and community work study placements. Among these work study partners are: Ace Hardware, Chief Supermarkets, the Fulton County Airport, Goodwill Industries, Home Restaurant, and Triangular Processing with additional community work sites coming on weekly.

If you, your business, or organization are interested in partnering with Sara’s Garden, New Horizons Academy, Special Grounds Coffee, or its new Career Center, please call or email Sara’s Garden’s Community Outreach Coordinator Tara Dumas at 419-335-7272 or

Again, “it takes a village to raise a child” and community partnerships to support children and adults with disabilities and their families. Sara’s Garden wants to thank and recognize all of its many community partners and partnerships. If we have missed anyone, please know that we are grateful and appreciate everything that you have helped Sara’s Garden and its clients with. Only through these very valuable community partnerships is Sara’s Garden able to support and lift up so many children and clients with disabilities and their families with the power of hope, help, and healing!

2023 Special Events Schedule

2023 Special Events Schedule

Below is a list of the upcoming special events and fundraisers that we have planned for 2023. 

The 2023 “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble is scheduled for Friday, May 26. Do you have your team signed up yet? We have put together a fun-filled day at Ironwood Golf Course in Wauseon, Ohio and hope to see you there!

Event Date: Friday, May 26, 2023
Event Location: Ironwood Golf Course, Wauseon, Ohio
Event Cost: $75 per Player | $300 per Team

Event Registration & Sponsorship: CLICK HERE

The 2023 Wheel of Purses is scheduled for Thursday, July 13. Ladies, you’re not going to want to miss this fun-filled night out! Enjoy and evening with your friends while playing for fabulous purses from the designers you love. Win designer handbags by Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren and Dooney & Bourke. Over 30 handbags are available to win!

Event Date:Thursday, July 13, 2023
Event Location:Founder’s Hall at Sauder Village, Archbold, Ohio
Event Cost:$50 Single Ticket | $400 Reserved Table of 8

Event Registration & Sponsorship: CLICK HERE

Our 2023 NHA Family Fun Run/Walk is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, September 17. We had such a fun time at last year’s inaugural event and are very excited for year two. Participants will be able to run, walk, push and pull strollers, wagons and wheelchairs in both a 1K walk and 5K run.

Event Date:Sunday, September 17, 2023
Event Location:New Horizons Academy, Wauseon, Ohio
Event Cost:$30

Event Registration & Sponsorship: COMING SOON

For more information or questions on event participation or sponsorship, please contact Tara Dumas at 419-335-7272 or via email at

Vocational Coffee Cart

Vocational Coffee Cart

We are thrilled to announce an exciting new addition to our life skills vocational program.

Last year, we received grant funding to purchase a mobile coffee cart. This cart will allow us to expand the work-study training opportunities for our students at New Horizons Academy.

We’ve been patiently waiting for it to arrive. Well the wait is over! Our coffee cart is finally here… and it’s amazing!

This powered coffee cart will allow us to expand our student work placements even further out into the community and provide more chances for our Springfield campus students to participate. 

Our beautiful coffee cart features:

  • Food-grade stainless steel countertop
  • Coffee grounds knockbox
  • Sink with water tap
  • Water pump
  • 12V gel battery
  • Fresh and waste water tanks
  • Interior storage compartments 
  • Folding roof and folding side panels
  • Folding countertop merchandise extensions
  • Solar panel and electrical system kit
  • Pitcher rinser
  • Electric powered E-mobility kit 

We are so excited to be able to have students take our coffee and treats to neighboring business. We will also be able to use the cart at special events and farmer’s markets.

We will be unveiling this coffee cart on Saturday, February 18th at the Taste of Wauseon Gala. We can’t wait to serve you!

Thank You Zeisloft Family Trust!

Thank You Zeisloft Family Trust!

Through two funding cycles, the Zeisloft Family Trust has awarded Sara’s Garden and New Horizons Academy (NHA) close to $300,000 towards an exciting upcoming project at our Special Grounds vocational training center with the balance of funding going towards NHA’s inclusive indoor play area. Both projects will memorialize the Zeisloft Family, with its strong and lasting ties to the communities we serve in Northwest Ohio.

“Thank you and the Zeisloft Family Trusts for the very generous grants to support these projects at Special Grounds and New Horizons Academy! Your generosity and caring are amazing, and we are beyond humbled and grateful for the trustees generosity and faith in our mission!” shared Sara’s Garden CEO, Matthew Rychener.

The ultimate mission of Sara’s Garden and its regional special education program, New Horizons Academy, is to help its special needs students and young adults become as self-sufficient and independent as they can possibly be. The upcoming Special Grounds vocational center project will expand our current capability out into Northwest Ohio to reach additional special needs students, educate the community about the vocational needs of young adults with disabilities, promote the awareness that every community can and should support all of its students and community members, and would be named for and dedicated to the Zeisloft Family for its commitment to serving individuals and families with disabilities. This project will offer our students and other Northwest Ohio students vocational skills, job placement, financial success, career development, a sense of accomplishment, and hope for the future! Thank you to the Zeisloft Family Trust for partnering with us in making the future brighter for young adults with disabilities!

Educators know that play helps children, of all ability levels, increase their physical fitness, reduce obesity, gain emotional and mental mastery, lay the groundwork for creative thinking, promote cognitive development, reasoning, and the development of fine and gross motor skills, improve problem solving, and offer opportunities to try out new habits and behaviors.

With Northwest Ohio’s long, cold winters and torrential spring rains, our students have limited access to NHA’s outdoor playground, due to severe inclement weather. This greatly reduces their opportunities to be physically active in the colder months, because it is just too difficult for them to navigate the snowy and icy surfaces. With space now opening up through a building expansion, the Zeisloft Family Trust is helping to create an inclusive indoor play area at NHA. It will address the needs of typically developing children, as well as, children with neurological, intellectual, and physical disabilities, with areas and activities rich in sensory experiences, social interactions, and physical challenges. The play area would naturally expand and enhance both the recreational and therapeutic treatment for NHA’s special needs students.

We are so thankful and grateful to the Zeisloft Family Trust for establishing a lasting legacy of vocational, recreational, and therapeutic skill development for special needs children and youth through Sara’s Garden, New Horizons Academy and Special Grounds Coffee Co.! Thank you, Zeisloft Family Trust, for making the future brighter for children and young adults with disabilities!

Giving Tuesday Thanks

Giving Tuesday Thanks

We are so grateful and beyond humbled by the support we received during this year’s Giving Tuesday 419 event. 

Funds from this year’s Giving Tuesday gala went to support equipment, curriculum and supplies for our vocational training program at Special Grounds Coffee Co. Through your caring and support, over $50,000 was donated to Sara’s Garden, allowing us to continue to expand the opportunities to make a difference in the lives of our special needs children and their families and inspire change in Northwest Ohio!

Once again, the team at Everence created an amazing event that benefited countless charities and non-profits throughout Northwest Ohio. The total amount donated at the Giving Tuesday 419 gala for these organization was nearly $1.5 million dollars!

Thank you Everence and donors for your hard work and unbelievable generosity. We can not begin to adequately express our gratitude or describe what your support means to all of us here at Sara’s Garden, New Horizons Academy and Special Grounds Coffee Co.!

NHA Students Shine at Christmas Musical

NHA Students Shine at Christmas Musical

NHA Students Taught Us NOT to Be Grumps (or Grumpy) and to Share the Spirit of Christmas!

Thank you to our all-star musical New Horizons Academy (NHA) students and cast members, who delivered outstanding performances on December 13 at Pettisville Missionary Church when they reminded us all NOT to be grumpy or grumps in the 2022 Annual NHA Christmas Musical, “The Grumps of Ring-A-Ding Town!”

Under the direction of NHA Music Teacher and Christmas Musical Director Melissa Valentine, over 100 of our special needs students sang, danced, and taught us all about the importance of caring for each other and keeping the Christmas spirit alive. In the musical, the bells of ol’ Ring-A-Ding Town have stopped ringing, because the townspeople have completely lost their holiday spirit. With all of the pressures of the season, they have become so grumpy that even the bells refuse to ring. When a severe winter storm pounds the village with ice, wind, and snow, the grumpy citizens are reminded how much they need each other and how rewarding it can be to share and care for one another in the true spirit of the season. When peace, love, and joy return, the bells of Ring-A-Ding Town begin to ring again; and we are all reminded NOT to be grumps or grumpy and that miracles really can and do happen!

This inspirational, Christmas musical was made possible by our talented students and dedicated NHA staff and teachers, especially Music Teacher and Director Melissa Valentine. Without all of her hard work, vision, dedication, and creativity, the show would not have gone on. She found or created the absolute perfect role for each of our students’ abilities and personalities and corralled and coached over 100 of our special needs preschool to high school youth through the entire Christmas show. Melissa was truly our role model on sharing and spreading the Christmas spirit and not letting the grumpy grumps spoil the holiday season!

If you missed this special Christmas show, check out all of the photos on New Horizons Academy’s Facebook page HERE or check out our YouTube channel for your own special, encore performance HERE.

2023 Summer Programs

2023 Summer Programs

Our 2023 Summer Enrichment programs are quickly approaching and we are currently taking registrations for both our Wauseon and Springfield locations.

2023 Summer Program Dates:

  • Wauseon: June 5-30 (Registration deadline is May 1)
  • Springfield: July 10 – August 4 (Registration deadline is June 1)

If you are considering either of these programs, now is the time to register and arrange funding.

Sara’s Garden offers amazing summer intervention programs for children with disabilities. These month-long programs deliver inclusive therapies that provide interventions for individuals with a variety of conditions and disabilities.

Our caring and experienced staff of licensed therapists, conductors and paraprofessionals create unique, intensive therapy-based programs that are tailored to the needs of each participant and are designed to enhance your child’s developmental skills. This approach not only helps your child to work towards greater independence, it also keeps the regression of skills and development that typically occurs over the summer months at bay.

Goals of these programs include:

Improving Interpersonal Skills:
  • Relationship building
  • Responding to his/her name
  • Learning the names of peers
  • Basic conversation skills
  • Behavioral skill development
Improving Fine and Gross Motor Skills:
  • Range of motion
  • Sitting and standing
  • Walking and transfers
  • Self feeding
  • Independent living skills
Improving Language Skills:
  • Vocabulary knowledge and understanding
  • Basic concepts
  • Following verbally presented directions
  • Improving story comprehension
  • Improve Reading/Writing Skills
Improving Social Skills:
  • Greetings
  • Turn Taking
  • Initiating communication
  • Informing and directing others
  • Requesting

Our summer intervention programs also provide support for children who use augmentative communication systems (low tech or high tech) who have language and literacy skills and need more experience with peer to peer social skills.

We serve clients with (but not limited to): ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, CDKL5, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Near Drowning, Seizure Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders, Spina Bifida, Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Additional information is being compiled on potential funding and grant options for families in need of financial support.

For more information, please contact Ronda Rupp at 833.668.7272 or via email at

NHA Now Accepting Applications for 2023-24

NHA Now Accepting Applications for 2023-24

All three New Horizons Academy (NHA) locations are NOW accepting new student applications for the 2022-2023 school year! NHA is so pleased to announce that it is accepting new student applications for its regional special education PK-12 school campus at 220 Lawrence Ave. in Wauseon, its Greater Toledo Area campus at 6201 Trust Dr. in Holland—just off of Airport Highway, and at its new Career Center and Special Grounds Coffee Shop at 854 S. Shoop Ave. in Wauseon. Currently, NHA serves special education students from over 25 different school districts from across nine Northwest Ohio counties. Call TODAY to find out more about NHA and its academic and vocational programs. Classes begin in August, so begin the enrollment process NOW.

If you are looking for the right special education placement for your preschool to high school student, a place where your child feels like he or she fits in, consider NHA in Wauseon, our Holland or Springfield Township campus, or through the new Career Center. At NHA, kids come first. We exist for our students; our students do not exist for the school. Students don’t have to fit into the classes. The classes and programs are designed to meet the student’s individual needs. Please visit us today, and see if we are the right fit for your special needs student.

NHA’s Wauseon & Springfield Township Campuses:

  • Are regional preschool to 12th grade special education schools
  • Have a 1:2—staff to student ratio
  • Specialize in individualized, personalized education
  • Provide strong academics, community involvement, life skills classes, and vocational training
  • Offer early intervention, conductive education (CE), sensory integration, occupational therapy, speech/language pathology & music instruction
  • Participate in the College Credit Plus (CCP) Program
  • Are Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Schools
  • Accept both the Autism & Jon Peterson Scholarships as payment in full.

NHA’s NEW Career Center & Special Grounds Coffee Shop:

  • Prides itself on small classroom sizes (4-7 students)
  • Works with young adults up to age 21
  • Targets functional academics, vocational skills training, and work study placements
  • Provides on-site work study placements through its Special Grounds Coffee Shop including kitchen and food prep, counter and customer service work, and maintenance and cleaning
  • Helps transition high school students and special needs young adults into community work study programs
  • Provides job coaching and transportation to community work sites
  • Community work site partners include Ace Hardware, Chief Supermarkets, the Fulton County Airport, Goodwill Industries, and the Home Restaurant with others coming on weekly.

Our mission is to help your child achieve the greatest independence possible through early intervention programs, classes, community activities, life skills training, vocational placements, and job coaching.

Steps to Enrollment:

  1. Call the school for more information.
  2. Submit a copy of your child’s IEP & ETR for review.
  3. Schedule a school tour, interview, and student assessment.
  4. If accepted, complete student enrollment paperwork, and provide proof of residency.
  5. Complete and accept the Autism or Jon Peterson Scholarship.

For more information on New Horizons Academy or to schedule a tour, contact Admissions Coordinator Ronda Rupp at 419-335-7272 or via email at

Wheel of Purses 2023

Wheel of Purses 2023

Ladies, you’re not going to want to miss the 2023 Wheel of Purses!

Enjoy a fun filled Girl’s Night Out with your friends while playing for fabulous purses from the designers you love. Win designer handbags by Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren and Dooney & Bourke. Over 30 handbags are available to win!

Get your tickets reserved now!

Event Date:Thursday, July 13, 2023
Event Location:Founder’s Hall at Sauder Village, Archbold, Ohio
Event Time:
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Event begins at 6:30 p.m.
Event Cost:$50 Single Ticket | $400 Reserved Table of 8
Reserved table includes a meat, cheese & cracker tray
Event has ended

Wait till you see what we have in store for you this year… more purses, more games, more surprises, more chances to win and more fun!

Each Wheel of Purses admission ticket includes two (2) drink tickets good for coffee, lemonade, soft drinks and/or water.

Event will also feature:

  • Raffles and door prizes
  • 50/50 drawings

Available for purchase:

  • Beer, wine and mixed drinks
  • Appetizers and snacks
Open to all ages. Must present ID to be served alcohol.

All proceeds from this event will be used towards the purchase of therapy equipment, vocational supplies and educational curriculum for our clients and students at Sara’s Garden and New Horizons Academy. This funding provides invaluable resources to the children and clients we serve.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Purse Sponsor – $250

  • Includes purse sponsor signage and program recognition.

Event Sponsor – $400

  • Includes event sponsor signage and program recognition.

Title Sponsor – $900

  • Includes title sponsor signage and program recognition.
  • Includes one (1) reserved VIP table for eight (8) attendees.
  • Each VIP table attendee will also receive a special gift.

For additional information regarding tickets, reservations or sponsorship opportunities please contact Tara at 419.335.SARA or via email at