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SCDD celebrates the start of summer
2022 SCDD Cookout

The Scioto County Developmental Disabilities took the opportunity to celebrate summer school and adult day program participants and their staff with a special summer cookout in the Vern Riffe School parking lot on June 30th.

“With the fourth of July coming up we thought what better way than to do a cookout to bring everybody together and have a celebration of summer, and celebrate all of our services,” said Chad Phipps, SSA Director with SCDD while grilling hundreds of hamburgers and hotdogs. The SSA department is responsible for ensuring that the service needs of people with developmental disabilities, beginning at age 3 and continuing through the end of life, receive services and support to live meaningful lives. Some of those services include group programming for students and for adults. 

The Vern Riffe School graduated five students on May 20 as the school year came to an end. June began the SCDD Summer Program Activities, which involved boat races in gutters, mural scavenger hunts with the Portsmouth Murals, and field trips to the Candy Land Museum and Shawnee State University Planetarium – to name just a few.

This year’s Summer Program concluded with this cookout on June 30, closing the book on another year of student services and welcoming the start of summer! Adult day program participants, summer school students, and staff gathered together in the parking lot of the Vern Riffe School to celebrate together with a cookout, inflatables, music, and more!

“We have a great turnout. All of our day program providers from Scioto County, along with our summer school program participants, are here. We’re really happy to see all of the staff that typically have to work behind the scenes in the office get the opportunity to spend time with the people we serve and the staff who support those people. This event is a more casual and fun way to connect and build relationships,” said Jessica Hoffer, SCDD Outreach Director.

SCDD has done activities in the past, such as the Special Olympics Walk-a-thon, Hardwood Heroes, and the annual Falloween festival, but has not been able to host any larger events involving more than one program for the past two years because of Covid. Judging by the large turnout and smiling faces, people were glad to have this opportunity to get together once again.

“The last few years have been rough on everybody, so it’s great to get everybody together, and see each other, and be able to smile and laugh and have fun together again,” said Elizabeth Porter, Star, Inc. Program Manager.

Shonda Saylor is a service provider helping individuals who come to the Star, Inc. Adult Day Services program, and her daughter, Tyeshia, attends these services.

“She would have fell through the cracks if it wasn’t for the DD program. She’s high-functioning and lives on her own with support, but she needs assistance for safety,” Saylor said.

Tyeshia said her favorite thing about the event was all the good music and food. Around 200 people of all ages enjoyed the day of fun to celebrate summer and the chance to gather again. 

For more information about the programs and services at the Scioto County Developmental Disabilities, call 740-353-0636 or visit online at, and like and follow them on Facebook.