In 1971 Parnel Wickham and Stan Searl motivated by the needs of their young daughter Dianna followed the dream in their hearts to create a preschool for children with multiple disabilities, as none existed in WNY. They did some research, secured some funding, and sought space within a neighborhood church for two small classrooms.
When Dianna was placed at the West Seneca Developmental Center to help meet her intensive medical needs, the fire and determination of her parents grew much stronger. They truly believed that families who had children with severe multiple disabilities should be able to have their children at home with them and could do so if there were more community support resources.
With conviction and determination, further research and funding, a preschool and school age program was established and incorporated in 1974.
The Board of Directors voted to move the program in 1977 to North Hill School within the Maryvale School District, in an effort to provide a more normalizing educational experience for CHC students. Here we had the opportunity to engage with public elementary students and staff and developed lasting relationships that benefitted both populations.
Following 25 years of leasing space within three elementary schools in the Maryvale School District, CHC needed to find a new home in a short period of time. We were fortunate through the assistance of Waterbourne Real Estate Advisors and Zaepfel Development to find a building at 80 Lawrence Bell Drive, in Williamsville, NY. Formerly a Nabisco plant, an amazing renovation was completed to transform this building in a corporate park setting into a warm and welcoming school with larger classrooms and more functional space.
Today, we are blessed to return to our dream of being within a beautiful school building within a neighborhood community. Centrally located at 1085 Eggert Road in Amherst, New York, we are fortunate to once again share a building with preschool, elementary, and middle school students enrolled in the Kadimah School of Buffalo.
We invite you to come visit CHC and learn more about our school!