The mission of OASIS NC is to provide educational and social support services that meet the ever changing needs of children and young adults, their families, and the community.
OASIS NC was created based on the belief that children should be able to learn and play in a nurturing, developmentally appropriate environment where their unique personalities are celebrated and their differences are appreciated. OASIS NC is a place where children will experience friendship, learning, happiness, and personal growth.
The greatest goal in establishing OASIS NC was to create a safe environment full of acceptance of individual differences. Sadly, our students come to us with similar stories of bullying, exclusion, and overwhelming low achievement in their previous and current school placements. These students are so accustomed to feeling unimportant, unworthy, and misunderstood. They are used to being judged by their weaknesses, rather than by their strengths. OASIS NC is successfully turning this around! Over time, our students become confident individuals who realize their value and believe in their successful futures.
To become a center for students in grades K-12 that prepares students to obtain meaningful employment, independent living, and happy, healthy lives!
OASIS NC was created by two special education teachers, Erika Merriman and Kim Reinhardt, looking to further make a difference in the lives of children with autism and their families. Year after year, parents would communicate their struggle to find supplemental services and programs for their children in the Wilmington area. Erika and Kim decided it was time to do something about it. They began attending business classes at Cape Fear Community College, researching potential funding sources, and drafting a business plan. On January 31, 2011, thanks to an attorney willing to donate his services, OASIS NC was officially incorporated!
During their summer break later that year, the founders of OASIS NC operated a pilot summer program out of Erika’s home. Despite the limited space, seven children with autism were able to attend. Over the course of six weeks, they learned valuable social-communication skills, made friends, increased their communication, and were better prepared for school in the fall. A mother of one of the children in attendance reported that her son engaged in more frequent verbal interactions after he began attending OASIS NC’s summer camp and many other parents commented about how much they learned just by viewing photos of the teaching strategies on Facebook! OASIS NC was excited to receive its 501c3 status in August.
After the pilot program had concluded, OASIS NC organized a number of successful fundraisers, including volleyball and golf tournaments, Strictly Business events, Eat Wings to Raise Funds, and a bowling night, to help raise start up funds and autism awareness. Thanks to the support and generous donations from the local and surrounding communities, OASIS NC was able to open its doors on November 1st. The afterschool Social Learning Program was the first program at OASIS NC, but not long after, other needs became apparent. STEM Club and Summer Camp were officially added to the list of programs entering 2012.
As the number of programs and students grew, so did the need for space. In 2013, OASIS NC was fortunate to move into a beautiful new space on Randall Parkway which provided the opportunity to become a private school in 2014! Since then, we have come to realize that even students without autism benefit greatly from our philosophy, approach, and strategies. Therefore, in addition to becoming a year round school in 2018-2019, we are opening our doors to any student experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, failure, etc. in their current setting.
It has been a fun and exciting 7 years and we cannot wait to see what the future brings!
OASIS NC in the News!
WECT Haunted House http://www.wect.com/story/36645294/schools-specializing-in-autism-put-on-haunted-house
WWAY Art Auction https://www.wwaytv3.com/2017/04/20/students-auction-off-artwork-for-oasis-nc-scholarships/
WWAY Buy The Bus! https://www.wwaytv3.com/2016/02/16/313407/
StarNews 12 to Watch in 2014
StarNews 12 to Watch Update