The Grinch and his cohorts brought a bit of Whoville to Shelton Thursday.

The Kennedy Center’s Project Advance and Project Impact, a Shelton-based day support programs for adults with disabilities and special needs, brought holiday cheer to friends and family with their presentation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Center Stage Theatre.

A total of 28 individuals in the program participated in the production, which was adapted for the stage by Kennedy Center Activities Coach Timothy Fountain. The production was preceded by Advance and Impact participants getting the audience in the holiday spirit by signing classics such as Jingle Bells.

Project Advance began the connection with Center Stage through volunteering, and Impact joined in last year. Now, both programs have continued the relationship and volunteer year-round as part of the community experience aspect of the program.

The Kennedy Center, founded in 1951, is an internationally accredited, non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently supports more than 2,000 individuals annually. The agency actively responds to the needs of the community by offering innovative, comprehensive service opportunities to persons with disabilities and special needs, from birth to senior years, an announcement said.

The Kennedy Center operates 31 community experience programs, 17 group homes, and six Social Enterprise businesses, supported and competitive employment and job placement services, family support, travel training, and a variety of children’s programs.

Community Experience Programs, also referred to as Day Support Options (DSOs), are located in various neighborhood settings and support small groups of individuals who have disabilities. Each program emphasizes the development of an appropriate skill base to expand learning, choice-making and inclusion within each person’s local community.

Project Impact focuses on community engagement, navigation of community resources and the identification of new community interests and connections. On a weekly basis, each participant will be involved in community volunteering, recreation, social skills, accessing learning environments and discovering new venues of interest.

Project Advance (Accessing Different Ventures And New Chances to Excel) opened in September 2014 and provides services to individuals in their younger years that want to be active and involved in their community. Activities include both volunteer and recreational community activities as well as curriculum and academics that promote functional skill building. Work skills are taught to help individuals achieve eventual employment.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com