Sunny the Fun Bus
SUNNY THE FUN BUS is our clinic-on-the-go for pediatric speech-language and occupational therapy services all over the island of St. Croix…and more!
To increase community awareness of the need and benefits of speech-language therapy and occupational therapy for children from birth through high school.
To identify children who would benefit from our services and offer opportunities for educating childcare professionals and parents about typical speech-language and physical development.
To provide better access to therapy services for children in St. Croix, particularly those living West and families with limited access to transportation to our Christiansted clinic at Island Therapy Solutions.
To spread positivity and sunshine in our community! We love opportunities to share how loving, play-based, family-centered therapy helps children to reach their potential and feel good about themselves.
We envision Sunny on the road in St. Croix providing a combination of community education & outreach, on-site developmental screenings for daycares & schools, direct therapy services, and private events to raise funds for services for uninsured children. Follow us on Facebook for Sunny updates!
Originally used as a taxi for cruise ship passengers and school field trips, Julie and Dave Sommer purchased this 25-passenger shuttle bus in December 2020 with the idea of converting it to a mobile therapy clinic for children in St. Croix. Julie’s bus dream had started taking shape the year before as a “someday” vision for JS Therapies. But during the pandemic, as tourism stalled and the ways JS Therapies provided services in clinic and school settings was limited, a silver lining emerged. The bus idea leapt to the forefront as an option for additional treatment space, and the purchase of a local shuttle bus was a win-win during a time when using it for group transportation was not an option.
The transformation from taxi shuttle to Fun Bus, completed mostly by Dave with the help of the three Sommer boys, included removing the seats, repairing & re-painting the exterior, repairing and reinstalling the bus floor and lower walls, installing hooks for suspended swing equipment, and adding a folding table & child-friendly furniture. Photos and graphics were added to the exterior and windows which also offer privacy for children working in the bus. Next came stocking the bus with a collection of favorite therapy materials: toys, crafts, puzzles, games, bubbles, balls, swings, and books; new materials will be rotated in and out to keep the experience new and exciting for children who receive weekly therapy.
Sunny’s name is meant to encompass what we love about where we live and what we do: Caribbean sunshine, positive vibes, and empowering children of all abilities to shine!
What We Do
The focus of pediatric speech-language therapy is to support the development of communication skills. This may include intervention for speech, which refers to the production of specific sounds, and for language, which encompasses the ability to understand and express ideas using words. Speech-language therapy may use a combination of oral-motor exercises, gestures, picture communication, or technology to help a child effectively communicate with others.
Occupational therapy helps children to develop the skills of daily living necessary to function at home, school, and play. It supports their ability to be successful at the “job” of being a kid, which is to play and learn! Occupational therapy may target fine motor development, handwriting, play skills, balance & coordination, oral motor skills & feeding, sensory processing, and more.
Our treatment approach for both speech-language and occupational therapy includes an emphasis on involving parents and caregivers to incorporate strategies at home and school for supporting each child’s development.
JS Therapies is a team of experienced, enthusiastic therapists who specialize in pediatric speech-language, occupational, and physical therapy for children on St. Croix & St. Thomas. Meet Our Team!