The National Inclusion Project has partnered again with the Rockford Park District to create an inclusive environment where children with and without disabilities can play, learn, and laugh together. As part of the partnership, the National Inclusion Project provides the Let’s ALL Play program model, training, expertise, annual Power of Play Conference, and a wide network of inclusion experts ready to problem solve and share best practices on ensuring that no child sits on the sidelines.
The Rockford Park District is one of the select organizations that the National Inclusion Project has chosen to partner with for a third year. “We are excited to continue our work with the Therapeutic Recreation department to enhance the inclusive opportunities for the children in this community,” says Nick Leisey, National Inclusion Project Executive Director.
The partnership will provide training, expertise, and an award of $5,000. The grant will allow the Therapeutic Recreation department to hire two staff members this summer to provide inclusion serves at Summer Blast. Inclusion within the Rockford Park District means individuals with disabilities are welcome to participate in the same recreation programs and activities as their peers. Reasonable accommodations are provided to enable an individual’s successful participation in a program.
“We are very excited to continue working with the National Inclusion Project, who has helped open doors for ALL children to learn, live, and play together,” said Karin Kellogg, Therapeutic Recreation Manager.
Research shows overwhelming evidence that the Let’s ALL Play model helps children with disabilities improve self-esteem, social skills, and confidence, while those without disabilities improved their leadership, problem solving, and empathy skills. The model makes it possible for all children to come together and participate in recreational activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, community service, physical fitness, and more. More importantly, it allows children with and without disabilities to create friendships that may have not been possible in other parts of their lives.
–Rockford Park District