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Inclusion project partners with Parks and Recreation Commission

By Staff | Mar 11, 2013

The National Inclusion Project has partnered with Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission to implement Let’s All Play Inclusion in Recreational Programs. The partnership will allow children with developmental disabilities to enjoy a successful summer camp experience in an inclusive setting. As part of this initiative, the National Inclusion Project will provide a program model, training, expertise and an award of $6,000.

The National Inclusion Project has been actively developing its Let’s All Play Program since the program’s inception in 2004. Teaming with Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission is another exciting step toward their goal of full inclusion.

“We feel that working with Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission will help us further our mission to open doors in communities nationwide for children with disabilities to experience everything life has to offer,” said Jerry Aiken, executive director.

Let’s All Play helps bring an inclusive recreational experience to children with disabilities. It gives children with developmental disabilities the same experience as those without. Children with disabilities and their peers who are typically developing come together to participate in recreational activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, community service, physical fitness and more.

In 2008, the project enlisted the services of The Center for Social Development and Education at the University of Massachusetts-Boston to assess the implementation of Let’s All Play. Overwhelming evidence showed that children with disabilities improved self-esteem, social skills, confidence to participate and sport and motor skills. Campers of all abilities were equally likely to develop friendships with each other.

“We are very excited to wirk with the National Inclusion Project for further open Jefferson County Parks and Recreation programs to children with disabilities,” said Jennifer Myers, director. “This will h elp enable us to give more children the chance to participate in activities they and their families may have never thought possible.”

The National Inclusion Project opens doors to all kids to be included together and experience all that life has to offer. They conduct programs with community partners to teach others how to be inclusive so that kids with and without disabilities can experience lifelong benefits. They believe that no one should sit on the sidelines. To learn more the National Inclusion Project or ways to get involved, visit the website at www.inclusionproject.org.