A project of UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION INC
Support Team Camp Shriver and the AMAZING runners who are tackling 26.2 miles in the Boston Marathon to help children with disabilities!
I am not running the Boston Marathon for Team Camp Shriver (this year), but I am helping Team Camp Shriver to fundraise for children with disabilities!
As many of you know, I've been involved with education as a teacher and writer for non-profits since graduate school. I've seen first-hand the social rejection that happens when a child is singled out by their peers as different.
Camp Shriver was established to make sure that all kids, with and without disabilities, have a place to play and learn as equals.
But don't take my word for it! Here is the story of one of our campers, Aaron:
Aaron is a Camp Shriver camper with intellectual disability that made it diificult for him to understand how to become part of a group. During free play, if a group of campers asked him to play baseball, he would yell at them and run away, even though he loved playing baseball.
In the words of another camper, “Aaron was over-upset sometimes.”
Aaron lacked an understanding of basic social cues and the language to express his desire to join. In the end, he would act out. Camp Shriver worked with Aaron to help him develop positive peer relationships; counselors helped make make connections with teammates during lunch and coaches demonstrated how to play together during inclusive sport instruction.
Two weeks into Camp, Will approached Aaron and asked him to play baseball. Everyone held their breath. Aaron hesitated for a minute, and then gave his baseball to Will. The two campers played baseball together every day after that.
Aaron made a friend.
At Camp Shriver, Aaron had the support he needed to develop and practice social skills and build friendships, skills he will take into the school year and beyond.
I want to make sure all children have a chance to be included, to make friends, and to be accepted by peers wherever they go!
Support Camp Shriver and our team of runners as we make a difference in life of a child with a disability!
Go Team Camp Shriver!