Extreme Kids & Crew connects and empowers children with disabilities, their friends and families, through the arts, movement and play!
Our goal is to create a landmark arts center-gymnasium designed specifically for children with disabilities/special needs, their friends and families, but open to all.
We began our journey at Space No. 1, a small but bustling space in a cooperative school building in Brooklyn, where we conducted arts and movement workshops for kids with disabilities, their siblings and parents, open plays, parent education evenings and special events.
Outgrowing the space, we've moved into a public school building, PS 15, in Red Hook Brooklyn, where we have a large sensory gym with swings, ball pit, play loft, climbing ropes and lots and lots of oversized bean bags to run and jump into. We also have a separate room for music and art classes and offer a variety of programming after school and on weekends. We also have a smaller, intimate space in Clinton Hill for families with children under 4. This space offers parent run playgroups and has much of the same equipment but geared for the younger child.
Drop in to our AMP Space any Sunday 12-4 and see parents encouraging social interaction between kids by pushing three of them at a time on our platform swing; relax with overstimulated in our tent lounge; push yourself through the squeeze machine. Or come to one of our monthly free family concerts, featuring a variety of excellent musicians playing a wide range of music (jazz, classical, bluegrass, country, alt rock) Our concerts are intended for parents as well as children: many parents of special needs kids either cannot find or cannot afford childcare for their children, and therefore seldom get a chance to listen to live music. The concerts right this wrong and expose the kids to great music in a free and easy environment. They can swing on the tire swing, they can flop back on the foofs, they can hover by the musicians, trying to catch the vibrations coming off the sax. It’s all OK.
We’ve had over 350 families visit our space since we opened in November of 2011. We’ve had over 3000 visits to our sensory playspace. There is a great need for families with kids with disabilities to meet each other, to have fun with each other, to be in a place where they are deeply accepted and welcomed. While there are some excellent facilities in Manhattan that provide engaging and creative programming for kids with disabilities, they are very expensive, averaging about $100/hour. Our program is meant for families of every income group. Our stance is that families with kids with disabilities face daunting financial obligations, no matter where they stand on the economic spectrum, and we do not want to stress them out even more by making our programming expensive. As a result, a wonderfully diverse group of parents have become involved; professors, car washers, teachers, sculptors, therapists, lawyers, judges, counselors, graphic designers, homemakers, musicians, accountants, waitresses, actresses, poets, doctors, antique dealers, retail, chefs, presently unemployed, and more. Families come from Canarsie, Crown Heights, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Sunset Park, Staten Island, Chinatown, Upper West Side, the Bronx, Queens, as well, of course, as all over Brooklyn.