Each Monday from 1:00 to 3:00pm Riley Rink is open for individuals with special needs and their families. Activates range from sports, dance, music, arts and crafts, cooking and yoga. All programs are free!
Connections is designed to provide opportunity for adaptive physical fitness and leisure activities for the specail needs population in the greater Northshire communities. The program offers a diverse curriculum of activities ranging from sports, activities, dance, music, arts and crafts, cooking and yoga. "We are very please to be hosting Connections on a school year, weekly basis" stated Susan Marmer, Executive Director for Riley Rink. "After some research, we discovered there is very little scheduled programming offered for the special needs members of our community". Each Monday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm Riley Rink is open for individuals with special needs and their families.
They are welcome to spend the afternoon participating in recreation, social and leisure activities. "It's a chance for our students to spend time with friends in a supportive environment", says Dan Flanagan, ACCESS Directorat Burr and Burton. "For five weeks last winter students enjoyed spending their time at Riley Rink ice skating and in the spring they enjoyed seven weeks playing soccer and other activities on the rink's indoor turf." Students also participated in yoga, an art project making a mosaic, walking trips to the Rec Park, outdoor field games and a "back-to-school" picnic. There's a lot of positive energy around this program, and many individuals have come forward wanting to be involved and share their "expertise", comments Marmer. "There is a definite need for this very important and beneficial social, recreational and leisure time for this community and Riley Rink is the perfect venue.
It's so rewarding to see the smiles on their faces and their excitment when they arrive," reports Riley Rink Board member, Nancy McNally who is spearheading this effort. "We continue to do out-reach to make connections with the adult special needs community, and I encourage you to call Riley Rink for more information".
Funding has been provided through the generous gift of two grants; one from a local organization, The Mount Laurel Foundation, Inc. and one from The Linda Bunis Haller Foundation for Children With Special Needs based in New Jersey. These grants help to cover the cost of ice, turf and program supplies. Riley Rink will continue to donate rental skates, helmets and soccer balls as well as administrative hours for program coordination and scheduling.