Annual camp at Joseph Sams School in Fayetteville offers inclusive environment
FOCUS, a 26-year old non-profit that serves children with disabilities, is holding the annual Southside Kool Kidz Camp this week at the Joseph Sams School in Fayetteville, Georgia. This year’s theme for the four-day program is “Camp TEAM” -- Together Everyone Achieves More -- and activities include water play, team sports, music, and arts/crafts.
Kool Kidz summer camps are unique in their philosophy of accepting both special needs and typical children, focusing on each camper’s unique abilities and offering an environment of fun and diverse activities. Physical and occupational therapists and other special needs professionals serve as counselors at the camp, which is also staffed by volunteers from the local community. This year’s camp is serving thirty children ages 4 – 13 in half-day and full-day programs.
FOCUS Executive Director Lucy Cusick explains that Camp Kool Kidz is a growth experience for all participants. “Campers are gently pushed outside their comfort zones. Those with developmental disabilities are urged to give each activity their ‘best shot,’ while ‘typical’ campers learn to appreciate the challenges their special needs peers face on a day to day basis. This promotes patience, understanding and compassion – with a benefit for all our campers who play together in the Kool Kidz traditional day camp format.”
The week will close with a performance by all campers on Thursday.
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