summer camp pic Wow! Summer break is almost here and will bring much needed vacations (for staff and students alike!). I know that many of us will be sending our children off to camp somewhere so they can enjoy a few days of fun and adventure outdoors with their friends.  Let's not forget about our students with physical and learning disabilities who deserve the same opportunities but require special care to meet their diverse needs.  There are a growing number of summer camps designed to accommodate their needs and I am amazed at how well the kids and families respond to participation. Family retreats are available for those who have a child with a disability through the Joni And Friends Ministry, founded by Joni Erikson Tada. This list of camps in the east Tennessee region is a great starting point when looking for just the right fit for your students with Autism.  Search the internet for similar opportunities in your region! Zac Brown (of my absolute favorite, Zac Brown Band!) is a former camp counselor who felt the need to launch a camp for students with special needs, as well as families of our military. Construction is ongoing for Camp Southern Ground in beautiful north Georgia, but weekend camps have begun.  (They need our support too!) I also love the Center for Courageous Kids in western Kentucky.  They accept children from around the world and camp weeks are designed to serve children with specific illnesses or disabilities.  Many Kiwanis Clubs offer scholarships to needy students in their region. Call yours today and ask! So...before we head off for our own break, let's offer these links and resources to the families of the children who just want the chance to play like their peers.

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