Friday, January 2, 2015

Good News Friday!

I often say that much of Imagine!’s success is a result of the support of our community. Here’s a story about a collaboration between Imagine! and our local YMCA that demonstrates that fact quite nicely.

The YMCA of Boulder Valley has an after school program for students, and a handful of their staff work one-on-one with students with developmental disabilities. This group of YMCA staff met at Imagine! in early November to discuss positive instruction methods with Imagine! Out & About Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) Lisa Bargatze and Beth Gessert. “We opened the floor and allowed them to bring up particular situations they find challenging with the kiddos they work with,” said Lisa.

For example: one student in particular had a rough time accepting he was “out” during a game in the gym. He yelled and insisted he was still “in.” With the help of Lisa and Beth, the group brainstormed how to help this student transition out of the game. One idea: before the game starts, prompt the student to choose a spot in the building that he can call his “special spot.” Once he is tagged out, go to the spot and let him hang out in his “cool, special spot” until the next round begins.

“The training Out & About provided for our staff was something we would not of had anyone in house with the same experience,” said Tasia Krause, YMCA of Boulder Valley Vice President of School Age Programs.

In return for the training session, the Y opened their Arapahoe and 95th facility to our School Closure Day group during the Thanksgiving and Holiday breaks. Our participants had access to swimming, ice skating, bike riding, basketball, yoga, and other fitness activities. “A highlight for me was watching two participants in particular ice skate,” said Lisa. “They initially held onto the wall or an instructor, but with time, found their balance and skated around for a while on their own!”

Thanks to the YMCA of Boulder Valley for being a committed community partner. Thanks also to Out & About’s Scott Wendelberger for sharing this story.

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