City of St. John’s - Newfoundland, St. John's

GoodLife Kids Foundation is supporting Inclusive Services Summer Programs with the City of St. John’s. The City’s Recreation Division offers children’s programs throughout the summer where participants of all abilities are able to take part in a variety of activities such as soccer, swimming, boccia, archery and outdoor play. Funding from GoodLife Kids Foundation will help to alleviate the waitlist of participants with special needs, giving them the opportunity to take part in regular physical activity. Inclusive Services staff provide additional support for children with special needs and disabilities so that they are able to access meaningful recreation and leisure activities. With 1:1 or 1:2 support of participants, inclusion staff are able to set up accommodations and activity modifications, implement behavior management techniques, and promote inclusion throughout programs. This support facilitates full participation, encouraging children to become more independent and to build skills needed to sustain participation in recreational activities. 

City of St. John’s Inclusive Services


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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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