St. Dominic Savio Catholic School - Ontario, Scarborough

GoodLife Kids Foundation is supporting the Freedom Through Movement Program at St. Dominic Savio Catholic School in Scarborough, ON. This new program will bring adapted physical activity opportunities into the school for children in the Multiple Exceptionalities program, allowing them to develop their fundamental movement skills and endurance. ‘Freedom Through Movement’ incorporates a critical capacity building component in partnership with Variety Village. Staff at the school with be mentored by experts in inclusive and adapted games as they host weekly in-school programming with new accessible equipment. With this training, Educational Assistants will be prepared to lead modified play during daily physical activity sessions and in the future to continue to enhance the physical development of Multiple Exceptionalities students. Participants in ‘Freedom Through Movement’ will gain confidence in their abilities and skills that will prepare them for a lifetime of physical activity. 

tcdsb.org/schools/stdominicsavio 
@p_dsavio 

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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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