Win 4 Kids Finalist: St Jerome School

$25,000 Grand Prize Winner

St Jerome.jpg

St. Jerome School in Regina offers special educational programming for students with intensive needs.  Beginning in the Sunshine Preschool Program, specialized interventions include development of an Inclusion and Intervention Plan that sets goals for participation, therapies, and development.  Once they are school-aged, students progress to the Elementary Functional Academic Program.  Students in this program also have Inclusion and Intervention Plans and are included in age-appropriate classes during the school day to varying degrees based on their individual needs.

Funds from Win 4 Kids will allow St. Jerome School to initiate the LEAP (Learning Everyday & Actively Participating) Program to provide their students with intensive needs access to physical activity programming that is currently lacking.  The students with intensive needs typically do not participate in these activities due to a variety of factors, particularly the lack of an available support person.  LEAP will expose students to a variety of activities such as martial arts, yoga, swimming, and soccer that they may not otherwise have access to.  LEAP programming will run 1-2 times per week, with one session in school and one community-based opportunity.

In conjunction with LEAP programming, St. Jerome School plans to offer a parent activity fair to inform parents of students with intensive needs about community programs that might be of interest. Emphasis will be to connect families with the variety of specialized and inclusive physical activity programs that exist in Regina, as well as to provide resources to assist with funding and the search for a support person.  St. Jerome School hopes that the LEAP program will spur a new interest and develop new skills among students that will give them a positive attitude towards physical activity that will serve them in living healthier lives for years to come.

 

I like swimming and gymnastics.  Swimming makes me feel calm.  Swimming is a treat, like something your heart desires.  I would like to learn to swim.  My favourite part of gymnastics is the trampoline.  I would be able to learn these activities if we win this contest.

Levi, Grade 8 Student with Autism

As a parent of four children, one with diverse needs, I understand first-hand how intimidating and daunting it can be to seek out and access sport and physical activity opportunities for our children.  Whether it is a physical or cognitive limitation, there are so many factors that hinder a family from providing these opportunities for their children.  Lack of knowledge, funding, support and financial constraints are just a few of the barriers families like those within the Sunshine and EFAP programs face.  Through the Sunshine and EFAP programs at St. Jerome, we have been given small glimpses into not only a few sport programs in Regina, but as well has opened up our eyes to the abilities of our daughter and how we can potentially work with organizations to adapt physical activities to her abilities.  Sunshine and EFAP have provided us with support and knowledge about the importance of physical activity in our daughter’s life.  With proper funding, Sunshine and EFAP will have the opportunity to open doors for so many families that have assumed for far too long that there aren’t any programs or support available for their child.
Miranda, Parent

 

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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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