Win 4 Kids Finalist: St Jerome School
$25,000 Grand Prize Winner
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.