Thursday, May 12, 2016

What Goes on Outside of School.....

With the school year quickly wrapping up, I wanted to share with you some of the things that go on outside our schools that our students participate in. There are many opportunities for our students to participate in activities that are not school related; and are also fun!


37359I learned of Team IMPACT through a family in our District, the McIntyres. Team Impact is a program that Syracuse University participates in. It is a non-profit chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team.

Team IMPACT children are drafted onto college athletic teams and are a part of the team from Draft Day through to Graduation. The child joins the athletic team and the student athletes join the child's support team. Molly McIntyre, a 5th grade student at Stonehedge, was drafted by the Syracuse University Women's Hockey team this year as part of the program. Not only has Molly been able to be part of the hockey team, members of the team have also come to see Molly at a school concert she was in this spring. To see Molly's draft day and learn more about the program click here.

Double H Ranch
Another program for students with life-threatening diseases is the Double H Ranch.  This program provides year round opportunities for students and their families free of charge through camps and activities in the Adirondacks. They have summer camps, sibling camps, a winter program and a variety of other opportunities available.  Click here for more information.

Special Olympics
I would be remiss not to mention one of the highlights of the year for many of our students...... the Special Olympics!  This year the Special Olympics is on May 19th at CNS High School.  If you have not attended before its a wonderful opportunity to see our students participating in events that they love.  They have a great time every year- and I guarantee you will enjoy it the entire time you are there.  Every face has a smile on it- from athletes, to parents and all the volunteers.  Its something everyone should experience at least once!

More Opportunities to Get Out and Moving
There are also a variety of athletic opportunities set up to meet the needs of students with disabilities and give them the opportunity to participate on a team.  Challenger Baseball is one of the first team sports that comes to mind.  This program continues to grow and has recently been building a new field, named Field of Dreams in East Syracuse.  For more information on Challenger Baseball, click here.

If you are more of a soccer fan (and I have to admit I am a huge soccer fan) there is the Just for Kicks Soccer program at the Ultimate Goal in Marcellus.  This is a  developmental soccer program for children with disabilities ages 3-21.  For more information call 673-4625 or visit

Champions for Life Sports Center offers gymnastics, tennis, karate, fitness center, dance studio, indoor golf and soccer - regular and power wheel chairs are welcome. Integrated and 1:1 programs for ages 3 and up. Scholarships available for individuals with disabilities, this is a year-round center.  They are located at 453 Grant Ave, Auburn.  For more information call 252-9305 or go to

Or if sports are not your thing there is ARISE at the Farm where there are day camps and activities throughout the year .  They have a fishing pond, walking/cycling path, petting zoo, picnic area, a universally-designed ropes challenge course and adaptive & therapeutic horseback riding.  For more information go to

If horses are your thing you can check out ASTRIDE.  This is a recreational horseback riding program for people with disabilities.  They have two riding locations: Tanglewood Farm in LaFayette and Smoke Tree Farm in Lysander.  Click on ASTRIDE to get more information on their programs.