Arc summer day camp helps children develop skills

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016

By Sheila Sapp

Arc of Rowan

The Arc of Rowan Summer Day Program has been in existence in 1984. The program provides a secure, positive environment that meets the physical, social, emotional and educational needs of children ages 5–21 with intellectual and other related developmental disabilities.

The Arc of Rowan Summer Day Program is a six-week program that operates Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This year, the program will begin June 27 and end Aug. 4. The Arc of Rowan will operate three locations — North Rowan High School, South Rowan High School and another site to be determined.

The program offers training in self-help skills, academics, personal and social skills, sensory development, communication skills and gross/fine motor skills. Daily activities include a variety of educational and social experiences for children according to their needs established in their Individual Education Plans. These activities include indoor and outdoor activities and weekly field trips planned as part of the curriculum. Having this program allows children to maintain and practice academic skills from their Individual Education Plans that would not be taught during the summer.

The goal for this program is to provide an educational, safe and fun opportunity during the summer. The progress that each child makes during the summer is very rewarding. Children being able to complete a math problem on their own, learning to tie their shoes, learning to read new words, writing the words and or sentences down, learning to socialize with other peers appropriately, and transitioning from one thing to another are examples. This program also provides fun opportunities that some of the children would not experience if they did not attend.

The Arc of Rowan Summer Day Program is licensed and approved according to standards established by the North Carolina Child Day Care Licensing Division and the Division of Mental Health/Intellectual & other Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse Services. The program is reviewed and evaluated annually. Staff is required to take part in various trainings, including first aid/CPR and Basic School Aged Curriculum Training. All staff members have to take part in fingerprinting, criminal background checks and federal registry as required by the state.

Every year when school starts back, teachers in the Rowan-Salisbury School System say they can tell which children in their class attended the program. These children have maintained the skills learned over the past school year and do not have as much trouble transitioning back into the school environment.

The Arc of Rowan partners with the Rowan-Salisbury School System to operate this program. The school system provides the agency with three locations, meals during the program, transportation and an assistant during the program. The Arc of Rowan is a Rowan County United Way agency, with United Way Dollars contributed to this program. The program is also supported by grants, parent fees, local civic groups and donations.

To find out more information on how to enroll your child in the program, contact The Arc of Rowan office as soon as possible and inquire about an application. The agency’s phone number is 704-637-1521. Its website at www.thearcofrowan.org also has additional information.

Enrollment has begun.

Sapp is executive director of Arc of Rowan.

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