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Parks program, theater students help disabled performers put on ‘May Menageries’

Rowan County Parks and Recreation-Therapeutic Recreation Division presented “May Menageries” at Carson High School on May 21. This combined effort between parks and recreation and the Carson High School Theater Department led to the performance of seven plays from six different groups.

The performers were individuals with various disabilities such as blind/visual impairments, mental health conditions, and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Performers in the plays all participate with the Therapeutic Recreation Division either through ongoing division programs or community partnership programs with RHA Carter House or Rowan Cabarrus Community College’s SOAR class.

The performances were the end result of the division’s newest program, All 4 Arts. Last fall, participants began rehearsing and memorizing their lines during their weekly recreation programs. With help and direction from the volunteer play director Peggy Harris, participants were able to make the transition from sitting and reading in a chair to bringing their performances to life.

Participants not only had fun with this play, they grew as individuals and groups. Participants had increased social skills, gained confidence, improved reading skills, and improved peer interactions.

The Therapeutic Recreation Division strives to provide programming that goes beyond just fun and helps participants to grow and develop as individuals and citizens in today’s society. The division works with individuals of various disabilities, special needs and ability levels. All 4 Arts is just one of the programs provided by the division. This fall, the All 4 Arts program will be offered as a new seasonal program beginning in August and ending in December with a featured performance.

Anyone interested in learning more or participating with the Therapeutic Recreation Division should call the office at 704-216-7780.

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