Summer camp bridges the gap between school sessions and is especially helpful for kids with disabilities. Lily LaChance is thirteen and attends SSD’s deaf and hard-of-hearing program at Parkway West Middle School, and she went to sewing camp at Living Arts Studio in Maplewood this summer.
According to her mom, summer camp supports Lily’s oral communication, helps her make new friends, and exposes her to the same activities shared by her brothers and peers.
The focus of the camp is to develop functional sewing skills to promote creativity in a fun and lively art studio. Girls, ages 10 and up, shared in designing and creating sewing projects. Class size was small and the teachers were very supportive in working with Lily and in encouraging her to enjoy herself and engage with other people her age.
The campers worked together to make fabric and trim selections, lay out fabric, sew and iron. At first, she worked one-on-one with a buddy who kept her on track and helped with projects, but as the summer went along, Lily was able to work by herself. Lily’s instructor Kelly said, “Lily feels more like one of the girls now that she can work independently. Her focus and ability to stay on task have improved so much, and most importantly, her confidence in her ability has grown tremendously.”
The camp provided Lily with the opportunity to work on social interaction and making friends, while building skills in areas that she can generalize to her everyday life. Camp also helped Lily continue learning during the summer and made sure she didn’t get out of her routine while she was away from school.
Each year we send about 40 kids with disabilities to camp. At our golf tournament, the Kid2Camp auction and sponsorships together raise $48,000, ensuring that we can continue to make time away from school meaningful and fun for lots of kids like Lily.