GREENVILLE, S.C. — For the second year in a row, the National Inclusion Project has partnered with YMCA Camp Greenville to create an inclusive environment where children with and without disabilities can play, learn and laugh together.
As part of the partnership, the National Inclusion Project provides the Let’s ALL Play program model, training, expertise, annual Power of Play Conference and a wide network of inclusion experts ready to problem solve and share best practices on ensuring that no child sits on the sidelines.
Y Camp Greenville is one of the select organizations that the National Inclusion Project has chosen to partner with for a second year.
The camp sits on 1,400 acres of pristine mountain property in Cleveland that features mountain views, two mountain lakes, and waterfalls. YMCA summer camp has been in existence for 102 years and serves more than 10,000 people each year during summer resident camp and fall/spring programs.
“We are excited to continue our work with Camp Greenville to enhance the inclusive opportunities for the children in this community,” says Nick Leisey, National Inclusion Project executive director.
The Let’s ALL Play model helps children with disabilities improve self-esteem, social skills, and confidence while those without disabilities improved their leadership, problem-solving and empathy skills. The model makes it possible for all children to come together and participate in recreational activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, community service, physical fitness and more. More importantly, it allows children with and without disabilities to create friendships that may not have been possible in other parts of their lives.
"As it is in many communities, summer programs for children with special needs are extremely hard to find," said Greg Dodd, camp director of YMCA Camp Greenville. "Partnering with the National Inclusion Project helps us to serve more children each year, providing them with a summer of fun and great experiences they may not normally have access to."
The National Inclusion Project was co-founded in 2003 by entertainer Clay Aiken and serves to bridge the gap that exists between young people with disabilities and the world around them. Over the last twelve years, the Project has provided training, curriculum, and support to YMCAs, JCCs, Boys & Girls Clubs, 4H, CampFire USA, Kids Museums, Zoos and other community organizations looking to become inclusive or enhance their inclusive programs.
For more information on the National Inclusion Project, visit their website at www.inclusionproject.org.
To learn more about YMCA Camp Greenville, visit their website here.
Related on the Tribune: More than $5 million raised for Camp Greenville improvements
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