The Potter’s House Church in Dallas, Texas is partnering with local nonprofit Ability Connection, which specializes in care for children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to launch a summer camp program for children with special needs. According to NBCDFW, the two groups are launching the C.O.R.E. Dimensions Skills Camp (C.O.R.E. stands for Communication, Organization, Responsibility, Empathy) to continue teaching essential skills to children with special needs over the summer while giving them an experience among peers to enjoy.
The one-day camp is open to children ages 10-17, and includes activities that promote independence such as time management, meal prep, and creating routines. Jim Hanophy, the CEO of Ability Connection, shared that “these are families that sometimes would be reluctant to send a kid to a camp for four weeks or five weeks. So we felt like this was just a great little tune-up for the summer and to really kind of focus on the skills,” said Hanophy. “There is evidence that during the summer, especially kids in special education, the skill set tends to regress during the summer.”
The partnership between The Potter’s House Church and Ability Connection came about when Ability Connection learned of the church’s program ‘Capable Minds, Hearts & Hands: The Potter’s House IDD Outreach’ which serves their special needs community. Their collaboration has created a camp that is designed to support the skills children with special needs learn throughout school. Not only do the campers receive reinforcement of these skills, but they also have the “time of their life” enjoying each activity among peers.
Focusing on the intellectual and developmental needs of children makes this one-of-a-kind summer camp a special experience for children with special needs and their families. Through sharing adventures in a positive and supportive atmosphere, campers will continue to grow and build their skills as learn among one another.