Program Spotlight: RIC Caring for Kids
|A photo of Janet Lutha who is the Caring for Kids coordinator at the Rehab Institute of Chicago.|
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's (RIC) Caring for Kids program provides year-round adaptive sports and recreation for youth between the ages of 7 to 17 who have a physical disability. During the school year, programs are offered mainly on weekends and school holidays. These programs include a variety of indoor and outdoor sports, recreational activities and social outings. Caring for Kids also offers a summer camp which meets three times a week and includes such activities as baseball, tennis, golf, swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, karate, and yoga. Janet Lutha is the coordinator for the Caring for Kids program.
Learn more about The RIC Caring for Kids program and why sports and recreation programs are important for children of all abilities by reading our interview with Janet Lutha, or by clicking on the link to the video version of the interview.
The RIC Caring For Kids Program
Hello, my name is Janet Lutha and I'm the Caring for Kids coordinator at the Rehab Institute of Chicago. Caring for Kids provides adaptive sports and recreation opportunities for youth between the ages of 7 to 17 who have a physical disability. During the school year from September to June, programs are offered on weekends & school holidays, and include anything from indoor/outdoor sports and recreation to field trips and social outings. This also includes our 5-week karate and yoga program which runs on Sundays from 12-1 and 1-2pm and is offered in 5 weeks, and then they take 2 weeks off and are offered 5 weeks throughout the school year.
Click on the link to view the videoclip of the overview of the the Caring for Kids Program by Janet Lutha: http://www.ncpad.org/get/video/real/janet/intro.SMI
The Caring for Kids Program started in 2001. It was open to any kid who had a physical disability and wanted to see if there was any opportunity in the Chicagoland area for sports and recreation for youth. Since that program in 2001, Caring for Kids has continued to acquire grants to fund the program. This has allowed the program to be free to all children who would like to participate. On top of that, Caring for Kids also offers wheelchair accessible transportation, door-to-door for most of the events.
Click on the link to view Janet Lutha talk about how the RIC Caring for Kids program started: http://www.ncpad.org/get/video/real/janet/history.SMI
RIC Caring for Kids Summer Camp
Caring for Kids also offers a summer camp during the months of July and August. Summer camp is two sessions, July or August, and is offered three days a week - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 9 o'clock until 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Kids can register for either one or two sessions, based on availability. Sports opportunities throughout the summer include baseball, tennis, golf, swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, karate, and yoga.
Click on the link to view Janet Lutha talk about the RIC Caring for Kids - Summer Camp: http://www.ncpad.org/get/video/real/janet/summercamp.SMI
Benefits of Sport and Recreation Programs for Children and Youth with Disabilities
In today's society, we notice that kid's lifestyles are typically more sedentary. They spend a lot of time sitting in school, sitting at home, and playing video and computer games. Especially for kids who have a disability, it's most important for them to get out & be more active and learn what resources are there for youth with disabilities - what kind of adaptive sports and resources are out there, as well as social opportunities. They could meet kids just like them who have a disability, share their stories, encourage them, and build up their confidence and their self-esteem.
A lot of kids who come to our program have the opportunity to get outside & be more active and learn about adaptive and accessible sports. These are activities that they can take with them and do on their own time if they want to pursue it on a more active level. At least they can come to camp and they have the opportunity to be more active,and over time, I've noticed that a lot of kids in our program gain self-confidence & self-esteem, and do a lot of sports and activities that they wouldn't normally be able to do without a program such as this that offers adaptive sports.
Click on the link to view Janet Lutha talk about the benefits of having programs, such as RIC Caring for Kids, available to children and youth with disabilities: http://www.ncpad.org/get/video/real/janet/benefits.SMI