Most people think that when school ends on June 11th, we’re on vacation until the start of the next school year. Not true at the Barber National Institute! We have a number of programs that provide fun, recreational opportunities as well as encourage learning through the summer months.
“Connections” Camp for children and teens with high-functioning autism is one of the favorites. We initiated Connections Camp nine years ago, to help children develop and practice social skills in the most effective ways. This is always a thoroughly enjoyable camp experience, fostering new friendships and a lot of fun. Ryan participated in this program for a number of years. I saw significant improvements in his social interactions with his peers. I would recommend the program to all parents.
The Barber National Institute’s Camp Shamrock is a summer day camp program for children with disabilities between ages 5 and 21. Campers enjoy weekly field trips, access to the BNI pool and gym, and a variety of fun arts & crafts activities.
Happy Hearts Early Childhood Education for preschool aged children also operates all summer, until the start of the new school year. Happy Hearts provides a state-of-the-art educational experience where all preschool children have the opportunity to learn and grow. This fully-inclusive program serves typical children and children with identified developmental delays. Full or part-time enrollment is available based on family preference.
We also offer an Extended School Year Program, for school-aged students 5-21 years old, to allow them to continue to learn through the summer and avoid losing the critical skills they develop during the school year. Each student’s learning experiences integrate a variety of activities throughout the school day, to address their academic, behavioral, and therapeutic needs.
“Learn to Ride” Bike Camp is a four-week program to help children develop skills to ride their bikes independently. Camp will be offered in Erie and in Warren, PA free of charge in summer of 2015, funded by a grant from the Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Foundation. Bike Camp is open to any youngster in the community who is able to pedal but who has not been successful riding without training wheels.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s never too early to start planning for the summer, even if it’s snowing in April!