WHAS Crusade for Children Grant Helps EKU Assist Children with Disabilities, Their Families

A series of grants from the WHAS Crusade for Children has enabled Eastern Kentucky University to enhance a program designed to assist children with disabilities and their families.

This year’s $10,080.33 grant from the Crusade helps fund the Kentucky Adapted Physical Education program; this is the 11th time in 12 years that Crusade funds have allowed the EKU Department of Exercise and Sport Science and the Telford YMCA to assist the KAPE program.

For 10 weeks of each academic term (September through November and February through April), faculty and students from EKU Department of Exercise and Sport Science lead individualized physical activities for 30 children, ranging from 4 to 18 years of age, that emphasize development of gross motor skills, physical fitness, and basic aquatic skills. These individualized physical activity programs are developed for each child based on initial screening, ongoing motor assessment, and consultations with the parents. Instruction is provided by qualified undergraduate and graduate students.

KAPE’s mission is to use physical activity, movement and exercise to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. Activities will include two-week rotation of physical and motor fitness skills involving throwing, kicking, catching, volleyball, dance and rhythms, and basic swimming skills.

Most of the children served by the EKU program are of elementary school age, and some of the families drive as long as two hours to visit the Telford YMCA site. Services are provided at a modest cost, but there is a sliding pay scale and grants available upon request.

In addition to the obvious benefits for the children and their families, 30 to 35 EKU graduate and undergraduate students in exercise and sport science gain supervised field work and observation experience.

To learn more about services EKU provides for children with disabilities and their families, contact Dr. Louisa Summers at louisa.summmers@eku.edu or at 859-622-1891.

Published on October 18, 2012