Monday, November 22, 2010

CHAMP + Franziska Racker Center

Dr. Tim Davis has started an after school mentorship program for Cortland and Homer students, CHAMP. At this program, students complete their homework, engage in physical activity and eat a healthy snack. I teamed up with the Franziska Racker Center who provides opportunities for individuals with special needs. Through the Racker Center I teamed up with a young lady, named Deanna, who has Down Syndrome. I took Deanna to CHAMP where she was a mentor to the younger students. She assisted them with her homework, played games on the turf with them and read the students stories. Many of these students have not interacting with individuals with disabilities and it was extremely interesting to see the students react to Deanna. On the other end of the spectrum, it was interesting to see Deanna interact with the students and assist them with their
homework. On the turf, she was able to play with the students and work with them to accomplish a common goal. Deanna and I have attended this program once a week for the past six weeks for a two hours each time. On the days that we do not go to the CHAMP program, we volunteer around the community and learn new ways to be physically active. Some things that Deanna and I have done is ice skating, miniature golf (when the weather was nice) and various sports. One of Deanna and my favorite things to do was volunteering at the local SPCA where we were able to walk dogs. This is a great activity for us to do because it helps out the community and provides physical activity. Deanna and I also have been attending an adapted dance class at the Cortland YMCA. Here, she is able to socialize with other individuals with disabilities and once again, engage in physical
. Throughout the semester, I averaged working around 6 hours a week with Deanna. After learning about the special olympics and becoming Track and Field coach certified, I would love to get Deanna involved. She is an extremely active and thriving individual who impacts the life of everyone she meets. While working with her, I have learned of different activities to engage in and different opportunities around the community. I plan on continuing Deanna's involvement in the CHAMP program so that children are not only exposed to individuals with disabilities, but are learning and working with her.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

SUNY Cortland Mini Conference

Every year SUNY Cortland hosts a mini conference for students and physical educators all around. At this conference, professionals are able to attend mini conferences to learn the new and innovated strategies and activities. This year, I had the opportunity to present Wheelchair Sports at the conference. During my presentation, students and professionals were able to get acquainted with the wheelchair and engage in a track and field game and basketball. The individuals who attended learned the rules of games and how to play them. We also incorporated scooters into the program to provide different options for schools who do not have as many chairs as Cortland was able to provide. I personally enjoyed presenting wheelchair sports because it opened educators eyes to ways to incorporate physical activity with a disability into their classroom. Many times if a child is in a wheelchair, their physical education experience is ineffective and useless. By learning new ways to incorporate them into the classroom, it provides them with new opportunity and options. Additionally, it provides students without disabilities the chance to experience what it is like to be in a chair and the different challenges they may not acknowledge without being in one. Surprisingly, by presenting in the conference, I educated myself more than I had expected. I was forced to look into specific rules of wheelchair basketball and explored different opportunities for chair users. I attended two Thursday night wheelchair basketball games which are held at SUNY Cortland. I was shocked at how good the athletes were and how they used the chair as an advantage. Overall, presenting at the conference was beneficial to not only myself, but to others who hopefully will pass it on to their students.