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.


  1. Amy this is a wonderful story of the work that you have done with Deanna. I look forward to meeting you, Coach Davis and Deanna soon. I've shared a link to your blog on our Racker Centers facebook fan page in order to share your story with friends of the agency. Thank you for sharing - Heather Hughes - Franziska Racker Centers

  2. Hi Amy,
    I am working with Heather Hughes at Franziska Racker Centers to write up a story about the CHAMPS program and Deanna's involvement. I read your posting and was hoping to use some of your information and hopefully get a photo or two of you and Deanna or Deanna while at CHAMPS. Heather thought some pictures might have been taken at the end of last year. Any help you can give would be so so appreciated. My phone number is 379-1844 and email is .

    Thanks so much and nice blog, listening to Dalton now!

    Dawn Bricen LaMorte
    Sunrise Studios Design