SODE Begins New Tradition

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Special Olympics of Delaware (SODE) began a new tradition in Milford on Wednesday, September 21 with the introduction of their Young Athletes Program (YAP). YAP is an innovative inclusive play program for children with intellectual disabilities ages 2-7. With a focus on fun activities that are important to mental and physical growth, children enjoyed games and activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Local SODE volunteer Cynthia Sammons led the charge to bring the program, which has been successful in other states around the country, to Milford, DE. Introduced to Special Olympics through her daughter, who is now a Director at SODE, Sammons also has a grandson with special needs. She has seen first hand the difficulties families have finding programs. Sammons wrote a grant request to get monies for equipment from the Milford Elks and it was accepted. The program received $2,000 to buy equipment and to use for advertising.

The benefits of the program help children of all abilities improve motor, social and communication development, build physical strength and social skills. Two local special education teachers, Laurie Moorman and Michelle Davis, have agreed to be the primary coaches. Children with and without disabilities of the similar-aged are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The weekly program, overseen by local special education teachers with the assistance of Elks volunteers, takes place Thursdays from 4:30-5:15 beginning Feb. 23 through March 30 at the Milford Elks Lodge #2401. There is no cost to participate. To sign up or for more information, families can contact info@sode.org or 302-831-3484.

 

SODE Young Athletes Program

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