The Resource Department at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School is not only providing a memorable summer break for students with exceptional needs, but also equipping them with necessary life skills they can take home.
The day program, which runs from July 3 to July 27, offers students a variety of activities meant to stimulate their mind and encourage personal growth.
This year, the department cares for nine students from both Bishop Ryan and Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary.
Some of the sessions students partake in focus on physical literacy, healthy lifestyle, arts and culture, recreation and Christian meditation.
“Not only do their parents receive respite care, the students are able to participate in experiential learning of meaningful life skills,” said Coordinator Laurie Fernandez, adding that a Tuck Shop allows students to integrate with other summer students at Bishop Ryan, learn customer service, communication skills, math, food handling and hygiene.”
A favourite, arts and crafts, helps students build fine motor skills while working on creative expression.
Activities surrounding a healthy lifestyle include working on ways to incorporate physical activity into daily life, like going on walks or playing at the park. Equally important, students learn that healthy living also means eating nutritious foods. Part of the day program incorporates simple cooking lessons, while also being mindful of kitchen safety.
“The program is amazing for these exceptional students,” said Fernandez, who noted that even just integrating students from two schools helps build communication skills while practicing concepts like sharing, personal boundaries and respect for others.
“The program that is a true testament to the Gospel values of diversity, inclusivity and love for all.”