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Special needs inclusion camp opening at JCC of the North Shore

Posted by boston.com  March 1, 2014 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by The JCC of the North Shore:

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The JCC of the North Shore is proud to launch a new Special Needs Inclusion program at its popular Summer on the Hill camps in Marblehead. Special Needs educator Melissa Caplan, of Swampscott, has been named director.

“I’m passionate about providing children with physical and developmental disabilities the opportunity to experience the outdoors, create long-lasting friendships and participate in typical summer camp,” Caplan said. She brings more than 20 years of experience working with children with special needs. 

The program welcomes children ages 3 years and older. The kids will be part of the JCC’s award-winning camps – with special support and guidance.  “They will practice motor skills, communication and social skills, in a natural setting,” Caplan said. “They’ll have an opportunity to make new friends and share new experiences, but most importantly, they’ll feel like part of their peer group and have a true sense of belonging.”

Caplan says the program will benefit not only the children with special needs, but all campers.  “Campers will get to know these kids and learn all they have to offer. We’ll be creating awareness.”

For more information about the Special Needs Inclusion program, contact Melissa Caplan at mcaplan@jccns.com.  Caplan will meet with applicant parents and their children to determine goals for the summer. 

Summer on the Hill camps are located on the JCC’s 11-acre campus in Marblehead and serve toddlers to teens. New this summer: Outdoor Adventure Camps (featuring an overnight) and J’s Got Talent Music Camp. Popular specialties are returning, too, including Robotics, Dance, Premier Hoops, Golf, Soccer, Art and more.

Learn more at JCCNS.ORG and come to the Camp Open House on Sunday, March 30, 1:00-3:00pm. The JCCNS is located at 4 Community Road, Marblehead. You can also call the Summer on the Hill Camp Office at 781-476-9916.

The JCC has been growing its programming for children and young adults with special needs.  The Center offers Adaptive Swim Lessons and an Adaptive Swim & Gym program. It also partners with Triangle, to hire people with disabilities.

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