Kennedy Dance Theatre has opened up its studio for a Special Needs Program as a way to reach out to the community. The classes offered are for students with Down Syndrome, Autism and other developmental disabilities. Teachers and student assistants involved volunteer their time each week so the classes can be offered free of charge. (I want to note: I called them in April 2023 and their program is going strong. They have a Saturday morning class which runs the length of the school year with a Recital at the end. They have all ages in the class, including some adults).
This program has been featured on both FOX News and ABC 13 News as a great way for Special Needs children to get involved in an extracurricular activity while improving motor skills, confidence, and socialization. For more information about the program please call the studio at 281-480-8441.
To view the ABC 13 News broadcast please Click Here.
Special Needs Director
Jennifer Holbert is the Director of the Special Needs Program at Kennedy Dance Theatre, and has over 30 years of dance experience. She has worked with the Special Needs Program at Clear Lake High School, is a former Special Needs Gymnastics Instructor, and is currently the Director of several Special Needs cheerleading teams. Her program here at KDT has been featured on FOX News, ABC News, The Houston Chronicle, and in Dance Teacher Magazine for her continued dedication to the Special Needs community. In addition to the Special Needs Program, Jennifer specializes in teaching many of the Pre-School Dance Education classes here at KDT, as well as directing several award winning performing groups. She also has a nephew with Down Syndrome, so this program is very near and dear to her heart.
– See more at: https://www.kennedydance.com/special-needs/#sthash.b0wAbt43.2KPKINGG.dpuf
Kinetic Learning with Kids is a program that involves learning academics through movement. The program focuses on a stress free environment for children who struggle in school academically and emotionally. We offer a variety of different types of dance, depending on what your child enjoys the most (ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, yoga/stretching). While your child is dancing he will be learning academics. Movement while learning has been shown to help children with understanding concepts, stress relief and memory. We hope to help your child soon!
Ashleigh Gismondi began dancing when she was 3 years old. She was mostly self-taught until 1996 when she joined the Pacific School of Ballet in California. She was taught by Rosemary Molak, Maryann Bayless and Brenda Smith. While in high school Ashleigh also danced on the competitive El Toro High School dance/drill team. After high school Ashleigh continued to dance in college while pursuing a degree in Special Education. She is currently at the University of Houston/ Clear Lake continuing her education in Special Education. Ashleigh has had 13 years of experience working with children ages preschool to 6th grade, at Pasadena Independent School District with the Autistic Program, and Clear Creek Independent School District with Social Development.
THE KINETIC LEARNER PLAN. EACH CHILD WILL HAVE AN INDIVIDUALIZED PLAN DEPENDING ON HIS ASSESSMENT BY THE PROGRAM, “SCOOTPAD.” THIS PROGRAM WILL KEEP TRACK OF THEIR GROWTH ACADEMICALLY, HAVE ASSIGNMENTS AVAILABLE TO THEM 24 HOURS A DAY, EBOOKS AT THEIR READING LEVEL AND EMAILS SENT TO PARENTS SHOWING HOW THEIR CHILD IS PROGRESSING. WE WILL ALSO BE USING ACTIVITIES, MANIPULATIVES, VISUALS AND WRITING TO HELP WITH EACH CHILD’S ACADEMIC SUCCESS. WHEN IT IS TIME FOR A BREAK, WE BREAK WITH A DANCE LESSON THAT INCORPORATES WITH THE ACADEMIC LESSON. THE DANCE LESSON WILL INVOLVE STRETCHING, ACROSS THE FLOOR WORK AND A COOL DOWN. A TOTAL OF ONE HOUR SESSION.
MYAVAILABILITYTY IN THE SUMMER:
MY AVAILABILITY IN THE FALL:
WHAT WE OFFER:
TUTORING IN READING, FINE MOTOR SKILLS, MATH, SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES, BEHAVIORAL THERAPY THROUGH POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT COST PER HOUR $35
KINETIC LEARNING WITH KIDS
Contact information: 404-803-2664
“Sailing Angels introduces the joy of sailing to children with special cognitive and physical needs and critical illnesses (e.g. Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Blindness, Deafness, MR, Type One Diabetes, physical mobility issues, cancer, etc.), as an opportunity for education and recreational therapy. We provide sailing adventures at no cost to the participants.”
Capt. Dave McCabe, Director
The Sailing Angels Foundation
The Special Olympics at CCISD is very popular with parents. The CCISD Challengers participate in five Special Olympics Sports in Texas:
- Swimming (August-October)
- Bowling (October-December)
- Basketball (January-March)
- Track & Field (March-May)
- Soccer (March-May)
My son benefitted greatly from the swimming program because they really taught him how to swim. I was always worried about his falling in water, and despite our going to the pool in the summertime he never learned to swim effectively. Their instructors worked 1:1 with Christopher to get him to actually swim. We also did bowling for a time. I think it is an excellent program.
Special Strong has recently started offering classes in the Clear Lake area. Programs are for kids, teens and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. There are a variety of classes to choose from, from aquatics to trampolines to dance, strength-training and kickboxing. Classes meet at different locations. I just found out about his organization (May 15). To get an idea for the classes offered, I have posted the Spring 2023 schedule below. For more information, call Coach Mike Lutey: 832-856-0158.
TEXAS ADAPTIVE AQUATICS
“It Ain’t ‘Bragging If You Can Do It.”
An outstanding adaptive water skiing program that allows people with physical and/or mental disabilities the opportunity to discover the thrill and excitement of water skiing, sailing, and kayaking. T.A.A. founded in 1989 and incorporated in the State of Texas in 1990, is a non-profit sports training program for children and adults with disabilities.
All ski events that are located at the Lake Houston Sports Center, 103 Page Lane, Huffman, TX, are free of charge for people with disabilities and their families. We start at 10:00 am and close at 5:00 pm, lunch is also provided free of charge.
Recently it appears the program has expanded to include hunting under the name “Texas Adaptive Outdoorsman.”
I don’t live in Pasadena, but the Verne Cox Multipurpose Recreation Center makes me wish I did.
This is a recreational center with pool, gym and classrooms which offers programming for people with disabilities, including adaptive aquatics, outings, cooking and art classes, sports and after school programs for kids with special needs. Right now, its afterschool program is for kids up to the age of 15, but the Director says they may even increase this age limit if there is sufficient demand. Rumor has it that Pasadena ISD and Friendswood ISD provide transportation to Verne Cox after school to their special ed kids can use it, but when I called to enquire, CCISD said “no.” The rec center also offers a summer program and dances.
“VSA Texas is the state organization on arts and disability. We are a statewide arts organization that challenges perceptions of how people contribute by creating an arts-inspired, inclusive community of individuals with diverse abilities. Our Artworks: Creative Industries program promotes visual artists all over Texas through exhibition opportunities, mentoring, and workshops that support professional development.”