Building Partnerships for the New Year
by Heather Wood
Another fresh New Year is here, welcome 2014! With the start of the New Year, many of you may be planning a wedding in the upcoming year. Kernersville Parks and Recreation will be hosting the Kernersville Wedding Fair on Saturday, January 4 at the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden. There will be a wide variety of local vendors, available from 11:00am-3:00pm that are ready to spend some one-on-one time with you. This is a free event and a great opportunity to see what local Kernersville vendors have to offer to make your special day a dream come true.
Kernersville Parks and Recreation and the Kernersville YMCA are teaming up this year to look into offering inclusive and specialized programs for people with disabilities. Specialized programs are designed to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities, but are open to all. Inclusion is defined as people with and without disabilities participating in recreation together. Although the term “integration” is used throughout ADA, “Inclusion” has become the word which is most commonly associated with the concept of integrating persons with disabilities into the general services. Inclusion refers to a philosophy that goes well beyond non-discrimination and takes a proactive approach to including all people in all programs and services. For parks and recreation departments, an inclusive approach involves actively promoting general programs to people with disabilities and planning ahead for their participation. Upon request, reasonable accommodations are assessed individually and are based on the requesting individual’s needs and the program’s essential eligibility requirements. The KPRD and the YMCA currently are not offering any specialized programs to this magnitude but are interested in reaching out to the community and their families for ideas. We want to hear from you, what do you want to see in our community?
This is the first time that the Kernersville Parks and Recreation Department and the Kernersville YMCA have partnered in a programming effort. Both entities have come up with a few program ideas but are very interested in feedback from the community. We want to reach out to the families that are interested in giving us suggestions and what they would like to have in Kernersville. Nathan Durrell, Kernersville YMCA Aquatics Director said, “this is a great first step to the mission of both entities and the collaboration between the two of us will offer more opportunities to the community.”
KPRD and the YMCA have also partnered alongside the Special Olympics to provide practice facilities for volleyball and swimming. “The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year round sport training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympics-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them the opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the community.” Lisa Kiser, Coordinator for Special Olympics in Forsyth County said she is, “excited to offer expanded programming and getting the community more involved in Kernersville.” This opportunity happened many years ago and she is glad we are interested in bringing it back to Kernersville. KPRD and the YMCA will both offer opportunities for registration and are looking for coaches, volunteers, and athletes that would like to get involved in this joint effort. There are also opportunities available in the Unified program that consists of typical athletes competing alongside of persons with disabilities. This opportunity is for people 8 years old and up. Sharon Williams, Programs Supervisor for Kernersville Parks and Recreation said, “We want to build successful programs based on the individuals and families recommendations that will benefit the community.”
If you are interested in offering your suggestions or looking for more information about this new program opportunity, please contact Sharon Williams at 336-992-0806 or Nathan Durrell at 336-996-2231 ext. 6422.
Kick start the New Year with Kernersville Parks and Recreation. The registration process is now underway for all winter programs. There is something being offered for all ages from children to adults. For a complete list of all KPRD programs visit our website at www.toknc.com/pr or pick up the Winter Leisure Guide at our office located at 125 E. Bodenhamer Street, Kernersville.
Beginning January 2, tickets for the Father/Daughter Dance will go on sale. To purchase tickets to this event visit our website at www.toknc.com/pr. Tickets will sell fast and we only have a limited number available. The event will be held on February 8, from 6:00-8:30pm.
“A brand new year, a brand new start, make the next twelve months be the best by far. Good wishes and good luck are sent your way, from January to December, may good luck come to stay.”