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Mid-Ohio Valley’s Inclusive Summer Day Program goes online

PARKERSBURG — The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s Inclusive Summer Day Program this year will provide social and recreational activities for youth and teens who utilize the special education system during the school year.

This year, the program will provide fun and excitement in a virtual format using Zoom and recognizing technology is a key to the community.

Virtual summer day programming will begin June 14 and run through July 23. Two separate sessions per day will run 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. A phone, tablet or computer with internet access or a data plan will be required to participate in the programming this year.

Participants without access to the devices or services can contact The Arc at 304 422-3151. A limited supply of devices are available.

The Arc is responding to health risks posed by COVID-19 by eliminating in-person camp and trips into the community and instead utilizing technology to host visitors and travel locally and around the globe. In addition to developing friendships and having fun with other youth and teens, there is a strong emphasis on daily living skills, peer interaction, socialization skills and community interaction.

Inclusive Summer Day 2021 programming will follow a different theme for each day of the week. Monday will focus on communication and campers will learn about sign language, body language, eye contact, and the importance of being a good listener. Pig Latin, Morse code, and languages of the world also will be discovered.

Tuesday’s programming will explore the earth including animals, physics, chemistry, the environment, nature and weather. Participants will be given tools to make a rain gauge and get answers to the questions such as why does it snow and how does fog form. Special presenters include WTAP Meteorologist Thomas Battle, local teachers and representatives from the Parkersburg recycling and waste water plants.

Wednesday means movement and planes, trains, automobiles, bicycles, running and walking and sharing personal stories of travel. Each student will receive a passport allowing them to document virtual travels around the community and the world. Travel on planes, trains, and automobiles will be explored.

Thursday is dedicated to the love of art and history and will feature drawing, painting, architecture, singing, musical instruments and an exploration of types of music such as jazz, classical, hip-hop and rock. Mark Doebrich and High Schoolers that Rock will join the camp. Local artist and cartoonist Kevin Oliphant will continue his popular Key Man cartoon series with this year’s class.

Friday will focus on mind and body and include cooking, gardening, shopping, and mindfulness. Pamela Santer, Wellness Coordinator at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, will provide a session on Mindfulness for participants.

Eligible students will be in the sixth through the 12th grades who utilize the special education system and those who have moderate or severe intellectual or related developmental disabilities will be given first priority. All students may participate in this virtual, inclusive program. Materials will be provided for students with disabilities as funding is limited.

The program is typically based in the South Parkersburg Baptist Church, but for the safety of all participants, this year the program will be held online using technology to show demonstrations, make crafts and to take virtual field trips in the community.

Qualified special education teachers and assistants help staff the program. Volunteers will assist with special presentations encourage community integration.

Traditionally, there would be a camp fee to pay for staff and supplies, but this year the program will be provided at no cost. The community is welcome to donate to The Arc of the Mid Ohio Valley to help cover the costs for personnel, supplies and mailing.

Sources of funding include the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley, the Henry Logan Children’s Foundation, Peoples Bank, Vienna Baptist Church, the West Virginia Family Support Program and donors.

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