Recreational Therapy Program Creates Winning Combination
Metro State and Denver Parks & Recreation Establish Adaptive Recreation Program
Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705
Posted: April 27, 2011
(Denver, Colo.) — With today’s tight budgets in nearly every sector, expanding city services in support of community needs might seem improbable. But the creative thinking of Metropolitan State College of Denver and Denver Parks and Recreation has led to a new recreational therapy program for citizens with disabilities in spite of the financial obstacles.
Metro State’s Recreational Therapy program approached Denver Parks and Recreation about developing a community program as part of the College’s Advanced Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation class. The classes were designed and administered by Metro State students majoring in Therapeutic Recreation with the oversight of Health Professions Professor Jane Broida.
“We have a longstanding relationship with Denver Parks and Recreation in placing students into applied-learning situations with their Adaptive Recreation program,” says Broida. “However, this is first time we have had our Therapeutic Recreation students create a group program for individuals with disabilities.”
The six-week program, “Try It… You’ll Like It” began March 17 and runs every Thursday through April 28 from 3-4 p.m. at the La Alma Recreation Center in Denver. Each week a group of eight students leads a set of activities for 14 individuals with varying levels of developmental disabilities.
“We have received a lot positive feedback from program clients, as they loved the diversity of experiences the Metro State students have brought to the recreation center,” says Sarah Swain, Denver Parks and Recreation Adaptive Recreation coordinator. “We could not have offered these programs without the support of Metro State students, as they made it happen.”
Each weekly class has had a different experiential theme from “In the Air” (kites, paper airplanes, birds) to “Getting Crafty” (bead work, jewelry making, mosaics, models). This week’s final class is themed “Indoor Camp Out” (tents, fishing, cooking, journal sharing).
Program graduates earn a certificate of completion and the students have received valuable feedback about their experiences. Because of the success of the program, Metro State and Denver Parks and Recreation plan to offer “Try It… You’ll Like It” next year.
For a full list of information about Denver Parks and Recreation Adaptive Recreation programming visit:http://www.denvergov.org/recreation
For more information about Metro State’s major in Recreational Therapy visit:http://www.mscd.edu/hep/academics/recreationprofessions.shtml
About Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) offers nearly 3,000 acres of traditional parks and parkways, 2,000 urban natural acres and close to 8,000 acres of urban forest within the city alone. It is unique in that it also offers nearly 14,000 acres of mountain park land. The system has evolved from the early years of jungle gyms and swings to more than two dozen recreation centers and 17 outdoor pools offering high-quality programs.
About Metropolitan State College of Denver
With more than 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans. The College now offers master’s degrees in accounting and teacher education, and will offer a master’s in social work starting fall 2011. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 69,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.