PARKERSBURG – The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s inclusive summer day program will provide social and recreational activities this year for youth and teens who use the special education system during the school year.
This year the program will deliver fun and excitement in a virtual format using Zoom and the recognition of technology is key to the community.
The Virtual Summer Day programming will begin on June 14 and will continue until July 23. Two separate sessions per day will take place from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 1 p.m. A phone, tablet or computer with Internet access or a data plan will be required to participate in programming this year.
Participants who do not have access to devices or services can contact The Arc at 304 422-3151. A limited number of devices are available.
The Arc is responding to the health risks posed by COVID-19 by eliminating in-person camps and community travel and instead using technology to welcome visitors and travel locally and around the world. In addition to developing friendships and having fun with other young people and adolescents, the emphasis is on life skills, peer interaction, socialization skills and community interaction.
The programming for Inclusive Summer Day 2021 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. Porcine Latin, Morse code and world languages will also 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 questions such as why it snows and how fog forms. Special presenters include WTAP meteorologist Thomas Battle, local teachers, and representatives from the Parkersburg recycling and wastewater treatment plants.
Wednesday is about movement and planes, trains, automobiles, bikes, running and walking and sharing personal travel stories. Each student will receive a passport allowing them to document their virtual trips in the community and around the world. Air, train and automobile travel 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 school students 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 the mind and body and will include cooking, gardening, shopping and mindfulness. Pamela Santer, Wellness Coordinator at the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg, will host a session on mindfulness for participants.
Eligible students will be in grades 6 through 12 using the special education system and those with moderate or severe developmental disabilities or related developmental disabilities will be given first priority. All students can participate in this virtual and 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 run online using technology to show demonstrations, do crafts, and take field trips. virtual in the community.
Qualified special education teachers and assistants help frame the program. Volunteers will attend with special presentations to encourage community inclusion.
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 cost of personnel, supplies and mail.
Funding sources include the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Henry Logan Children’s Foundation, Peoples Bank, Vienna Baptist Church, West Virginia Family Support Program, and donors.