Kevin Taylor – TryCAN Coordinator receives award from NJ CASE.

Summit, NJ – Kevin Taylor, coordinator of the TryCAN Collaboration and NJRPA Member, recently accepted the Annual Recognition Award from the New Jersey Council of Administrators of Special Education (NJ CASE). What makes this award such a tremendous honor is that NJ CASE does not typically look outside its own organization when considering award recipients.

 

NJ CASE is comprised of special education administrators from both the private and public sector who are committed to continuous improvement of their own leadership skills and the student programs they are responsible for providing. NJ CASE provides collegial support, opportunities for information sharing and professional development. Additionally, NJ CASE provides special education leaders with a representative voice concerning issues that affect the students and families served by special education.

 

Prior to the launch of TryCAN, children with special needs had limited opportunities to participate in activities throughout the community, particularly in recreation.  In response to this need, a group of Summit parents formed TryCAN with their goal being to educate and train the local community to understand and actively include children with disabilities in recreational, social, and vocational activities.

 

Ten years later, TryCAN is now an award-winning collaboration of eleven communities, including the original three communities of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Springfield.  All programs incorporate trained Peer Mentors in a “kids helping kids” approach.  Typical teenage and adult volunteers are paired up with children with unique needs to boost their confidence while they tackle new sports, demonstrate newly learned reading skills, and develop important social skills.

 

More than 1000 students have completed the necessary Peer Mentor training session and gone on to volunteer with TryCAN.  Mentors are instrumental in the success of this program and serve as a bridge to inclusion for TryCAN children within the school system as well as within the community in general.

 

 

 

If you or someone you know has a child with unique needs, consider enrolling in an upcoming spring or summer program with the TryCAN Collaboration.  No non-resident fees apply and all are welcome to participate.  Whether your child is interested in sports, improving reading skills, or dance and music, TryCAN has a program for everyone. Visit summitcommunityprograms.com or call 908-277-2932 for more information.

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