Thanks to a generous grant of $10,000 from GoodLife Kids Foundation and a partnership with Variety Village, students in the Multiple Exceptionality class at St. Dominic Savio are enjoying taking part in their own physical education class. With the funding, the school was able to purchase accessible equipment. Diana Vecchiarelli, who taught at the school last year, received support from Troy Beharry in TCDSB Partnership Development for the grant application.
Variety Village staffer, Shane Risto, designs individual programs for each student that builds their endurance and gross motor skills. Shane is a former Paralympian and World Champion (shot put) and is an “Ability in Action Coordinator in Adaptive Physical Education and Sports” at Variety Village. He conducts a diagnostic assessment of the students’ strengths and weaknesses. He designs and adapts the individual programs for each student as they progress. The school staff have also been trained to assist with the delivery to promote the program’s sustainability. Students enjoy growing and learning about their own abilities. Through the program, students will gain the confidence and a life-long love for inclusive physical activity when they see what they are able to accomplish. Students will “graduate” from the program in June 2017.
The new equipment includes a swing in a portable tee pee frame, platforms, low steps, rainbow barrel, peanut ball, jumbo tunnels and more.
• By the end of June 2017, St. Dominic Savio Catholic School’s ME students will be fully integrated in Variety Village’s weekly program. As a result, they will improve and develop their overall level of physical fitness.
• By the end of the 60-week session, our students will have increased their endurance, gross and motor skills by 20% through their work with Variety Village.
• Educational Assistants will also be fully integrated into the program. In September 2017, they will use the training to continue running the program for all ME students from the 2017-2018 school year and beyond.
The school staff invited Lisa Burrows, Executive Director of GoodLife Kids Foundation to the school on October 21st to formally thank the Foundation for its generosity. Three employees from local GoodLife Fitness Clubs at Cedarbrae and Markington locations were also in attendance along with Shawna Campbell, Superintendent of Education, and the school’s Physical and Health Education teacher Maria Mazzucca. The visitors got to observe the class in action in the gym and heard some wonderful success stories about the students from teachers and educational assistants. Teacher Imee Wright presented Ms. Burrows with a thank you card and photo display on behalf of the students and school community to bring home and share with the GoodLife family.