A.S.K. Spearheads Second Special Olympics Developmental Program

by admin


May 13, 2015, Woodland Park, New Jersey— “We are so excited to begin Woodland Park’s Special Olympics Developmental Track Program for children with special needs ages 6 to 12. Passaic Valley Regional High School gave us usage of their track. The program begins on May 13, 2015 at 5:15 p.m and continues through June,” stated Joanne Bastante-Howard, founder of America’s Special Kidz (A.S.K.).

Residents and business professionals of Woodland Park, Little Falls, Totowa and other surrounding cities in northern New Jersey are actively sharing their talents and time. “We couldn’t offer these wonderful recreation programs without weekly volunteers,” Howard explained.

“We seem to be attracting additional inquiries weekly! We all know how important it is that our children live active and healthy lives,” she said.

Special Olympics developmental programs help children remain healthy—physically and mentally. They also teach kids valuable team-building and socialization skills. What’s more, the teenage typically developed kids also learn how to embrace their peers with special needs. It’s a win/win for the entire community.

“Since many of our young children have physical, communication, coordination and socialization challenges, they are not able to compete with their peers in other cities like the older Special Olympics athletes. Also, our kids do not typically receive clothing or awards for their hard work, so A.S.K. sought the help of a local sponsor. Thanks to Pizza City of Woodland Park, our kids will have custom t-shirts!

What’s more, at the end of the program, A.S.K. will create certificates/awards based on each child’s accomplishments.”

“We want to encourage the kids to continue participating in Special Olympics programs. We know many of the relationships they form today will have a great impact on their future happiness,” concluded Howard.

All volunteers must be registered at www.sonj.org. Athletes must have a medical release form on file with Special Olympics and be registered online prior to participation. Track dates are May 13, 20, 27, June 3, 10, 16 and 24.