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“Fit With Friends” Program Being Offered for Children With Special Needs

Jackie Schatell

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 • 6:55am

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Breaking Boundaries and its founders Christopher Purdue and Seth Blender are partnering with Sports Universe to offer Fit With Friends, a brand new program designed to offer children and teens ages 8-12 and 13-16, with diverse special needs, the opportunity to experience and participate in many different sports activities and make new friends.

Typically team sports can be a difficult and challenging experience for all children including those with special needs. Often, these frustrating experiences turn children off to sports, physical activity and the development of lifelong fitness. In turn, this prevents a vital opportunity for children to make new   friends, share experiences and connect with others.

“Together with Breaking Boundaries and Sports Universe children will ‘break through boundaries,’ typically associated with participation on a sports team,” said Blender.

Fit With Friends offers a sports and social experience, which addresses three main areas:

  • The First is developing skills and a level of fitness with a nurturing and realistic philosophy. The programs’ Certified Physical Education Teachers have experience with diverse learners in multiple sports like soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey and flag football.
  • The Second is promoting appropriate socialization with peers and creating new friendships that can transfer beyond the class. This is accomplished through activities led by a trained and experienced staff and specially-trained peer mentors.
  • The Third area is offering children the option of a “competitive” or “noncompetitive” sport and movement experience. This ensures that the child is in a comfortable environment that is suited for his/her individual needs.

Each meeting will begin with a team-building game, and then lead to skill practice, stations and games. Two scheduled breaks will be offered and children are encouraged to bring water bottles with them. After game play, children will have access to the Sports Universe Party Room to socialize and “hang out” with their peers, mentors and instructors.

Sessions will begin on Friday, March 21, and run for six sessions through May 9, at 355 Eisenhower Parkway in Livingston. All sessions will be two hours long, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The cost of Fit With Friends is $375 for all six sessions. Cost includes all activities, food, drink, t-shirt and certificate for all participants.

“Healthier” food options will be offered, such as: sandwiches, wraps and salads. Beverages will also be available to all participants. Parents are asked to let program instructors know of any specific dietary needs.

Editor’s Note: See article photos for samples of a competitive and non-competitive schedule.

About Breaking Boundaries

Breaking Boundaries is a progressive program providing children and young adults with safe, recreational and fun excursions centered on the core values of socialization, education and independence.

Students with developmental challenges, including, but not limited to Developmental Disabilities, Autism, Learning Disabilities, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADD and ADHD will gain a sense of belonging and acceptance through this innovative travel program whose goal is to allow for the breaking of boundaries often faced when trying to relate to their peers.

Other programs offered by Breaking Boundaries include:

Travel Program

The travel program utilizes three main core values: socialization, education, and independence. It is for people ages 12- 21 and is normally 4-5 hours in duration. Each trip originates out of West Orange, NJ and people travel from all over the state to be part of this program.

Friday Night Out Travel Program

The Friday Night Out activities give young adults ages 16-21 a true “teen Friday Night Out hangout experience” where they socialize with peers and establish relationships. These social events are chaperoned by a Breaking Boundaries professional, mentors and friends. The goal is for participants to learn appropriate behaviors, meet new people, and maintain relationships.

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