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Inclusion program receives grant

Posted: June 27, 2012 8:57 a.m.
Updated: June 27, 2012 8:57 a.m.

Children with disabilities will have more opportunities to participate in Santa Clarita parks and recreation programs through the city’s “inclusion program” after the City Council accepted a grant Tuesday night.

The $9,500 grant from the National Inclusion Project will fund the hiring of two part-time employees for the Camp Clarita summer inclusion program, according to a city staff report. The City Council unanimously approved accepting the grant Tuesday night.

“This grant allows us to hire more inclusion aides, which enhances our offerings to inclusion participants,” said Toi Chisom, recreation superintendent, in an interview last week.

Inclusion aides have background working with disabled children, Chisom said. Some of the aides work with children in Santa Clarita school districts during the school year.

Children with disabilities — such as autism, Down syndrome, or vision or hearing impairments — are able to participate in regular city programs, such as Camp Clarita, through the program.

The inclusion program has expanded from nine participants when it first started in 2008 to 57 children by earlier this year, according to city officials.

Most of the children currently in the program have autism, although it is also open to children with emotional or behavioral problems or children who are developmentally delayed. The goal of the program is to allow disabled children to blend in during activities.


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