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Inclusion program may receive grant

Posted: June 25, 2012 11:00 a.m.
Updated: June 25, 2012 11:00 a.m.

Children with disabilities may be able to have more opportunities to participate in Santa Clarita parks and recreation programs through the city's "inclusion program."

The Santa Clarita City Council is due to consider accepting a $9,500 grant for that purpose at its meeting Tuesday night.

The grant would fund the hiring of two part-time employees for the Camp Clarita summer inclusion program, according to a city staff report. The grant is from the National Inclusion Project.

"This grant allows us to hire more inclusion aides, which enhances our offerings to inclusion participants," said Toi Chisom, recreation superintendent.

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.

"We recognize that it is a benefit and it is a pleasure to offer the service," Chisom said.

The City Council meets beginning at 6 p.m. at Santa Clarita City Hall - 23920 Valencia Blvd.





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