South Placer Rotary helps sends children with autism to camp
The Rotary Club of South Placer is helping send children with autism to summer camp through a $500 grant to UCP of Sacramento and Northern California. UCP’s A.C.E. camp is part of UCP’s Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State University, one of its programs that empowers people with developmental disabilities to live life without limits.
“Summer camp is a key childhood experience, but too often kids with autism are sitting at home isolated while their peers are gathering around a campfire, “ said Doug Bergman, president and CEO, UCP of Sacramento and Northern California. “We are so grateful to the Rotary Club of South Placer for recognizing that all children deserve the one-of-a-kind thrill of summer camp and for helping our kids practice the skills they’re learning throughout the year at our Autism Center for Excellence.”
UCP’s A.C.E. Camp gives 15 children in UCP’s Autism Center for Excellence the chance to continue building their skills during the summer break. In the weeklong program at Grizzly Creek Ranch in Portola, campers learn swimming, arts and crafts, kayaking, archery, volleyball, scooter hockey, fishing, soccer and dancing. They also have a movie night, campfire time and a talent show, as well as the chance to build on the skills they learn throughout the year. Campers have the chance to interact with each other and typically developing children throughout the week. For more information, visit www.ucpsacto.org/acecamp/index.html.
UCP’s Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State serves about 50 children ages 8-12 with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. The after-school program is designed to help children with autism build many skills, particularly social skills. Participants take part in large group opening and closing activities and divide into smaller groups throughout the afternoon. A team of occupational therapists, speech therapists, adaptive physical activity specialists and behavioral analysts work with the kids, and parents are instructed on techniques to use at home. The program also helps participants join community activities with typically developing children when they are ready. For more information, visit www.ucpsacto.org/ace.htm.
Each month, UCP of Sacramento and Northern California serves 3,300 children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families in Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Shasta, Sutter and Yolo counties. Programs include Saddle Pals adaptive horseback riding, UCP’s Autism Center for Excellence at Sacramento State, adult day programs, independent living services, transportation and in-home respite care for families. For more information, visit www.ucpsacto.org.
The Rotary Club of South Placer provides local community support through grants, its annual “Hooked on Fishing” trip with elementary school students, annual distribution of dictionaries to third-graders, scholarships to high school seniors, sponsorship of three high school Interact Clubs, Christmas bags for underprivileged schoolchildren and more. The group meets at noon each Wednesday at Whitney Oaks Golf Club in Rocklin. For more information, visit www.southplacerrotary.org.