Newspaper Article links to Haley's Playground
Haley’s Playground Inc. is a non-for-profit 501c3 charitable organization. Haley’s Playground Inc. is a sensory based recreational play program that provides a gym like atmosphere where kids and young adults, ages 2-30, with disabilities can experience multiple sensory experiences through exercise, play, sensory activities, sports and dance. Our mission is to provide a safe healthy sensory motor environment for individuals with physical, cognitive and social disabilities; to improve their quality of life through play, exercise, activity, and education, while interacting with members of their families, friends, peers and members in our community.
Our organization and our services are based on teen and young adult volunteers of “typical development” giving their time and talents to provide one to one interactions for kids with special needs and disabilities. This type of mentorship is crucial for kids with special needs to learn, thrive, and become active members of our society. In turn, our kids with disabilities are providing lifelong lessons to our society about each individual’s uniqueness and how to unite as one to live together, play together, and work together even though we may be different from one another. We are an educational outreach program that offers service opportunities, education and training to teens and young adults, their friends and families are encouraged to come, participate in recreational play activities and learn acceptance and understanding of each other. Through our volunteers our participants practice and improve on one to one interactions, socializations, adaptive behavior techniques, problem solving abilities, making good choices, and daily life skills.
At Haley’s Playground Inc. we believe inclusion is fundamental in our program. History and society has shown that time and time again people tend to dismiss what they fear and don’t understand. Putting people with and without special needs together conquers ignorance and promotes understanding. Haley’s Playground not only teaches valuable skills and model appropriate behaviors and social skills to our children and teens with various disabilities through play, but through inclusion we educate their families and their peers on how to understand and support them. We have found through inclusion learning is reciprocal. Our children and teens with special needs not only learn needed skills from our volunteer mentors but these types of interactions create an opportunity where individuals with disabilities are able to teach a level of understanding and acceptance to their “typical” peers and families. Basing our program on inclusion helps everyone and provides a fun safe place to play. Our vision is that volunteer mentors will carry on what they learn with us into the community and fight against bullying and be examples of a supportive and compassionate society towards people who behave differently or have special disabilities.
We have found the benefits of community mentorship through volunteer programs assisting individuals with disabilities to succeed at their highest functional potentials. These programs have a tremendous effect in our community for many individuals with disabilities to live and be active members in supportive living environments or even independently.
We are also able to offer resources in our community, support groups for families, and caregivers as well as respite referral services. In addition, our programming compliments specialized service such as Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy services by allowing individuals to use all the valuable skills they learn in a relaxed playful environment.
In addition to our open play, some of our services include:
Play skills classes and social skills and social opportunities
Gross motor, Fine motor skills, Sensory Stimulation and Regulation
Dance Therapy, and Music Therapy
Self-care skills and Life skills
Support groups for families and siblings as well as Guest Speakers
Referrals for Respite, Homework Helpers, Tutoring, and IEP assistance
After / Out of School Kids Care Program and Summer Camps
Opportunities for religious needs and involvement in Church
Internship’s for undergraduate students
Fieldtrips for our classrooms that provide services to children and adults with various disabilities
Community training for Mentors
Birthday Parties for kids and their families with special needs
Special needs family Portraiture
All programs are designed to enhance Social skills, Motor skills, Sensory regulation, Problem solving abilities, Decision making, Community re-integration opportunities, Family support systems and the ability to develop friendships. We will partner with other organizations which have a strong desire to assist our kids, teens, and young adults with and without disabilities achieve their goals and we will always strive to be recognized as providing excellence to our community in Kane County and the State of Illinois.