Johns Creek schedules rec events disabled

Kick off T-ball starts March 15; family picnic scheduled May 10

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Newtown Recreation Director Kirk Franz has announced Newtown Recreation will begin offering recreational opportunities for people with disabilities and begins with Batter Up Tee Ball Saturday, March 15.

“Newtown Recreation has had a tee-ball program for children in the autism spectrum for a couple of years, but we as the city have not done anything directly for them until this year. We are partnering with them and want to re-introduce the Batter Up Tee Ball program,” Franz said.

“Then Saturday, May 10, we are doing a couple things for the disabled community. First is a kickoff Summer Picnic along with the Johns Creek Civitans Club. We are inviting all Johns Creek families with a member who has a disability.

“That will let us get know some of the families who live in Johns Creek and determine what the needs are. We want to get folks on a mailing list and stay in touch with them.”

The picnic includes free food, music, activities and fun, but participants must pre-register. Registration for the picnic begins April 1.

What Franz really wants is to get a handle on the number of families

Johns Creek’s Adaptive Recreation Program is also adding family/youth bocce ball for families of residents with disabilities.

“We’re scheduling some games Saturday mornings at Park Place Senior Services in Newtown Park. It is all about having interaction and having the experience of being there,” Franz said.

Not only will it be an opportunity to meet other parents, but they will also be introduced to All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD), a support group for older adults 18 to 45.

“Now that those folks are no longer part of the school system, we don’t want them to fall through the cracks,” Franz said.

JC Recreation sees AADD as an established group that can provide opportunities and activities to interact with one another. The city will partner with AADD as well through the spring and the summer.

“What really want to do is to get people gathering together at our parks who are in this population. Then we will let them tell us what they want. This is just the start of something that grows over the next several years,” Franz said.

The purpose of the Adaptive Recreation Program is to expose participants to new experiences, raise self-esteem and promote community involvement through Batter-up Tee Ball, bocce ball and other social events. The programs and events are free.

“We’re trying to expand our programs to include as many residents as possible,” said Franz. “People with disabilities typically don’t have as many opportunities to play with others. Bocce ball is easy to play. You don’t have to be experienced to enjoy it. It’s not physically demanding, and it’s fun.”

All About Developmental Disabilities will operate the young adults program, which starts April 15.

Batter-up Tee Ball is a volunteer and parent-led program designed to teach boys and girls within the autism spectrum the fundamentals of T-ball in a non-competitive atmosphere. Players learn to catch, throw and hit during the one-hour sessions.

The Summer Kick-off Picnic for families who have an individual with a disability is scheduled for May 10. The picnic includes free food, music, activities and fun, but participants must pre-register. Registration for the picnic begins April 1.

Newtown Park is at 3150 Old Alabama Road, Johns Creek.

City recreation events

for residents with disabilities

Batter-up Tee Ball

Dates: Saturdays, March 15 – May 3

Location: Newtown Park

Time: TBD

Fee: Free (Players should provide their own baseball glove)

Ages: 4–8 years old within the autism spectrum (age as of Sept. 1, 2013)

Registration and info: 678-297-2662 or www.NewtownRec.com

Summer Kick-Off Picnic

Date: Saturday, May 10

Location: Newtown Park – Park Place

Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ages: All people with disabilities and their family members are welcome.

Fee: Free. You must pre-register in order to participate. Registration begins April 1.

Registration and info: 678-512-3200 or Kirk.Franz@JohnsCreekGA.gov

Saturday Family Bocce Ball

Dates: Summer and fall with specific dates to be determined.

Location: Newtown Park bocce ball courts next to Park Place.

Time: TBD

Fee: Free

Ages: All families with members with a disability are welcome. (This is a family participation program. “Drop-offs” are not allowed.)

Registration and info: 678-512-3200 or Kirk.Franz@JohnsCreekGA.gov

Young Adult Tuesday Bocce Ball

Dates: April 1, 15 and 29, May 13 and 27, June 10 and 24, July 8 and 22, Aug. 5 and 19, Sept. 2 and 16

Location: Newtown Park bocce ball courts next to Park Place.

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Fee: Free

Ages: 18 to 40 years old with disabilities

Registration and info: 404-809-2922

JC 03-06-14