Friday, 12 June 2009 10:45
The Jammin’ Jayhawks completed their third and final session Sunday, May 31, 2009 at the Jackson School gym. This basketball program for children with special needs was organized by Jericho High School student Alex Ripka and supported and underwritten by the Jericho Athletic Association.
This program was created with the idea that there are many ‘special needs’ students in the Jericho community who might not otherwise be able to participate in, or feel comfortable participating in organized sports but would benefit from the socialization experience such a program would provide. These clinics were opened to all Special Needs Jericho students K-12 and consisted of non-competitive drills and skills related activities.
The participants were coached by enthusiastic Jericho High School student volunteers in a supportive social environment. The clinics were led by Severio Ford, a social worker and sports trainer who has run similar programs at the Sid Jacobson JCC in Roslyn.
The three week basketball clinic, a pilot program for the Jericho Athletic Association and the Jericho community, was a huge and rewarding success for all involved. The JAA hopes to expand the program next season to include soccer and baseball.
Alex Ripka’s vision was made possible with the support of the Jericho School District, the Jericho Athletic Association, Jon Gelbwaks, Debbie & Harold Wanderman, Lisa Goren, Jack Schnitt, Lisa & Peter Ripka.
Marc Wiener, a JAA executive board member stated: “In my opinion this program is one of the best things ever done in our community.”