WSSRA Receives $3000 Future Philanthropists Program Grant

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By Community Editor

West Suburban Special Recreation Association (WSSRA) is pleased to announce it has received a $3,000 grant from the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation Future Philanthropists Program.  This grant will allow WSSRA to continue and re-invigorate the SENSE-sational Fun Program. 

In 2015, WSSRA received grant support from the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation Future Philanthropists Program that allowed for the development of the SENSE-sational Fun Program.  The initial grant was used for special training of young adult staff (ages 16-20) and the purchase of sensory equipment and supplies that enhanced the summer camp experience of youth with disabilities. 

"The initial grant funding made the program a huge success. The participants enjoyed all sorts of fun equipment from, shaving cream to bean bag chairs, ball pits, weighted blankets and much, much more! Through specialized training, staff learned behavior management techniques, how to run a successful sensory motor group, and how to incorporate sensory play into camp," said April Ryan, WSSRA Staff Manager. 

The new grant money will be used to replenish program supplies and provide staff training from a professional Occupational Therapist that will relate to the unique sensory needs for children with developmental disabilities. This training will also enable young staff to be actively involved in day camp activity planning.

WSSRA believes that children learn best through play that is both challenging and developmentally appropriate.   The SENSE-sational Fun Program is currently at two camp sites in Oak Park with the hope of increasing to a third site this summer.  Camp runs from 9am to 3pm, Monday through Friday, from June 19 to July 28, 2017. For more information or to register, please contact WSSRA at 847-455-2100 or visit

WSSRA provides recreation programs for adults and children who have a physical impairment, a mental disability, or any other type of disability. Through WSSRA, residents of all ages can participate in year-round programming specifically designed to meet their individual needs. WSSRA serves the communities of Berwyn, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Franklin Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Oak Park and River Forest.

West Suburban Special Recreation Association is grateful to The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation for their continued support of WSSRA and the individuals the association serves.

For more information on The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, visit or call 708-848-1560

*Submitted by the West Suburban Special Recreation Association


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