Benefits of Individualized Instruction in Sports

Benefits of Individualized Instruction in Sports

We are all used to receiving guidance in our lives: over loudspeakers in airports about terminal changes, from teachers providing directions to students before taking a test, or by skimming the written instructions that come with a new board game. Usually, we don’t stop and think about the fact that these instructions are provided in a format designed to communicate to the majority. This is the case in many sports programs and physical education settings as well: the focus is on the group, and individual attention rarely occurs for any significant length of time. At Be the Best Sport, our goal is to help each participant develop to his or her full ability in self-confidence, motor skills, overall fitness and health, growth in aptitude in any given sport, and success in every area we can influence. One of our core techniques built into each of our programs is individualized instruction that enables each participant to feel motivated, comfortable, and successful.

Individual Support & Motivation

Individualized instruction means our coaches and mentors tailor their teaching strategies based on the interests and ability level of each individual. What motivates and encourages one child may have an entirely different effect on another child. Learning styles vary; one child might pick up a skill by watching, while another child needs to perform the skill steps himself. So we adjust and adapt our instruction on a participant-by-participant basis. This could look like a time of group instruction and then breaking apart into small group interaction times. This could also look like taking each step one-on-one as many times as needed with each child. Because we are working closely with children who have a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional needs, our coaches and mentors get to know each of these children in a unique way and can become some of the biggest cheerleaders your children will ever have (after you, of course!).

 

Comfortable Development

Our coaches and mentors recognize that any child, especially one with special needs, must feel comfortable when learning new skills and participating in sports settings. We value earning each child’s trust as we work closely, patiently, and encouragingly with each one. By helping children set goals, and then helping them work toward successfully achieving those goals, we get the privilege of watching their confidence and comfort levels increase. We guide group play times so that each child will safely grow more comfortable with the activity and with interacting with others. As the comfort level increases, we can tailor and refine goals to continue helping each child develop to the fullest. Our staff carefully adapts instruction to help each child grow at a comfortable rate.

 

Successful Group Inclusion

Instruction that is geared to each individual actually means that everyone gets included in successful physical activity and sports experiences. Many children with special needs have been unable to participate in sports programs and physical education prior to enrolling in a program at Be the Best Sport, and sometimes they are apprehensive and afraid of failure. Our approach means that as we work in one-on-one and small group settings, our coaches are learning your child’s strengths, interests, and abilities and adapting instruction to meet his/her unique needs in order to succeed both individually and as part of the group. This means that each child can grow successfully, learning new skills while developing self-confidence as “one of the team.”

 

Be the Best Sport welcomes participants of all capabilities, and we offer a wide variety of sports and physical activities in which we implement individualized instruction. We make sure that all of our programs are adequately staffed so that each participant can learn and develop every session. Check out the Programs page to learn more about our classes and the current schedule or to register for a program. You can also request a free trial of a class to see if it’s the right fit for your family. We want both you and your child to be comfortable and confident in our programs.

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

Sources:

http://www.dreambox.com/individualized-learning

http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2663&q=334452

http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/determining-individualized-instruction-for-students-with-special-needs/education

http://www.aph.org/physical-education/articles/using-differentiated-instruction-in-physical-education/

Special Needs and Anti-Bullying: Part One

Special Needs and Anti-Bullying: Part One

Self-esteem, self-respect, and self-worth are important areas of development as we grow. They are also areas in which we’ve all experienced difficulty at some point in our lives. Just think of your junior-high years, and you’ll likely recognize what I mean.

Many children with special needs, however, struggle with these areas on a regular basis, not just during a few gangly pre-teen years.

Add in bullying, which occurs far more often than we usually realize, and special-needs kids and adults can end up with terrible, life-long struggles in these areas. We want to highlight the importance of anti-bullying in this two-part series because recognizing bullying behaviors and having tools to deal with those behaviors is vital for teachers, coaches, parents, friends, siblings, and special needs individuals.

What Is Bullying?

An important first step in dealing with bullying is clearly defining what bullying is, as well as what it is not. According to www.StopBullying.gov, “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children. It involves a real or perceived power imbalance and the behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.” Let’s unpack that definition. First, bullying is connected with a behavior, not with a person. When discussing bullying with your special-needs child or with another adult, recognize that an individual is displaying a certain behavior but is not defined solely by that behavior (i.e., don’t refer to him/her as “the bully”). Next, the behavior is unwanted and aggressive. Conflict or disagreement between two individuals is not bullying. Conflict can become bullying when a power imbalance occurs, as when one child begins to display dominant behavior over another through name-calling, verbal or written threats, exerting physical force, and the like. He or she may think that the target is weaker (physically, mentally, or emotionally) than himself/herself. When such harassment becomes repeated behavior, or if the power imbalance is not recognized and addressed promptly to prevent it becoming repetitious, we end up with bullying situations.     

One further note: bullying in school settings, including events sponsored by schools, can be more than just a problem behavior–it can become an illegal activity called “disability harassment.” Disability harassment is defined by the U.S. Department of Education (2000) as “intimidation or abusive behavior toward a student based on disability that creates a hostile environment by interfering with or denying a student’s participation in or receipt of benefits, services, or opportunities in the institution’s program.” If you are aware of such a bullying situation in school settings, contact the school administrators immediately so that they can take proper measures.

Emotional, Physical, and Mental Results of Bullying

A natural result of being bullied is that the individual experiences sadness, frustration, and anxiety. Several other common results of bullying include depression, fear/apprehension, physical complaints (such as headaches, stomach/digestive issues, and fatigue), decreasing grades and academic struggles, and suicidal thoughts. Many children experience a combination of these emotions and struggles. Bullying that involves physical force can obviously cause bodily harm as well: bruising, swelling, cuts, etc. If you are around a child who displays one or more of these emotional, physical, or mental distresses, it’s a good idea to keep an alert eye and try to open the conversation to see if bullying may be involved.

A potential response to bullying that we can easily overlook is that the child who is on the receiving end of bullying may react strongly in an effort to feel powerful or in control, turning to bullying behaviors himself. He may not know how to approach an adult for assistance (or may be fearful of doing so). He also may have become so used to bullying behaviors taking place around him, as well as to him, that he instinctively turns to those behaviors when interacting with others. This is partly why it’s important to refer to bullying behavior instead of labeling a person as a bully. Those we view as “bullies” may well be lashing out in a nonverbal cry for help because they have been bullied in some way and don’t know how to deal with it.

Why Special-Needs Individuals Are at a Higher Risk

Many organizations have published statistics about the higher risk of bullying of special-needs individuals. Pacer.org states that “children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers.” We know that bullying usually targets those who are different in some way. Children who have speech impediments, physical limitations, social skill challenges, mental limitations, or require physical assistance (such as a wheelchair or an oxygen tank) are much more vulnerable to harassment and bullying. Special needs individuals’ differences are part of what make these individuals beautiful and unique in their own way. Oftentimes children who are around special-needs kids have not been taught that differences are a good thing, and they have not received guidance in learning how to play with, interact with, and be friends with their special-needs peers.

At Be The Best Sport, we recognize that we all have differences. We are committed to providing safe, supportive, respectful, and fun environments for kids with special needs to thrive. Bullying is a big deal, and in part two we will address specific ways to help our kids know appropriate measures when bullying occurs. Check our schedule to learn more about the Fitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying and Karate programs we are offering right now; it is designed to increase confidence and self-esteem, and they provide specific tools to deal with bullying behaviors.

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

 

Sources:

http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/students-with-disabilities/

https://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/groups/special-needs/BullyingTipSheet.pdf

http://www.stompoutbullying.org/index.php/information-and-resources/parents-page/special-needs-kids-and-bullying/

http://www.ldonline.org/article/20001/

https://blog.ed.gov/2013/08/keeping-students-with-disabilities-safe-from-bullying/

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-27902500

https://canchild.ca/en/resources/32-bullying-risk-in-children-with-disabilities-a-review-of-the-literature

Top Ten Winter Weekend Activities for Adults and Children with Special Needs

Top Ten Winter Weekend Activities for Adults and Children with Special Needs

The weekend. This small phrase could evoke relaxing thoughts or overwhelming weariness. The upheaval of the normal schedule for two days can be tricky to navigate for families of special needs individuals, where routine often brings a sense of security and normalcy. To avoid utter boredom, frantic mayhem, or anything in between on the weekend, it’s helpful to find scheduled, supervised, engaging, and fun activities. So far, this all makes sense. But add in the factor of fluctuating (or just plain cold) wintertime weather, and the task to find fun activities can become just as overwhelming as not having any activities at all.

Don’t dread your weekends with your kids or adults who have special needs. We’ve compiled a list of ten winter weekend activity options recommended for special-needs individuals. Some activities require snow; some can be done on your back porch or in the living room.

 

Helpful Hints to Know Before Planning

First, a few suggestions to make winter weekend activities as helpful as possible:

  1. Have a calendar. Put it somewhere visible; make it as big and as fun and as normal as you can. Keeping your family’s daily norms (wake up, breakfast, lunch, bath time, nap time, etc.) the same through the weekend can help individuals with special needs realize that Saturday and Sunday are normal days too. Add in different activities in bright colors to create positive anticipation for fun events in the middle of a normal day.
  2. Schedule some quiet time. Remember that everyone needs the weekend to recharge before the next week. Make sure you allow for time for special needs individuals to have some independent play, imagination, rest, or time in an activity corner. You could put together a special weekend box of games and playthings that don’t require constant supervision, things like stuffed animals, puzzles, books, crafts, and favorite toys.
  3. Invest in a timer. Depending on the activities and events you choose to help your special needs individual participate in, it can be helpful for him or her to hear a clear sound that ends one activity and begins another. Positive endings to activities are just as key as positive activities.

 

Creative Fun to Have

Here are our top ten suggestions for fantastic winter weekend activities:

  1. Snow Play–If you live in an area with snow, then you might already be trying to get the “Do you wanna build a snowman?” song out of your head. Building a snowman, making snow angels, or going on a snowshoe hike can be fun ways to help your child or adult with special needs gain some sensory play in the winter. Make snowballs, but instead of a fight (which can be difficult for fearful or over-competitive individuals), aim to hit stationary objects and targets. Use the snow as your own family’s playground.
  2. Snow painting–For those who don’t like romping around in the snow, a great way to have fun outside and involve motor skills is snow painting. Gather squirt bottles (condiment bottles work well), fill them with water, add enough food coloring to make bright colors, and shake to mix. Children and adults both will enjoy “painting” their own artwork masterpieces by squirting the colors on the blank snow canvas.
  3. Indoor Snowman–Winter tends to revolve around snow, which can leave those of us in warmer climates feeling like we can’t find distinct winter activities. Indoor Snowmen to the rescue! (We suggest laying down an old sheet or newspaper or taking this indoor snowman to the back deck.) Gather a large box or plastic container; 2 boxes of cornstarch; 1 can of foam shaving cream; random buttons, sticks, leaves, clothespins, ribbons, or other materials from around the house. Dump the cornstarch into the box, add the shaving cream (you’ll use most of the can), and let your child mash it all together until it forms a crumbly mixture that you can shape into balls (add more shaving cream if it’s too dry to stick together). Make a snowman and decorate it with the random materials. You can re-use the “indoor snow” indefinitely if you use a box with a lid of some kind.
  4. Welcome to Fort Cozy!–With a little bit of forethought, you can put together a fort kit with old sheets, blankets, pillows, rope, cardboard, clothespins, and such. The sky is the limit with the imagination that goes into building forts. Plan to serve a snack, and make books, games, sensory bins, coloring materials, or perhaps an iPad readily available for hours of playtime fun in a cozy, soft blanket fort.
  5. Outdoor Recreation–Skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and other wintertime sports may seem inaccessible or impractical for some special-needs individuals. However, options have sprung up in recent years to allow for therapeutic recreation, which is defined as “creat[ing] adaptations so that people with disabilities have access to activities that they wouldn’t otherwise have” (www.parentmap.com). Check in your area to see if any organizations offer therapeutic or adaptive outdoor recreation options, especially if you live in snowy areas or near winter resorts. A few other suggestions: try to introduce your child to ski or snowboard areas on a weekday, when the slopes won’t be as crowded. It may help to prepare your child by reading a book about skiing or watching some videos on YouTube. If available, trying on ski or snowboard equipment ahead of time may make a first-time day at the slopes more enjoyable.
  6. Hockey–If able to ice skate, special needs individuals may enjoy and benefit from the community and team setting of ice hockey. If your child shows interest in hockey, playing some family street hockey with sticks and a ball in the driveway can give you an indication of your child’s abilities and attentiveness during play. Talk with local coaches and explain your child’s abilities and needs. Discuss any possible accommodations to make hockey a successful integrated experience for your child.
  7. S’more Fun–Build a winter bonfire in the backyard and roast s’mores. This can also be a great social interaction if you invite neighbors, hockey teammates, or other friends over to enjoy a relaxing afternoon or evening.
  8. Pool Time–Create your own sensory play time in an indoor pool! Take several pool noodles, cut them down to six-inch lengths, and fill the tub (or a plastic kiddie pool) with them. The bright colors and foam noodles will provide hours of sensory play, similar to a ball pit.
  9. Good clean…work–Wintertime chores can actually provide stimulating activity options for children and adults who have special needs. Shoveling sidewalks, scraping ice off windshields, collecting firewood, or making patterns in Jack Frost’s handiwork on windows while washing them off are all examples of chores that can become avenues for fun, physical development during the winter months.
  10. Obstacle Courses–Obstacle courses can be set up either indoors or outdoors, making them a versatile winter weekend activity. Outside, make tunnels in the snow, create paths to follow with visible markers, or set up a section of snow to shovel out of the way. Inside, connect rows of chairs for crawling under, ottomans to climb over, and “lava floors” (blankets on the floor that you can’t touch). Obstacles create opportunities to develop motor skills, translate sensory observations into resulting actions, and provide hours of learning fun.

 

Be The Best Sport offers great winter activities for children with special needs. Our Saturday sports enrichment programs are perfect to get out of the house and be active!

Please check out our program schedule, and register for a FREE Trial Class if you are interested in trying out any of our programs!

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

 

Special Needs Programs: Positive Impact on Parents

Special Needs Programs: Positive Impact on Parents

Many blog posts and articles focus on the impressive benefits of physical activity and developmental programs for children who have special needs. It’s helpful to read how these programs are resulting in growth, learning, physical development, and increased self-confidence. But in a family where special needs kids are present, everyone’s life is different and has challenging moments, not just the life of the one with special needs. Parents, in particular, can experience the gamut of emotions and struggles as they try to help their child enroll, participate, and succeed in special needs programs. But when children are plugged into the right programs, the result is a significant positive impact on the parents as well as the children.

Normalcy

A fact of life: people want to be accepted, to fit in, to belong. Another fact of life: loving and raising a child whose special needs may bring unwanted and sometimes judgmental attention makes feeling accepted and “normal” pretty difficult. As the parent tries to help the child feel normal, the parent ends up feeling less and less normal, and sometimes just helpless. Parents want to see their children grow and develop, to feel included. When kids are involved in programs geared to or with accommodations for special needs, the result is often development in balance, motor skills, hand-eye coordination, social interactions, positive self-image, confidence, muscle tone, teamwork, and the list goes on. Parents are no longer trying to help their children feel normal on their own; instead, there’s a team of coaches, physical therapists, teachers, mentors, and parents coming together to help your child develop. Kids’ involvement with a schedule and regular activities can also provide their parents with a sense of normalcy as mom loads up the van to head to soccer or dad leaves work early to cheer on the wheelchair basketball game.

Community

Even with a “normal” level of activity and involvement, apart from the right programs, it can be easy to feel alone in your struggle as a parent of a special-needs child. It’s far too easy to compare your parenting styles and level of involvement with other parents – parents who genuinely don’t have a clue what having a special-needs family member is like. As we’ve already seen, participating in the right special needs programs can help provide a sense of normal involvement in social activities. But a significant benefit to parents is a community where they – and their children – belong. Suddenly, there is a community of supportive parents who are in similar situations. They can sympathize when you talk about your child that struggles to get along with others, or struggles with academic ability, or has a hard time with hand-eye coordination. They understand what it’s like to feel easily judged, to just not know what their child needs at times. They can encourage you that you’re not a bad parent and that making parenting mistakes happens but it will all be okay. And as these moms and dads show you support and encouragement, remember that their kids are in the program right alongside your child and show them the same understanding, sympathy, encouragement, and support. Some of your closest friendships might form as a result of meeting other parents at a program each of your special-needs kids is involved in. Supportive parent groups are one of the most positive benefits of your child being enrolled in the right special-needs programs.

Personal Development

Many programs for special needs children will ask or allow parents to participate alongside their child. As you engage in physical activities with your child, you’ll likely see results in your own body: improved abilities, cardiovascular health, increased muscle tone, release of stress, and so on. Participation in programs geared towards skills and mental development can also help parents discover new hobbies, such as pottery, weaving, watercolor painting, or photography. Learning alongside your child provides encouragement for both of you as you’re in the boat together, and it can provide unique opportunities for better emotional connection.

Training

Different from personal development as a natural result of participating in programs, this positive impact on parents can affect every aspect of their interactions with a child who has special needs. Programs guided by trained therapists, mentors, coaches, and physicians provide a natural pathway for parents to gain detailed guidance and training about how to help their child succeed in multiple areas. These knowledgeable guides are often eager to communicate to parents the specific needs in which the child needs additional support or reinforcement and to train parents in how best to provide that support. Sometimes the conversations will be quick suggestions; sometimes you may need to request specific training times to help you learn how to develop specific skills to help your special-needs child. Perhaps enrolling your child in a special-needs program can allow you the time to meet regularly with a trained therapist or to take a class on your child’s specific needs.

Live, Laugh, Love

A rather cliché phrase, but think about it: as a parent of a child with special needs, you need to live, you need to laugh, and you need to love and be loved. A few cautions as you consider getting your kids involved (or upping your involvement) in special needs programs:

  • Remember that you are more than JUST the parent of a special-needs child. Is that part of your identity? Absolutely. But that’s not the only defining aspect of who you are. Like any adult who is also a parent, try to make time for things you’re interested in: friendships, activities, a girls’ night out, groups, exercise, hobbies, and even alone time. Decide to live, and your children will benefit: you’ll be more relaxed, and they’ll see what really living looks like.
  • Humor is key for any parent, and perhaps even more so when parenting a child who has special needs. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at humorous moments your children create. Don’t stress out trying to meet an impossible ideal. Mistakes and messes are ok, and laughter is good for the soul.

Hand out love like candy. Some days, that means you need all the candy for yourself – let others do kind and helpful things for you. You don’t have to be the super parent who can do it all herself! Most days, you can look for ways to share the candy. Schedule a skilled babysitter (maybe an understanding parent from your child’s special needs program) and go on a date with your spouse. Spend time reading to or playing with your children who don’t require as much physical or emotional assistance. Call a friend to meet for dessert or a cup of coffee when your spouse can handle things at home for an hour. As you pour love into others, they’ll reciprocate and you’ll get filled right back up with love.

 

At Be The Best Sport, our programs are designed to keep partipants safe and allow parents to be at ease and enjoy 45 mins – 1 hour to enjoy some time to speak with other parents and relax all while knowing their children are having fun and making new friends.

Share this post with others and have them register for a FREE TRIAL class at any of our programs!

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

Benefits of Special Needs Basketball

Benefits of Special Needs Basketball

 

Drive through almost any neighborhood or even commercial areas with recreation facilities, and you’ll notice a common item: basketball hoops. Many kids grow up casually shooting hoops in the driveway or playing a pickup game with friends. Even kids who don’t know the rules of the game have probably played a variation of Knock-Out or H-O-R-S-E during P.E. or day camps. Special needs kids may feel unwanted and inadequate during these games, whether friendly or competitive in nature. Special needs basketball is a great way to give these kids a chance to try something new in a safe environment as well as receive guidance and instruction, develop social interactions, and gain confidence in their own abilities.

 

Try Something New

We’ve all been there: you’re out in public and someone calls your name: “Hey, Joe! Come over here and give this a whirl!” Whether it’s joining a game you’ve never played, tasting a new dish, or attempting a never-before-seen stunt on a bicycle, unfamiliar territory tends to make each of us uneasy. “What if we fail? What if we don’t like it? What if we break it? What if . . .?” So if trying something unfamiliar makes able-bodied adults and kids uncomfortable, how much more stressful is it for special needs kids? In a safe environment, basketball set-ups designed for special needs kids allow them to participate and have fun in a very common sport without the risk of public failure. A special needs program’s basketball court also provides a place for kids to realize that they are not alone. They will get to learn and develop these new skills together.

Personalized Instruction

Special needs kids have a wide variety of developmental needs, and basketball programs for these kids are usually designed with certified teachers and coaches who can work closely with each child to teach him or her the fundamental skills of the game. From basics like dribbling to more advanced skills like blocking and free-throws, special needs kids will be met at their level and aided in progressing through skills on the court. In some cases, special needs kids are paired with a peer or staff mentor who can demonstrate by example and provide even more individualized support. Rules of play are modified to fit national guidelines, such as the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s set of rules, which provides needed accommodations and enables fair play while still teaching the fundamentals of the sport.

Social Development

Many special needs children are unable to take part in most schools’ team sports. An environment where these kids can actually join a team and learn how to be a team player provides a positive setting for verbal interactions, friendly play, and general social development. Basketball in particular sets up a fantastic opportunity for verbal and physical teamwork as every member of the team learns together to navigate their way down the court. Players learn how and when to indicate that they are open, to receive the ball, and to communicate with verbal calls or nonverbal signs to whom they intend to pass the ball. Kids will also learn to work together when not on the court, especially in areas such as encouraging their teammates, good sportsmanship, and respect for others: their own teammates, coaches, referees, and other teams’ players. Learning social and teamwork skills will benefit kids in a multiplicity of settings.

Boost Confidence

In any sport, a so-called “good player” will demonstrate knowledge of the game, coordination, depth perception, a sense of timing, and a sense of confidence in himself. That confidence actually results from having a grasp on these other “good player” abilities. Special needs individuals can greatly enhance self-esteem and confidence as they learn the rules of the sport and receive patient instruction that develops their coordination and senses. Basketball provides development in hand-eye coordination as well as both gross and fine motor skills. With basketball hoops so prevalent in our neighborhoods and recreation areas, an understanding of the basic rules of basketball paired with confidence in basketball skills can level the court and open the door for positive interactions with kids of all abilities.

 

Be the Best Sport recognizes that fun, guided play and one-on-one instruction can give each person the chance to succeed at basketball! With a creatively designed program that includes both on-court practice through drills and games as well as carefully supervised real-game play, our certified coaches work closely with kids to develop basketball skills, physical health and athletic ability, positive social interactions, and a personal sense of accomplishment.

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

 

Sources:

http://oureverydaylife.com/basketball-special-needs-kids-wheelchairs-17727.html

www.specialolympics.org

www.adaptedsports.org

www.online-basketball-drills.com

 

 

Helping Special Needs Kids Learn Unfamiliar Things

Helping Special Needs Kids Learn Unfamiliar Things

Unfamiliar things come into everyone’s life on a daily basis. For most of us, these unfamiliar things do not cause too much confusion. However, for the special needs child, anything that is unfamiliar has the potential to become a huge challenge for them. Some will get frustrated trying. Some will look at it from every angle and try to figure it out. And some will just curl up and not even attempt to figure out what they need to do. There are several steps that you can take to help a special needs kid through the unfamiliar circumstances that they encounter.

1.     Start with the familiar.

In every situation, there is some kind of familiar factor. Start with that. Help them to see a color they know, a favorite shape, or a familiar person. They may need help becoming comfortable with the familiar in an unfamiliar setting, but it will become their rock. Be sure to point out the familiar in every unfamiliar situation to help them gain initial confidence!

 

2.     Look for the easiest adjustment.

When helping a special needs child learn unfamiliar things, it is important that you break down the situation and start with the simplest step or component. Starting with the simplest component will go a long way in helping them gain confidence and familiarity with the unfamiliar task or concept they are being asked to tackle.

 

3.     Watch for nonverbal and verbal clues.

It is so important to watch for clues when a special needs child is being asked to do something that is unfamiliar to them. As you are helping them, they are going to be constantly giving you indications that will let you see how they are adapting. Be sure to pay attention and adjust the situation as needed. If the child feels that their mode of communication is not being understood, they will get frustrated and will not be willing to move on and learn the unfamiliar that is trying to be taught.

 

4.     Be consistent.

Who doesn’t like consistency? This one factor is very important to a special needs child. As you are introducing them to an unfamiliar item or concept, be sure to be consistent with how you introduce it. Special needs children thrive on consistency, and if you try to introduce the unfamiliar in a totally different way from how you normally introduce changes, this will make the process so much harder for you and the child. Be consistent! It’s so important!

 

5.     Give praise.

Special needs children also thrive on praise. It gives them a reassurance that everything is okay, and it motivates them to move on and keep trying things. When they face an unfamiliar situation, they need that reassurance even more. It will take baby steps all along the way when it comes to introducing anything that is unfamiliar to them, but the praise that comes with every baby step will motivate them even more to achieve the ultimate goal!

 

At Be the Best Sport, our goal is to work in these ways to help your special needs child become comfortable with the unfamiliar things that they encounter in the sports arena. Each child will have their unique way of learning unfamiliar things, but with these steps, we are confident that we can help them learn each unfamiliar concept in a fun and effective way!

Winter/Spring Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 710$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am2/18 - 4/22NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm2/18 - 4/22NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field11:30am-12:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm2/18 - 4/22NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySpecial Needs Basketball2:30pm-3:15pm2/18 - 4/22NONE10 & Up12$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SundayManhasset Soccer - Adaptive Program4:00pm-5:00pm4/2-6/18April 9,16
May 14, 28
June
Pre K - 6th Gr.40$50Click Here For InfoClick Here

 

 

Benefits of Track & Field For Children and Adults With Special Needs

The opportunity to participate in track and field events is one of the greatest ways to improve health physically and emotionally. Everyone can benefit from physical exercise, team effort, perseverance, companionship, and establishing and accomplishing goals; however, special needs individuals must work additionally hard at conquering obstacles and cultivating a spirit of friendly competition, both of which will carry over into other areas of life.

When choosing a track and field activity for your special needs child, consider his or her developmental age first, not physical age alone. Physical limitations or impairments in sight or hearing may require adaptive equipment or special modifications. Your child’s personality and potential responsiveness to a coach or teammates may determine the pace or number of participants that he or she is comfortable interacting with. Keep in mind your child’s interests by including him or her in the decision-making process. Lessen any uneasiness ahead of time by familiarizing your child with the rules and simplifying instructions in a way that won’t overwhelm them.

Many programs institute a buddy system. Older students are often paired with younger special needs children to participate together in the event of their choice–training together, competing together, encouraging each other. Special needs youth have the satisfaction of a one-on-one teammate with a sense of readiness and accomplishment that he or she would not have acquired without the support of their buddy. In addition, a partner makes transitions more comfortable and provides an example to follow.

Track and field can be modified to most disabilities, even though some special needs kids may require adaptive equipment or special conditions. For tossing events, like javelin or discus, a modified set of rules may apply for wheelchair participants. On the track, visually impaired participants may use a guide runner or parallel bars around the course to help lead. Strobe lighting or flags signal hearing impaired runners to start off. Races may be between athletes of varying disabilities. Programs like Unified Sports mix non-special needs individuals jumping over hurdles with wheelchair athletes racing alongside or around cones.

The benefits of track and field are many. Such activity

  • Sustains proper body weight
  • Promotes better coordination
  • Improves balance
  • Focuses attention
  • Teaches to drown out interruptions
  • Trains to work with basic coaching instructions
  • Focuses behavioral actions and boosts spirits
  • Works off unproductive energy
  • Provides adjustment to unexpected situations and new circumstances
  • Develops more regulated patterns of sleep
  • Adapts to multitasking
  • Gives clearer mind and mental focus
  • Teaches self-restraint
  • Provides teamwork in controlled amounts
  • Builds self-reliance
  • Accomplishes specific objectives
  • Motivates others

Be the Best Sport loves to see our athletes grow in all these areas! Our track and field program offers training in the following events: form and formula running, 200 meter run, 4×100 and other relays, long jump, obstacle course, hurdles, javelin, and shot put to name a few. Safety is a number one concern, so our track and field is individualized to accommodate each child’s special need. Our athletes will learn a variety of new events as well as have fun, make friends, and build confidence in the process.

 

Fall Schedule 2016

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
SaturdayMulti-Sport9:30am-10:15am9/10 - 11/12NONE4 - 713$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayMulti-Sport10:15am-11:00am9/10 - 11/12NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdaySoccer10:15am-11:00am9/10 - 11/12NONE8 - 148$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayFitness/Kickboxing/Anti-Bullying11:15am-12:00pm9/10 - 11/12NONE12 - 2012$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayKarate (Beginner) "Little Ninja"12:00pm-12:30pm9/10 - 11/12NONE4 - 78$160Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayAdaptive Karate12:30pm-1:15pm9/10 - 11/12NONE7 - 128$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayTrack & Field12:30pm-1:15pm9/10 - 11/12NONE7 - 1510$210Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990
SaturdayBasketball1:45pm-2:30pm9/10 - 11/12NONE7 - 1512$250Click Here For InfoCall 516.453.0990

 

Determining the Best Sport Choice for a Special Needs Child

Determining the Best Sport Choice for a Special Needs Child


As part of the childhood rite of passage and growing up, each kid should have the chance to experience the fun of playing sports and the confidence and sense of belonging it can bring. Many sports can be adapted for special needs children and adults. For example, those in wheelchairs can play basketball or take up modified track and field, and those with limb loss or prosthetics can participate in therapeutic horseback riding or swimming. Perceived limitations should not prevent special needs kids with varying ability levels from trying.

Health Benefits

Sometimes concern of injury keeps parents or guardians from enrolling those with behavioral or physical disabilities into a sport, but it’s especially important for special needs children to get physical exercise to counter adverse health risks. Recent statistics show that the obesity rate for those with special needs is 40% higher than those without, and the odds of being bullied are three times greater than those without a disability. Sports can help in a variety of ways:

  • Cardiovascular improvement
  • Muscle coordination and skeletal strength
  • Weight control
  • Mental sharpening
  • Emotional/social skills
  • Reduced likelihood of other health complications

 

Personal Rewards

When choosing the best sport for your child, avoid mentioning any “limitations.” Help them go into the activity with a “can do” attitude. Schedule a doctor’s examination for any safety concerns, and inform the instructor or coach of any possible health problems beforehand. Understanding the special needs child’s abilities is key for parents. Those kids with behavioral, emotional, or mental disabilities might benefit more from one-on-one or individualized sports as opposed to team sports. If a team sport works best, notify the instructor and fellow players so that they become familiar with your child’s disability. Sports and physical activity in general can boost confidence for special needs children. It will be a stepping stone for trying new things.

Multiple Choices

Be the Best Sport offers a wide selection of sports that can be a benefit to children in many ways:

  • Basketball–teaches great teamwork and following directions, promotes hand-eye coordination, encourages camaraderie
  • Soccer–improves foot-eye coordination, teaches coaching instructions, coordinates play with peers
  • Multi-sport–provides a variety of activity and promotes physical coordination
  • Karate–teaches focus and control, great for individualized training and accomplishment
  • Fitness–promotes cardiovascular health and general muscle coordination with daily steady exercise routines
  • Track and field–enhances speed with individualized competition as well as team relay and obstacle course skills
  • Tennis–teaches hand-eye coordination and running, can be individualized or mixed doubles to promote limited exposure to teamwork

 

We want our athletes to learn to show respect to leaders and peers as well as to accept instruction. We desire that they make friends and learn good sportsmanship. Besides physical strength and growth, each of these sports has many ongoing benefits. Each child learns how to enjoy victory but also how to accept defeat. Team members learn how to congratulate other individuals on their wins. Special needs athletes learn to be compassionate toward those who have lost and to console others who are injured or disappointed. They can learn self-discipline and motivation skills they can apply in other areas of life. Be the Best Sport aspires to help those with special needs achieve these goals.

 

Summer Schedule 2017

DaySportTimeDatesDates OffAgesMax KidsPriceLocationRegister
MondayTrack & Field 5:30pm - 6:15pm July 10,17,24,31
Aug 7
NONE
8 - 158$150Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
MondayFitness 6:15pm-7:00pm July 10,17,24,31
Aug 7
NONE
8 & Up8$150Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
TuesdayMulti Sport 6:00pm - 7:30pmJuly 11,18,25
Aug 1,8
NONE
12 & Up12$200Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
Wednesday Multi-Sport5:30pm - 6:15pmJuly 5,12,19,26
Aug 2,9
NONE
5 - 88$180Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
WednesdayBike Riding6:15pm-7:00pm Session 1: July 5,12,19
Session 2: July 26, Aug 2,9
NONE
4 & Up3 Per Session $150 for 3 Weeks Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
Thursday Fitness 5:30pm - 6:15pm July 6,13,20,27
Aug 3,10
NONE4 - 88$180 Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990
Thursday Bike Riding6:15pm-7:00pm Session 1: July 6,13,20
Session 2: July 27, Aug 3,10
NONE5 & Up3 Per Session$150 for 3 Weeks Unlimited Sports Action
30 Beechwood Ave
Port Washington, NY 11050
Call 516.453.0990

Mother’s Day with Special Needs Children

There are many activities that special needs children can do with their moms to show their appreciation on Mother’s Day. The objective is to provide an enjoyable time for moms and their children with special needs, to enhance the motor and cognitive skills of the child, and to increase social interaction. You want to make sure it’s an enjoyable experience for everyone by taking into consideration safety factors, the child’s abilities, and their interests. The following are suggestions for making a memorable Mother’s Day:

  • Learn a new activity together
  • Play outdoor, board, or video games
  • Construct something from Legos, modeling clay, or play dough
  • Watch a movie and eat snacks
  • Build an inside tent, fort, or outdoor playhouse
  • Make instruments to play music on
  • Read a favorite book or collaborate on your own story
  • Bake Mom’s favorite candy, cake, or cookies and decorate with messages (kid’s choice)
  • Pack a picnic with Mom’s and kid’s favorite foods
  • Have dinner at Mom’s favorite restaurant with no cooking or dishes to clean up
  • Play mini golf or basketball
  • Hike at the park
  • Spend time at the playground or petting zoo
  • Tour a favorite museum
  • Build a fun obstacle course
  • Catch fireflies
  • Color pictures with scented markers
  • Make matching shirts with tie-dye
  • Use chalk to draw on the sidewalk outside
  • Finger-paint art to frame and hang up
  • Make a card including the child’s own personal message
  • Decorate flowers in a pot, picture frames for photographs, or jewelry
  • Plant a garden together with Mom’s favorite flowers
  • Design a memory book–take pictures together and decorate your album
  • Record a video or movie together–sing-along time or just being silly

When choosing your Mother’s Day activities, it’s helpful to ask yourself, “What does my special needs child love to do? What difficulties or discomfort does he or she already face? What skill categories need growth?” The activities can be kept short or simple, especially if overwhelming sensory situations can upset the child with special needs. You can use materials you already have on hand or visit familiar locations. By giving Mom a special day, they’re still accomplishing their goal.

Use Mother’s Day as a learning time to focus on others:

  • Invite Grandmother together to share in your special day
  • Plan a Mother’s Day for someone whose kids aren’t close by to celebrate

Whatever the plans for Mother’s Day, your special needs child will want to know that their efforts are appreciated. Give them high praise and reinforce your pride in their work. Be their support by encouraging confidence and independence and highlighting their achievement.

Be the Best Sport uses recreation and sports to accomplish these same objectives in those with special needs. We believe the best way to foster their growth is through positive reassurance and corroboration through family and friends to help them succeed a little more each time they try. Mother’s Day is a great opportunity for moms and special needs kids to enjoy each other’s company and reach new goals together.

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Munsey Park Women’s Club Supports Be The Best Sport

Submitted by Munsey Park Women’s Club

Manhasset Press

November 18 – 24, 2015

 

Every year the Munsey Park Women’s Club (MPWC) reaches out to the community to search for philanthropic opportunities. They ask residents of Manhasset to apply for a grant that will help support a cause that benefits the residents of Munsey Park and/or Manhasset. The grants are then reviewed and one or two are chosen by the MPWC board. Valerie Siener, the cochair of philanthropic steering with the MPWC, leads the outreach effort and advocates for funding for small organizations. The MPWC strives to diversify giving and utilize local resources. One of the groups that the MPWC has chosen to support is a sports enrichment program for children with special needs. So many local children go to Unlimited Sports Action (USA) in Port Washington for all sorts of sporting lessons, clinics, and activities. Be The Best Sport is a nonprofit arm of USA. Be The Best Sport advocates, develops, creates, and builds specialized hands-on adaptive sports programs for children 18 and younger with developmental disabilities as well as physical impairments. There is a lack of such organizations in the area that are dedicated to providing support for youngsters with special needs.

Be The Best Sport accepts donations so that they can keep the cost down for participation in the classes, buy specialized mutli-sensory equipment and provide trained staff and coaches.

The Executive Director of Be The Best Sport, Michael Furino, explain, “We are so excited to receive generous funding from the Munsey Park Women’s Club for new equipment for our special needs sports program. It is because of organizations like the MPWC that allows Be The Best Sport to provide sports enrichment services to children and adults with special needs at a low cost. Funding like this enables our organization to grow and continue to offer special needs sports services to children and adults of all different ages and ability levels.”

“On behalf of the MPWC Philanthropic committee, we are happy and proud to support Be The Best Sport with a donation towards their continuing effort to offer opportunities for special needs children, so they may develop and strengthen their self-esteem, confidence, and sportsmanship. We also applaud Michael Furino for reaching out to this underserved population,” says Seiner.

The MPWC hopes to continue to assist groups like these and thanks the Manhasset community residents and MPWC members for support.