|Pediatrics Plus gives back|
|Monday, 20 February 2017|
by Brenda McClain
How do you spend your time? Involved in any charitable works? We hope so.
The 501 area has a plethora of good works that need money AND time contributions. Dedicating time will also give an inside look at how the non-profit functions.
Recently, I spoke with Dr. Leah Lowe, employed by Pediatrics Plus, about all the good work Community Connections is contributing to our area. On Dr. Lowe’s advice, I spoke with Courtney Leach, executive director of Community Connections. Leach really opened my eyes to this valuable resource and the role Pediatrics Plus plays in the 501 in helping to make a difference.
Leach shared how lucky we are to have such a valuable commodity in the 501. Community Connections was established in 2005 when Todd and Amy Denton (owners of Pediatrics Plus Therapy Services) and some of their staff saw that many children with disabilities did not have the opportunity to play sports and participate in the arts like their siblings and peers. Many children with special needs live in a cycle of school and therapy with little opportunity for extra-curricular activity. At the same time, families of children who are diagnosed with disabilities often need education, resources and a support network. From these needs, Community Connections was created to provide quality, extra- curricular activities for children with special needs and support for their families.
Community Connections currently offers 11 programs: basketball, ACTS Jr. theatre, TOP Soccer, music, art, cheerleading, golf, martial arts, flag football, tennis and autism resources/support. Programs are offered in Conway, Little Rock and Russellville, FREE of charge.
In 2016, Community Connections served more than 550 children and families.
Community Connections’ activities give children with developmental and intellectual disabilities the opportunity to make friends, benefit from physical activity/fitness, gain self-esteem and improve social skills. The programs give parents and grandparents the opportunity to socialize with others who understand their challenges and the volunteers an opportunity to work with a special population of children and gain a greater appreciation of diversity.
Sports and arts programs are offered after school/on evenings and Saturdays in the spring and fall.