Special Needs Programs
Summer Camp – For nearly 15 years, the Department of Parks and Recreation has offered a comprehensive summer camp for children and young adults with special needs during the month of July. In order to alleviate the financial burden to families, the program has always been subsidized either through government or private funding. In 2008, the State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs granted $8,000 with a twenty percent match from the Township of Moorestown. Ten children participated. The fee at that time was $75 per participant for the full 4-week program (same fee for residents and non-residents). Field trips, special events and door to door bus transportation was included.
Shortly thereafter, state funding decreased. In 2011, the Moorestown Education Foundation provided a mini grant of $3,000 along with many private donations to keep the program going. From 2013 until now, there have been significant fundraising partners that have enabled the program to grow from the original 10 to 60 participants Brian and Kimberly Fischel’s annual Sean Fischel Connect Foundation’s 5K RUN/1 Mile Walk funded the program from 2013-2018. In 2019, Jay and Lisa O’Donnell’s non-profit, Mission Voice, continued where the Fischel’s left off with a similar 5K event fundraiser.
Summer camp staffing (certified special needs supervisors, regular staff and a registered nurse), transportation, and curriculum (including field trips) is a major undertaking that could never have been realized without the fundraising from our non-profit partners. They have enabled the resources for the support and growth of the program, which continues to be in high demand throughout the county.
Challenger Baseball, Sponsored By: Ken and Cheryl Catanella – This free, seven week program began the fall of 2018 and continued in 2019, 2021 and 2022 on Saturdays at Pryor Park baseball field. Individual's ages 5 through young adult participate with volunteer buddies when required. This is an ADA compliant activity. Participants receive a shirt and hat and there is an end of the season party at the Recreation Center with a catered lunch and trophies. No fee, but registration is required.
S.M.A.S.H. (Social Meeting after School Hours), and S.M.A.S.H. Too Sponsored By The Monica Buckley Foundation and The Catanella Family, respectively.
Based on a need for something for young adults and teenagers to do after school – S.M.A.S.H. was conceived. It not only gave kids an opportunity hangout with peers but provided a platform to learn basic kitchen and cooking skills. Coupled with arts & crafts, karate, yoga, games and music, this program became a weekly respite for the community. It grew from serving high schoolers to middle schoolers too (S.M.A.S.H. Too).
S.M.A.S.H. and S.M.A.S.H Too will resume in January 2023. If you are new to the program, please email Cyndi Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org. LOCATION: Moorestown Recreation Center, 111 W. Second Street AGES: High School special needs students and young adults. Open to residents and non-residents if space is available. TRANSPORTATION: Participants are transported by bus from the Moorestown High School to the Church Street Recreation Center. Moorestown participants are transported home by bus after the program ends. QUESTIONS OR TO VOLUNTEER - Contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at 856-914-3093. REGISTRATION: Click to visit our registration site & sign up
Holiday Party – Started in 2007, the Holiday Party is for young adults, children and their families on Sunday, December 11, 2022 from 1-3pm. This joyous annual event is held on the 3rd floor of the Church Street Recreation Center with DJ provided by the Posternock Apell Law Firm and lunch provided by Quaker Wealth Management. No fee to attend.