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Program Overview

The FitCatZ program is an aquatic and motor program designed for children with disabilities. The program’s goal is to help participating children become efficient movers in a fun and safe environment. Each child in the program is assigned a trained volunteer student clinician who will work one-on-one with the child during the aquatic and motor program.  FitCatZ is supported by the College of Charleston Department of Teacher Education and First Year Experience Program and is held at Arthur W. Christopher Community Center and the Medical University of South Carolina Wellness Center.

 Each child's program will be tailored to their needs and abilities and may include:

  • Physical fitness activities to improve muscular strength, endurance and flexibility,
  • Sensory motor activities,
  • Fundamental motor patterns and sport skills,
  • Body awareness and spatial orientation, and/or
  • Swimming and water safety skills. 

Participant Eligibiltiy

FitCatZ is open to children with a range of physical, intellectual, behavioral, and emotional disabilities ranging in age from 2 to 18 years old at the start of the program.  We are willing to work with parents to accommodate specific concerns and can provide additional assistance for children with more severe disabilities.

Role of the FitCatZ Clinician

Children participating in FitCatZ will be paired one-on-one with a trained undergraduate or graduate volunteer student clinician. The clinicians are recruited from local graduate and undergraduate education and therapy disciplines and are volunteers whom have shown an eagerness to work in the program and who demonstrate a willingness to learn and accept an educational challenge to motivate and teach children and youth with disabilities. Interested volunteers are interviewed and agree to the commitment of the FitCatZ program. Each child is strategically paired with a clinician based on the clinician’s experience and the child’s specific needs. Throughout the program, clinicians will evaluate children’s physical activity and motor development needs and will structure individualized instruction in order to help them progress toward goals and objectives developed by the clinicians in concert with parents and children.

Group Leaders

Group Leaders are graduate or senior student volunteers who have been chosen to assist with the administration of the program.  Group Leaders are not paired with a specific child, rather they assist with all of the FitCatZ children and clinicians assigned to their group.

Group Leaders are assigned to work with 4-6 clinicians and their FitCatZ buddy to:

  • Assist with parent communication and attendance
  • Manage drop off and pick up times with the children and parents
  • Assist with child evaluation and goal setting
  • Assist with weekly motor and aquatic lessons
  • Assist with the set up and tear down of equipment used in the program
  • Evaluate lesson plans, Body Skills Assessment Report and Final Case Report.

Aquatic Specialists

Certified Water Safety Instructors will be training the clinicians for aquatic safety and developmentally appropriate swimming instruction. In addition, they will be teaching structured swimming lessons during the aquatics portion of FitCatZ. 

Supervision

The program is being administered by Program Director, Susan Flynn.  Susan is an Instructor at The College of Charleston in the School of Education, Health and Human Performance.  Flynn has organized and conducted similar successful programs at The University of Toledo-Perceptual Motor Development Clinic (1987-1997) and Purdue University’s Pete’s PALS (2007-2009).  Flynn’s specialty is in the area of adapted physical education.  All phases of the program will be monitored and supervised by the Program Director and/or other trained instructors. 

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