SEASPAR, St. Francis School in La Grange, receive award
SEASPAR’s Anne Cosentino (right) and Mary Freeman of St. Francis Xavier accepted the 2012 ITRS Agency of Excellence Award. Anne and Mary, one of the school’s original parent volunteers, worked together to create innovative programming for the two groups.
LA GRANGE — SEASPAR and St. Francis Xavier School in La Grange received the 2012 Agency of Excellence Award at the Illinois Parks and Recreation State Conference.
This prestigious award is given annually by the Illinois Therapeutic Recreation Section of the state organization.
The two groups have a history of cooperative programming dating back to 2008, when they came together to offer the sixth-grade students an opportunity to learn about individuals with disabilities through SEASPAR’s Ability Awareness program. In this program, SEASPAR staff conducts activities at the school which provide insight into what it is like to live with a disability. Following the Ability Awareness presentation, students chose to volunteer and “adopt” specified programs by providing a minimum number of volunteers at weekly programs.
In 2010, SEASPAR and St. Francis Xavier planned an event to support the school’s newly-created Service Day, an expansion of its schoolwide service program. This day provided students with the opportunity to take action by volunteering within the community. They implemented a special bowling day, as bowling is a favorite activity of many of SEASPAR’s adult participants. The school provided the “volunteers” and SEASPAR provided the bowlers.
Each year, 65 to 80 sixth-graders volunteer for this event. Students also donate pies annually for SEASPAR’s Turkey Shoot, and support the Holiday Spectacular, by serving as ushers, providing refreshments, and being spectators.
SEASPAR provides year-round recreation services for individuals with disabilities and is an extension of the park districts of Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, La Grange, LaGrange Park, Lisle, Westmont, and Woodridge, and the villages of Brookfield, Indian Head Park and Western Springs. For more information, call (630) 960-7600 (voice) or (630) 960-7605 (TDD) or visit www.SEASPAR.org.