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Therapy Room at Rhodius Park

Impact Area: Health and Wellness, Social Equity
Region: Mid West

Help Equip the Sensory Room! This space needs some TLC.

$560 Raised out of $10,000
16 Donors
0 Days Remaining

About this project.

The new Therapeutic Recreation and Sensory Room at Rhodius Park will provide great value to the youth who attend Indy Parks' Camp Gather each summer. Camp Gather (Greater Access To Help Everyone Recreate) serves youth and young adults, ages 6–21, who have physical and/or intellectual disabilities. During the summer of 2017, Camp Gather will be offered for six weeks and serve about 42 campers. At Camp Gather, youth with special needs explore recreational and cultural activities in a supportive and caring environment that meets their individual needs. Camp Gather is not only an important resource for supervised care during the summer months, but it is also an important resource to improve the quality of life for these youth. Research demonstrates that summer experiences for youth with disabilities provides a reprieve from social isolation, increases self-reliance and independence, and fosters a new understanding of their physical and/or mental limitations. It also provides a landscape for participants to explore what is possible and face doubts they have about their disability. Moreover, Camp Gather's therapeutic recreational focus improves the aerobic capacity and gross motor function of its participants, which is tremendously beneficial to youth with developmental disabilities.

How will this impact your community?

The Sensory Room will allow Indy Parks to offer Camp Gather, families, and the community at large activities to participate in during school breaks and after school. All families who participate in Camp Gather will have access to the room for designated evenings, weekends, and school breaks. Youth can use the room under the supervision of their parents and/or therapist and an Indy Parks staff will always be available. William Penn School #49 shares its campus with Rhodius Park and both organizations already share many resources. School #49 is one of the IPS schools that serve a large concentration of youth with special needs—14% of the students (about 90) at the school are in special education.
School #49 enthusiastically supports the project and has expressed strong desire to use the room during the school day. In addition, the room will be available to other physical/occupation therapists to use with their clients for a modest fee. This fee-based service will help Rhodius Park maintain the space. Sensory rooms for youth exist on the north and south sides of the city, but none downtown or on the west side of the city.

About us!

Rhodius Park is over 100 years old. It sits on the near west side of Indianapolis and offers 24 acres of recreational space. The Park includes a pool and playground, as well as a family center attached to IPS School #49. Indy Parks, Camp Gather operates at Rhodius Park every summer. Camp Gather is a therapeutic recreation camp for youth, ages 6 to 12. The facility is highly staffed with a camper to counselor ratio of 3:1. Camp Gather is one of a few summer day camps in Indianapolis that provides comprehensive services to youth who have physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Camp is offered for six weeks and youth can sign up for one or all weeks. Campers participate in daily swimming, nature walks, large & small motor skills activities, life skills workshops, and weekly art projects.


Thank you for taking the time to read through our page. Here we will update you over the course of the campaign. Below you can see our priority list for the sensory room. 

First, we would like to install some new sensory toys. In the last few years some exciting new sensory play tools have come out on the market. One in particular is called the sensory steam roller. This "steam roller" is made up of two movable foam rollers that a child can squeeze themselves through. This toy simulates the feeling one might receive from a hug. Another such tool is a sensory light panel. This panel is attached to a wall and upon touching it in different places different colors appear. The panel also plays music and can form lights into various shapes. As you can see in the video, there are a few places for swings that do not have swings in them now. We would like to purchase some new sensory swings for the room. Second, we are looking at installing some kind of new floor padding. The floor in the sensory room now is made of rubber. The rubber provides some cushion, but not enough. The floor we are hoping to install is made out of a dense rubber particle mix that provides a lot of cushion. This would be a sensory tool of its own, as well as a safety measure. Lastly, anything extra will go directly to the sensory room for added upgrades and upkeep. We would like to thank you for reading through our page. Please choose to make a donation to our cause. 

Gwen Pickett
Marketing Intern
Charles Elliott
Indy Parks Executive Assistant

About Gwen Pickett

I am a student at Indiana University Bloomington and am interning with Indy Parks this summer. Working with Indy Parks has made me love parks more than I thought possible and I am so excited to be doing the work I am with them.

About Charles Elliott

I began working for Indy Parks at the beginning of this year. I have always had a passion for nature, conservation, and recreation. I love working at Indy Parks and I look forward to making a real difference.