To kick off its 25th anniversary year, in February KEEN Greater DC-Baltimore launched a new Bowling program in Baltimore at AMF Dundalk. This new program gives Greater Baltimore area teens and young adults with autism and other disabilities opportunity for social-recreational fun while building bowling skills. Trained volunteers provide one-on-one support, and like all KEEN programs, KEEN Bowling – Baltimore is provided at no cost to parents and caregivers.
Bowling was inspired by the success of KEEN’s Baltimore Sports programs at Dundalk High School and its partnership with Johns Hopkins University. In 2011, the JHU Neuroscience Department added a course to its curriculum called “Research Practicum: KEEN (Kids Enjoying Exercise Now)-Community Based Learning.” For this course, students volunteer at KEEN for four sessions during a semester, as well as attend orientation and training, and earn one university credit. Students find that volunteering at KEEN helps to build their people skills, which they value as important as they look towards becoming doctors. In the classroom, they learn about the disabilities, but at KEEN they learn what only experience can teach—that young people with autism and other disabilities set goals for themselves and that they want to have fun and to play and to celebrate their successes.
Thanks to the generous support of JHU students and other community volunteers, KEEN Baltimore Bowling has room to enrollment more participants—“KEEN Athletes.” Enrollment forms are available here: http://www.keengreaterdc.org/new-athlete-enrollment And new volunteers are always welcome. Volunteer information is available at www.keengreaterdc.org