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High school students lead activities at Open Door

Teens develop programs to keep clients engaged

Students from Sandwich, Plano, Yorkville and Oswego recently participated in the Student Leadership Initiative Program, planning activities for Open Door clients.
Students from Sandwich, Plano, Yorkville and Oswego recently participated in the Student Leadership Initiative Program, planning activities for Open Door clients.

Area high school students and Open Door clients recently benefitted from a morning of student-led programming activities.

This group of young scholars from Sandwich, Plano, Yorkville and Oswego sharpened their program-planning skills, and learned to serve in their community by participating in the Student Leadership Initiative Program, an assembly administered by the Kendall County Outdoor Education Center.

Kaileigh Frye of Oswego and Ava Knepper of Sandwich spearheaded the volunteer experience.

They worked with Open Door staff to develop activities that utilized skill sets best suited for the individuals at Open Door.

“This was the first program I had ever planned,” said Frye, who made quick friends with clients and oversaw a game of musical bingo, in a news release. “It’s been a great experience. I plan to return and teach a music class next time.”

Knepper coordinated a session of karaoke and helped to lead a round of blackout bingo.

Danielle, an Open Door client, loves to play bingo, and she enjoyed the conversations she had with students like Knepper. “I had fun and won a prize!” Danielle said in the release. “I hope they come back to see me again!”

The leadership team had clients dancing, playing musical instruments and working puzzles.

They played sensory games, did memory exercises using a tarp, and bounced a ball with Open Door clients.

“This group of students was incredible,” Open Door staff member Kim Ruddick said in the release. “They had our consumers engaged and excited. They worked hard to get everyone involved, and kept things interesting and fun.”

Open Door provides programs and services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Volunteers are always welcome, and are encouraged to come spend time with clients.

If you have a talent, hobby or an interest that you’d like to share with the individuals served at Open Door, call 815-786-8468, ext. 222, or visit odrc.org for more information, or to take a tour.

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