There’s a special place south of Ina Road aimed at helping families and children have a nice summer experience. Creative Care, a Club House For Kids, is geared toward children with disabilities to spend their days.
Creative Care is gearing up for their second summer camp, which begins May 21 and runs through Aug. 17.
Creative Care owners Sarah Kelding and Linda Rapp aim to provide a safe, happy environment for children with disabilities.
“We knew there was a need for day programs on the Northwest side,” said Rapp. “We mostly take children with special needs, but we are willing to take in typical children. They are usually siblings to our kids with disabilities.”
After 15 years of working with the Amphitheater School District, Kelding decided to open Creative Care along with Rapp.
“It became a situation where it was keep teaching or become a principal,” Kelding said. “I didn’t want to be a principal, so this was a way to design my own program, and help this specific population.”
Kelding holds a Master’s of Education/Special Education degree from Northern Arizona University, and Rapp manages the business side of operations.
Besides Kelding and Rapp, the Creative Care staff brings something special to the organization. Rapp said most of the them are college students who are looking to earn an education degree.
“By having these students, they have a genuine interest in these kids,” said Rapp. “This is what they want to do for the rest of their lives, and this gives them some experience.”
Creative Care takes all levels of students with disabilities. Rapp explained they have the capability to accept children with a wide range of disabilities. Children who are hygiene, bathroom or feeding dependent are welcome, along with highly functional autistic children. Rapp stressed that Creative Care has the capacity to take all of them in.
In working with the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities, Creative Care has the ability to take in disabled children between the ages of three and 21. However, Rapp said the oldest children taking part in the program are around 17-years-old.
The summer program, which can take up to 45 children, offers students a safe place to be themselves, along with getting to experience a variety of programs from arts and crafts, to music and animals.
The summer programs also have a variety of guests, from representatives of the Reid Park Zoo and local Human Society, to firefighters and other community leaders.
Rapp said a popular attraction is the visit from the T-Rex Museum, which is part of dinosaur week.
“We can’t really do outings because of the heat, but we bring a lot of the local programs here for the kids’ enjoyment,” said Rapp. “We try to expose the kids to a lot of things they wouldn’t normally get to be a part of.”
Besides the summer program, Creative Care also offers an after-school program, along with a new preschool program slated to begin this August.
Signups for the summer program will continue through May 21. For more information, call 401-5865, or visit the website at www.creativecarecenters.com.
3827 N. Oracle Rd.
Summer program: May 21 through Aug. 17