Imagine if the only extracurricular activity available for your child was…therapy. Most of us would be indignant – what happened to activities like swimming, soccer, or music lessons?

But this is the reality that many special needs kids experience. These children aren’t given access to the same fun activities as their peers. Few programs are flexible enough to welcome children with special needs. And so these kids are instead ushered to therapy sessions, or often play in isolating environments.

Aim High Ignite plans to revolutionize this system. With buckets of engaging activities, licensed specialists, tailored programming and a sensory friendly environment, Ignite welcomes kids with all levels of ability. The nonprofit was born from a partnership between the Aim High Foundation and LanguageCraft. And together these organizations have created something that’s far beyond just another care facility.

Here are some of the activities that special needs kids can engage in at the Ignite space according to their website:

  • Martial arts instruction that includes bodily awareness, discipline, and anti-bullying education
  • Yoga and other calming physical activities
  • Crafts and large-scale art projects
  • Vocational skills such as screen printing, cooking, and woodworking
  • Theater arts
  • Stress-free activities like LEGO free build
  • Science curriculum through robotics, electronics, computer and app programming, and engineering

The Aim High Ignite program runs for four hours every week, occurs at before and after school hours, and can be custom-tailored to fit kids’ needs. Scholarships, special schedules and other accommodations are available.

This week at Portland Radio Project we featured Aim High Ignite as part of our award-winning Community Voices series. You can listen below to interviews with key members of the organization: