A new program which aims to educate those living with special needs in Central Alberta is launching in Red Deer next month.
Programming for Skip’s Place will be held at Knox Presbyterian Church starting Jan. 16th. The programs will use modern media coupled with a Mr. Rogers and Mr. Dressup approach with puppets and a large onset theatre.
“It’s the only program like this that we know of in Central Alberta for families who have special needs children,” said Tom Cameron, director of Skip’s Place. “It’s what we call a felt need – a lot of people who want to try church or go to church, they fall off the map usually when they have kids with special needs. You can imagine the disruption it can create sometimes and it can also be a frustration to get ready on Sunday mornings and also for the kids to amalgamate into Sunday school.”
The program, aimed at children under the age of 12, will take place each Saturday beginning on Jan. 16th from 10 a.m. to noon and will take the same format as a Sunday school. “We’re wanting to bless the entire family – it’s not a program where you bring them in and drop them off, we want the whole family to be involved,” said Cameron. “We don’t really know how many fish will come in the net. This is really a leap of faith – literally.”
Caleb Cameron, founder of Skip’s Place, said the program is needed in Red Deer.
“The goal is that we want to love and support these families to have a safe and caring place and we want them to learn that God loves them and they have friends here at Skip’s Place that love them too,” he said. “We hope to do that through our puppet shows but also our family support and different ways of learning and spending time together.
“We hope that many people will come.”
In terms of needs, Caleb said Skip’s Place is accepting donations of gifts for the children in the program.
“We like to give the kids special birthday gifts, or gifts for the families. We’re also always looking for people who might want to volunteer on Saturday mornings – we are grateful and willing.”
Families can register for the program by visiting www.skips.place.