Kids with and without disabilities both enjoy Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s Spiral Garden summer program

News Jul 19, 2016 by Fannie Sunshine City Centre Mirror

Zach Rayment bangs his hands on the drum, keeping rhythm with the melodic chanting and guitar strumming.

Moments later, after telling a reporter “singing is kind of my thing”, he belts out a rendition of Keep on the Sunny Side, which he previously performed in front of several hundred people during his graduation ceremony from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s school program.

The seven-year-old is taking part in Holland Bloorview’s Spiral Garden summer art, garden and play program, which is fully integrated for kids with and without disabilities situated on 1.5 acres of nature at the Bayview and Eglinton avenues site.

Zach, who was born with a severe form of Cerebral Palsy called spastic quadriplegia and uses a walker or wheelchair to get around, has participated in activities set in the Spiral Garden, but this marks the first time he’s taking part in the summer program.

“I like being outside and doing all kinds of activities,” Zach said while taking a break from the fun Monday, July 18. “My favourite activities in school are at the Spiral Garden.”

The summer program is divided into two-week sessions throughout July and August, and can accommodate 60 kids for each - 30 with disabilities, and 30 without.

Children are free to choose from a variety of activities run by professionals at their leisure, including crafts, puppetry, mask making, woodworking, ceramics, and gardening. Three music circles are held daily, but kids are free to stay as long or as little at each activity. Typical age range is six to 12, while some participants are up to age 18.

“Here, they are just kids,” said Shannon Crossman, creative/program co-ordinator for the Spiral Garden program.

Some children with disabilities are joined by their able-bodied siblings, she said, while some attend with a support staff member.

“They all have different needs and ways to participate,” she said. “The ability to set their own curriculum is big for them.”

Musician Lynn Simmons, who has been part of the program for 25 years, said it eliminates any thoughts around what ability is.

“When it comes down to it, we all need help,” she said.

Zach’s mom, Barb, loves the fact he can participate in the program with his able-bodied six-year-old sister, Kate.

“Sometimes Zach is secluded,” she said of her son, who is a triplet. His two identical twin brothers are able-bodied and are busy with soccer this summer.

And when he’s not singing or creating woodwork, the bespectacled youngster who loves Star Wars and video games can be found swimming, taking a ride on a swing, or enjoying the thrills of Canada’s Wonderland.

“He’s just a typical boy,” she said.

Kids with and without disabilities both enjoy Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s Spiral Garden summer program

News Jul 19, 2016 by Fannie Sunshine City Centre Mirror

Zach Rayment bangs his hands on the drum, keeping rhythm with the melodic chanting and guitar strumming.

Moments later, after telling a reporter “singing is kind of my thing”, he belts out a rendition of Keep on the Sunny Side, which he previously performed in front of several hundred people during his graduation ceremony from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s school program.

The seven-year-old is taking part in Holland Bloorview’s Spiral Garden summer art, garden and play program, which is fully integrated for kids with and without disabilities situated on 1.5 acres of nature at the Bayview and Eglinton avenues site.

Zach, who was born with a severe form of Cerebral Palsy called spastic quadriplegia and uses a walker or wheelchair to get around, has participated in activities set in the Spiral Garden, but this marks the first time he’s taking part in the summer program.

“I like being outside and doing all kinds of activities,” Zach said while taking a break from the fun Monday, July 18. “My favourite activities in school are at the Spiral Garden.”

The summer program is divided into two-week sessions throughout July and August, and can accommodate 60 kids for each - 30 with disabilities, and 30 without.

Children are free to choose from a variety of activities run by professionals at their leisure, including crafts, puppetry, mask making, woodworking, ceramics, and gardening. Three music circles are held daily, but kids are free to stay as long or as little at each activity. Typical age range is six to 12, while some participants are up to age 18.

“Here, they are just kids,” said Shannon Crossman, creative/program co-ordinator for the Spiral Garden program.

Some children with disabilities are joined by their able-bodied siblings, she said, while some attend with a support staff member.

“They all have different needs and ways to participate,” she said. “The ability to set their own curriculum is big for them.”

Musician Lynn Simmons, who has been part of the program for 25 years, said it eliminates any thoughts around what ability is.

“When it comes down to it, we all need help,” she said.

Zach’s mom, Barb, loves the fact he can participate in the program with his able-bodied six-year-old sister, Kate.

“Sometimes Zach is secluded,” she said of her son, who is a triplet. His two identical twin brothers are able-bodied and are busy with soccer this summer.

And when he’s not singing or creating woodwork, the bespectacled youngster who loves Star Wars and video games can be found swimming, taking a ride on a swing, or enjoying the thrills of Canada’s Wonderland.

“He’s just a typical boy,” she said.

Kids with and without disabilities both enjoy Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s Spiral Garden summer program

News Jul 19, 2016 by Fannie Sunshine City Centre Mirror

Zach Rayment bangs his hands on the drum, keeping rhythm with the melodic chanting and guitar strumming.

Moments later, after telling a reporter “singing is kind of my thing”, he belts out a rendition of Keep on the Sunny Side, which he previously performed in front of several hundred people during his graduation ceremony from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s school program.

The seven-year-old is taking part in Holland Bloorview’s Spiral Garden summer art, garden and play program, which is fully integrated for kids with and without disabilities situated on 1.5 acres of nature at the Bayview and Eglinton avenues site.

Zach, who was born with a severe form of Cerebral Palsy called spastic quadriplegia and uses a walker or wheelchair to get around, has participated in activities set in the Spiral Garden, but this marks the first time he’s taking part in the summer program.

“I like being outside and doing all kinds of activities,” Zach said while taking a break from the fun Monday, July 18. “My favourite activities in school are at the Spiral Garden.”

The summer program is divided into two-week sessions throughout July and August, and can accommodate 60 kids for each - 30 with disabilities, and 30 without.

Children are free to choose from a variety of activities run by professionals at their leisure, including crafts, puppetry, mask making, woodworking, ceramics, and gardening. Three music circles are held daily, but kids are free to stay as long or as little at each activity. Typical age range is six to 12, while some participants are up to age 18.

“Here, they are just kids,” said Shannon Crossman, creative/program co-ordinator for the Spiral Garden program.

Some children with disabilities are joined by their able-bodied siblings, she said, while some attend with a support staff member.

“They all have different needs and ways to participate,” she said. “The ability to set their own curriculum is big for them.”

Musician Lynn Simmons, who has been part of the program for 25 years, said it eliminates any thoughts around what ability is.

“When it comes down to it, we all need help,” she said.

Zach’s mom, Barb, loves the fact he can participate in the program with his able-bodied six-year-old sister, Kate.

“Sometimes Zach is secluded,” she said of her son, who is a triplet. His two identical twin brothers are able-bodied and are busy with soccer this summer.

And when he’s not singing or creating woodwork, the bespectacled youngster who loves Star Wars and video games can be found swimming, taking a ride on a swing, or enjoying the thrills of Canada’s Wonderland.

“He’s just a typical boy,” she said.