February 27, 2014

For Immediate Release

STRIDE, Inc.    476 N. Greenbush Rd., Suite 9, RENSSELAER, NEW YORK, 12144 
PHONE: (518) 598-1279   FAX :( 518) 391-2563   WEB: www.stride.org
Contact:   Mary Ellen Whitney Mobile: 518-466-4251  EMAIL: mwhitney@stride.org  
For Immediate Release
Blind & Visually Impaired Youth Group to Snowshoe Columbia County Today!
(Chatham, NY) One of the coldest day’s this winter won’t stop a group of visually impaired/blind youth from enjoying the outdoors!  STRIDE Adaptive Sports is no stranger to outdoor recreation and wilderness exploration for youth with special needs. But for the first time this winter, they will provide a very special youth activity at STRIDE Center for Outdoor Recreation & Education (SCORE) on Thursday, February 27,from a multi-district school field trip. Eighteen students, ages 5 through 18 who are visually impaired or blind and  from around the upstate New York and Berkshires, MA  region will gather  for a special day of snowshoeing on the 3.5 miles of trails at the SCORE camp for memory-making journey in outdoor recreation  lessons specially taught for those who do not have sight. Trained STRIDE adaptive counselors provide one-to–one guiding and assistance as needed to adapt the activity.   After the hike, the social activity of roasting hotdogs, drinking hot chocolate and making s’mores on the fire will add to the fun in the lodge at the SCORE facility.   

Socialization with friends who have the same disability of sight and challenges that come with it, is paramount for these youth, and often hard to provide this type of  opportunity.  To be successful in this regard, talks, giggles and sharing around the large indoor fireplace with food is a big part of the experience and encouraged. 

STRIDE has provided this type of activity for over 20 years to youth with special needs, but never before to one specific category of disability such as visual impairments.  The SCORE facility has only been operational for two summer seasons, and this is the first winter activity, as a pilot to test the significance of utilizing the grounds in winter as well.

The mission is to enable these special youth to become more self-sufficient and to maximize their participation in the community, at school, and in life skills. Outdoor recreation experiences can level the playing field and boosts self- image when one is faced daily with the challenges of disabilities.

STRIDE Adaptive Sports, based in Rensselaer NY is a leading Northeastern US Adaptive sports organization dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals with disabilities by providing sports and recreation opportunities. STRIDE is an official Paralympic Sport Club of Albany.

Additional information is available by calling the STRIDE office (518-598-1279) or via email at mwhitney@stride.org        
Mary Ellen Whitney, CEO & Founder
STRIDE Adaptive Sports
476 North Greenbush Road #9
Rensselaer, NY 12144
(office) 518-598-1279
(mobile) 518-466-4251

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