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Therapeutic Recreation Newsletter | June 2011 |
Parks and Beaches for EVERYONE!

TR GrommetWarm weather is finally here! It's a great time to take advantage of the fantastic parks and beaches that the City of Virginia Beach has to offer. Everyone should be able to enjoy our great resources, regardless of ability. Grommet Island and Kids Cove are two parks that were designed for everyone. Plus, you might not be aware that several beach locations in the City have beach wheelchairs on-site that can be checked out for free! 
Grommet Island
JT's Grommet Island Beach Park and Playground For EveryBODY is the first of its kind in America: a 100% handicap accessible oceanfront park. The park opened May 22, 2010 and is located on 2nd Street at the oceanfront. Learn more!

Kids Cove at Mount Trashmore Park
The new Kids Cove Playground at Mount Trashmore Park is nearly 26,000 square feet, fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and is barrier-free to accommodate all children. The new Kids Cove Playground opened on December 10, 2010 and is located at 310 Edwin Drive. Learn more!

Beach WheelchairBeach Wheelchairs
Beach wheelchairs are available at Little Island Park, Lynnhaven Boat & Beach Facility and at several locations at the Oceanfront, including three at Grommet Island and one each at 17th and 24th Streets. Learn how to check out one of these wheelchairs at no cost!
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Our Mission: 

To provide programs and services to individuals with disabilities that will...

 Enrich quality of life
 Meet community needs
 Enhance skill development, leisure education and recreation participation
 Increase independence through individualized goals and objectives
The staff achieve this mission by offering a variety of programs for children, teens and adults including after school programs, summer day camps, dance, fitness, aquatic and social programs.
New Spring Programs Were a Hit!


Sense-Sational Gardening (Age 14 & Up)

TR GardeningA fun spin on indoor gardening, participants in this new TR program learned about different environments in which plants grow. They planted seeds, transplanted flowers and cared for growing sunflowers and dahlias over the course of the program. Participants also learned how to preserve a flower's natural color by using a flower press and completed various craft projects. 


Sense-Sational Gardening would not be complete without an appeal to the senses! Participants discovered unique plants like honeysuckle and aloe; herbs such as lavender, rosemary, sage, and mint. They even learned how to use mint leaves to make Mojito's (non-alcoholic)! 


For the Love of Food (Age 9 - 14)

We introduced "For the Love of Food!" as a way for kids to learn some introductory lessons about being in the kitchen, how to read recipes and the chance to taste some yummy dishes! Each class met in the kitchen at Kempsville Rec Center where we reviewed a kitchen topic and then dove into gathering supplies and getting to work. Topics for each class included Kitchen Safety, Healthy Snacks, How I Can Help in the Kitchen, Table Manners, Setting My Place and Making a Grocery List. We had a great time learning, exploring our culinary skills and tasting the fruits of our labor! One of our favorite dishes was Spaghetti Cupcakes! Hats off to the chefs!

Thank You for Your Participation in the TR Survey!

TR Float DayIn late January, we launched our first ever online Program Participation and Interest Survey. Respondents indicated an overwhelming interest for more offerings in current TR aquatic programs, Around Town leisure programs and the summer Camp Explore program. There was also a lot of interest in developing new one-time special events in areas such as aquatics, holiday themed programs and arts & crafts. A surprising theme was the amount of interest in general programs for participants age 22 and older during the day, especially in the summer and on weekends.


The information gained from this survey is being reviewed in detail and we intend to develop long and short term goals for program development and redesign. We were able to act immediately on some feedback and with assistance from Aquatics, hosted a TR Friendly Float Day in April. Keep an eye out for more special events!

Registration for Summer/Fall Programs


We will be holding registration on Saturday, June 4 at Kempsville Recreation Center room 103 (TR office) from 9 am to noon. In addition to summer programs, you can also register for fall swim programs at this time.


Summer Programs
TR Around TownAround Town I - Age 36 & up
Bayside | Fri | 7/8 - 8/5 | 6:30 - 8:30 pm | $35

Around Town II - Age 22-35
Kempsville | Fri | 7/8 - 8/5 | 6:30 - 8:30 pm | $35


Around Town  III - Age 14-21

Kempsville | Fri | 7/8 - 8/5 | 6:30 - 8:30 pm | $35


TR Surf Camp - Age 6-35

Pendleton Beach | Sat | 7/23 | 11 am - 3 pm | $20

Pendleton Beach | Sat | 7/23 | 11 am - 3 pm | $20


Fall Aquatic Programs  (look for more fall programs on Sept 10)
Swim, Stretch or Tone - Age 14 & up 
Princess Anne | Wed | 9/28 - 11/2 | 6:30 - 7:20 pm | $33
TR Swim, Stretch, ToneLearn to Swim - Age 1 - 5 with parent
Bow Creek | Tues | 9/13 - 11/1 | 5 - 5:30 pm | $32
Learn to Swim - Age 6 - 15
Bow Creek | Tues | 9/13 - 11/1 | 5 - 5:50 or 6 - 6:50 pm | $43
Bow Creek | Thurs | 9/15 - 11/3 | 5 - 5:50 or 6 - 6:50 pm | $43
Learn to Swim - Age 16 & up
Bow Creek | Thurs | 9/15 - 11/3 | 7 - 7:50 pm | $43
Intro to Competitive Swimming - Age 6 & up
Bow Creek | Tues | 9/13 - 11/1 | 7 - 7:50 pm | $43
Staff in the Spotlight: Jessica Rhea

JessicaSince the fall of 2007, Jessica Rhea has been part of the full-time team with the Aquatics/Therapeutic Recreation Unit. She started out with the Therapeutic Recreation Programs working part-time for three summers while attending college. Jessica graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Parks and Tourism with concentrations in Therapeutic Recreation and Outdoor Recreation. She currently supervises the Around Town programs, Swim, Stretch or Tone, Outdoor Challenge Series and the Junior and New Ventures Summer Camp programs. Jessica loves her job and is inspired when the participants achieve their goals.

Outside of work, Jessica enjoys being with her family and friends. Some of her favorite leisure activities are playing softball, kayaking, backpacking, running or enjoying the sunshine at the beach.

Be On the Lookout: After School Registration Begins 8/16

Registration for 2011-2012 Out-of-School Time Programs (All-Stars & Champions) will take place on Tuesday, August 16 from 5-7 pm at Kempsville Recreation Center.

All Stars 

Age 5-13 (Must have turned 5 on or before September 30, 2011)
This program is an opportunity for individuals with special TR Fire Stationneeds to participate in instructional and recreational after school activities. Each participant will work towards the achievement of individual goals through a variety of activities which include crafts, group games, drama, music, fitness and swimming.



Age 14 - 21 (Currently attending middle/high school)
This program is an opportunity for middle and high school students with special needs to participate in instructional and recreational activities after school. Each participant will work towards the achievement of individual goals through a variety of activities that include crafts, group games, drama, music, fitness, swimming and community outings.

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If you or your child require additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at
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Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.