Rotary Thursday
12 Noon
SUNY Fred Tech Incubator or Zoom
214 Central Avenue
Dunkirk, NY
What are the most recent Service Above Self projects of your Dunkirk-Fredonia Rotary Club?
Who will be participating in Pedal for Polio?
When will the bicycles and helmets be delivered for our current District Grant?  
This week's Rotary meeting has all the answers in addition to another excellent guest speaker.  To learn more about Laurie Reynolds and Kids & Sibs Camp, see below:
Laurie Reynolds is the Associate Director at Prevention Works. She has been employed by this agency since 2005. Her  Degree is Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction through Fredonia State. Her passions have always focused on educating youth; however, recently it’s been about advocating for youth with disabilities as well as their siblings. She is the co-chair of the LEICC Intervention Group as well as the Gaps in Services sub-committee through Chautauqua County. 
Laurie is the chair of the Kids and Sibs Summer Camp that started last summer, 2021 at Camp Onyasha.
This is how the Kids and Sibs Camp came about:
Laurie has an 8-year-old son with Autism Level 2 and an 11-year-old daughter who is neurotypical. She envisioned having a summer camp for not only children like her son (and with all disabilities) but also the siblings, as they have challenges as well. From there, the idea went to fruition:
In June 2019, Prevention Works partnered with the Parent Network of WNY to provide a presentation on “Challenging Behaviors” for the community. From that collaboration, a partnership was formed to address the gaps and services in the county and a way to provide families and caregivers in Chautauqua County a safe place to discuss their frustrations and successes. 
In October 2019, the CHQ Support Group for Parents/Caregivers of Children with Special Needs met for the first time and has been going strong ever since. Before COVID, we were meeting monthly and during the COVID Pandemic, we increased the number of meetings to be held bi-monthly via Zoom. There were several conversations that continued to follow regarding the gaps in services, but especially child care during the summer. This is where the camp idea came to fruition. From there, a committee was formed, consisting of: Prevention Works, HOPE Chautauqua Coalition, The Resource Center, Parent Network of WNY, Jamestown Public Schools, Children’s Collaborative Solutions, Camp Onyahsa, Dr. Laura Geraci (Professor from Fredonia State), Exceptional Stars Athletes (ESA), Dan Bracy (Camp Director). 
On August 23-August 25 2021, this amazing committee held its first Annual “Kids & Sibs Summer Camp” for three days. The camp is designed for all children with disabilities and their siblings. Growing up is challenging for everyone but is uniquely so for siblings of children with disabilities who often feel like they are competing for their parents’ attention as the children with special needs demand a lot more time and care. Oftentimes, the siblings of children with disabilities feel frustrated and alone, craving the support to connect with other siblings who understand them. As part of  the camp day, the siblings participated in workshops to discuss feelings, coping strategies and were able to connect with the other siblings to build a sense of fellowship with each other. We wanted to see how the kids with special needs would adjust and how much support the siblings actually need. We found that the kids did amazing with the transitions as we had a lot of camp activities and rotating stations in place (more time for transitions as well as sensory bins for each location). We also found that the siblings flourished with the camp as they reported feeling more supported and were able to be independent away from their siblings.
One of the siblings said, “I was nervous about coming to the camp but once I was there, I was able to have fun with kids like me!”
The parents provided a lot of feedback as well. Some of the feedback we received are the following, “(Child’s Name) actually made a friend! He rode on his first boat ride, broke a piece of wood with his foot during karate (he’s in a wheelchair), and made his 1:1 aide run with him through the sprinkler!” Another parent stated, “Thanks so much for an amazing experience you and the other volunteers have created! My son had the most amazing time!”; “My children are still asking when they can return!”