The Bubel Aiken Foundation (TBAF) recently awarded a $10,000 grant to help sponsor the Kids Included Together (KIT) conference, an event, which works to raise awareness and provide practical information about inclusion. Providers of child care, recreation and youth development agencies are empowered to adopt and practice the philosophy of inclusion so that children with and without disabilities can participate in their programs.
The mission of Kids Included Together is to support recreational, child development, and youth development programs that include children with and without disabilities. KIT’s goals are to enrich the lives of all who participate and to increase understanding and acceptance of disabilities as a natural part of life.
“We are excited to help fund the KIT conference. They are playing an important role in making inclusion possible as well as increasing awareness for the abilities of all children. Supporting them allows TBAF to help further our inclusion goals across the country,” said Diane Bubel.
In September 2004, 151 people from 13 states across the country attended the first KIT conference. On March 22-24, 2006 KIT will host its second national conference on inclusion in out-of-school settings. The conference will feature skill-building workshops given by practitioners in the field, presentations by nationally recognized speakers and performers, and the chance to network with others who are interested in creating and sustaining inclusive programs.
Those new to inclusion will find a strand of building blocks designed to provide the tools necessary to get started. Staff working directly with children will gain practical techniques and new activities to implement immediately. Managers and directors will find workshops on sustainability and strategic planning, staff training and program design. The goal is for everyone to leave inspired and invigorated.
“All of us at Kids Included Together are thrilled to have the continued support of The Bubel/Aiken Foundation,” said Jan Gaicinti, executive director of KIT. “It is wonderful to be able to create a partnership with a Foundation whose mission is parallel to what we are accomplishing at KIT. By joining hands and working together on this conference, we are able maximize the impact our work has on the lives of children with and without disabilities.”
TBAF continues to provide support and sponsorship to organizations like KIT who develop programs, increase awareness and understanding and that provide the educational support that promotes the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in school and community settings.
This year’s KIT conference will be held at the Catamaran Resort in San Diego, California. More information can be gained by visiting the Kids Included Together Web Site at www.kitonline.org or by calling 858-320-2050.