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Great Opportunity for Students to Help Children with Special Needs Learn to Bike


3/17/17: Volunteers Needed for Spring Vacation Bike Camp in Groton

Volunteers are needed during April school vacation week, April 17 -21, to assist at a bike camp in Groton for children with special needs. Emerson Hospital’s Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies is hosting the second annual camp, called iCan Shine, which is open to people who are at least eight years old who have special needs and are able to walk without an assistive device. Trained counselors and volunteer spotters will work with campers to teach them how to ride a conventional bike. The camp is held in conjunction with Lawrence Academy.

Volunteers need to be at least sixteen years old and be available for one or two 75 minute bike sessions each day Monday through Friday during April school vacation week. All sessions are held at the hockey rink at Lawrence Academy, 26 Powder House Road, Groton, Massachusetts. The session times are: 8:30 am – 9:45 am; 10:05 am – 11:20 am; 11:40 am – 12:55 pm; 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm; and 3:35 – 4:50 pm. Volunteers will be trained by professional counselors and must attend the same session(s) each day so they can provide continuity for the campers.  Volunteers will earn community service hours, a t-shirt and a certificate from Emerson Hospital. 

“Riding a bike is one of the most exciting developmental milestones - it gives people a wonderful outlet for exercise and freedom, and is an activity that families can enjoy together,” says Mary Evans, PT, Pediatric and Neurologic Specialist, Emerson Hospital. “Our volunteers will have an unforgettable experience as they play a key role in helping the children learn to ride on their own.  The progress the campers make is due to the caliber and passion of our volunteers.“

The camp is run by iCan Shine, a national non-profit organization that teaches individuals with special needs to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle through its iCan Bike program.  Using adapted bicycle equipment, trained professionals, including pediatric physical therapists from Emerson, and volunteers work closely with each camper to help them meet their goals of biking independently. With 75 minutes of daily instruction over five consecutive days, more than 80% of campers learn to ride independently by the end of camp, and nearly all campers make great progress towards biking on their own.

For more information and to register as a volunteer, please visit: http://icanshine.org/ican-bike-groton-ma/ or email Mary Evans, PT at icanshinebike_rehab@emersonhosp.org.  Sponsors of this year’s iCanBike camp are: Lawrence Academy, Spring Hill Suites and Hilton Garden Inn Devens.



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Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton and Westford and an urgent care center in Hudson. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit www.emersonhospital.org.