Kids Included Together | San Diego & Washington DC
August 4, 2010
The mission of KIT is to provide training for staff associated with inclusion programs at out-of-school time programs. 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. KIT began in San Diego, CA in 1997 with one center for inclusion of children with disabilities in an active after-school and summer program. During that initial engagement, the KIT trainers and the program's staff realized that inclusion programs provide a great service to families of children with disabilities. For starters, the children thrived in a setting populated by typically-developing children. In addition, their families gained confidence in their children's ability to function well in an inclusion environment. Finally, families of typically-developing children learned that their children were not at risk when engaging with children with disabilities and, in fact, their lives were richer for the exposure and real-time involvement. While inclusion at one site made a huge difference at that site, the goal of KIT quickly shifted to leveraging the learning that occurred at the first site. During the past 13 years, KIT has focused on developing and providing training modules to staff of out-of-school time programs at their sites, via internet-available webiner courses and at KIT's annual Conference on Inclusion directed to those who are staff at the sites. These training courses have won national awards and have become the standard for major corporation and government sties. It has been exciting to see the effect of KIT's leveraging. From one center 13 years ago, since 1997 15,748 children with disabilities have been co-enrolled with 218,1562 typically developing children at KIT affiliate sites; this has amounted to over 795,198 hours of inclusive youth programming. While the numbers are impressive, even more impactful is the look of pure joy on the faces of the children with and without disabilities as they participate in their out-of-school time programs. I shall never forget my first site visit; I was in tears as I listened to the children speak of their joy in being part of an after-school neighborhood program. KIT has built a new model and set a new standard for inclusion training over the past 13 years, one that accelerates the possibility that inclusion works for all direct participants and for their families.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
five years of active participation on the board and as chairman
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
Participating in bring forth a new paradigm for training staff at out-of-school time that support inclusion
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
Dedicated to their mission, resourceful, committed to improving the lives of children through inclusion.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
Leverage its current models to bring inclusion training to centers throughout the US and the world
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every week
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Board Member & I participated in the growth of KIT from 2000 through 2005 as a board member and then chairman of the board.