It’s a proven fact – kids love Disney. And the scene was no different at the Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) recent annual summer carnival.
The carnival, which has been a summer fixture at the QCP headquarters on 164th Street in Jamaica for the last ten years, featured games, activities and all kinds of Disney related fun for the special needs children who attend the QCP program throughout the year.
QCP Director of Children’s Services Nancy Glass said that even though it’s a fun day off, the children are still doing activities that are stimulating the mind.
“The physical and occupational therapists want to make sure that every child, regardless of the type of disability, has a fabulous time and is successful with the different games and activities,” she said. “And the children love it.”
Activities included a Dancing with Mickey Mouse station, a fishing station, a train ride, a hot air balloon swing, a Winnie the Pooh piñata, and last but not least, a short Disney film where children had to match their favorite characters. These were just a few of the many interactive stations that the therapists put together.
The children were chaperoned around by volunteers, therapists and other staff members of the QCP. The therapists, both physical and occupational, have set up the event each year. Glass said that they spend weeks getting ready for the carnival, enlisting volunteers and even going out into the community approaching local businesses about donations.
“They [the kids] love it,” Glass said. “You can see they have a really great time. It’s a wonderful experience for them and a lot of the activities are therapeutic, in addition to being fun. So the therapists have things that the children can work on, whether it’s hand-eye coordination or various activities like the kinds that they would do in therapy – movement activities like the swing.”
“It gets a little more sophisticated and clever every year,” she added with a smile. “They [the therapists] try to outdo themselves every year. They really do it and it’s just amazing.”