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Down East Family YMCA launches inclusive program for kids with disabilities

The program will provide children with disabilities access to activities such as art, music, basketball, and other sports.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — The Down East Family YMCA has announced plans to launch an inclusive program for kids will intellectual disabilities, and the Y is partnering with Special Olympics Maine to make it happen.  

The program is expected to provide children with disabilities access to activities such as art, music, basketball, and other sports, according to Elizabeth Stanley, the Y's director of unique programming.

"It's just going to provide these kids with a chance to get out, make some social connections, and have some fun," Stanley told NEWS CENTER Maine.

Stanley will be the leader of this new program and has a personal connection to it. 

“My youngest daughter, Abby, has been diagnosed with autism, and I’ve watched her struggle as the years have gone by," Stanley explained. "She has been dragged to all of her sisters' events. She just hasn’t been able to have that same experience and has wanted it. Just looking around trying to find things for her to do is very limiting."

The program is expected to start in early November. For more information on the program, you can visit the Down East Family YMCA website by clicking here

Here is a full schedule of events as of right now:


Art night, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Nov. 2

Bingo night, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Nov. 9, 5:15 - 6:15 p.m. Bingo Night

Dance Party, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Nov 16, 5:15 - 6:15 p.m. Dance Party

Thanksgiving Dinner, 12:15 p.m. Nov. 23

Get Active! 5:15-6:15 p.m. Nov. 30

Basketball FUNdamentals, 9:30-10:30 a.m. 

Ellsworth Holiday Parade, 4 p.m. Dec. 3

Art Night, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Dec. 7

Basketball FUNdamentals followed by Breakfast w/ Santa, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Dec. 10

Bingo Night, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Dec. 14

Basketball FUNdamentals, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Dec. 17

Christmas Party, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 21

Basketball FUNdamentals, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Jan. 7

Swimming will be coming to Blue Hill, and weekly rec programming will be coming to Bucksport in December.

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