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Jewish Community Center

Life Enrichment Services

inclusion-play

The J is an inclusive agency that welcomes people of all abilities. Persons of all abilities may participate in any agency program where a suitable match exists, pending eligibility and the successful procurement of any needed supports – this includes our fitness, youth, adult and camp programs. Life Enrichment was formally known as the Inclusion program.

Contact:
The Life Enrichment Department
314-442-3295

Click here to file an ADA or Title VI complaint with the Jewish Community Center.


Programs for Adults

Contact: 
Zach Pierson
Life Enrichment Coordinator
314-442-3166

Sunday Friendship (adults 18 years and older)

In our Sunday Friendship program, Explore St. Louis and make new friends with this social group for adults with disabilities. Game days, Six Flags, bingo, bowling, movies, nature and holiday parties are just a few of the social activities we plan each year. Participants set interpersonal and independence goals to work on at each activity. Trained staff help the participant to work toward and achieve his or her goals. This group runs on a 1:5 ratio and participants should not display aggressive behavior. Participants who need 1:1 assistance must be accompanied by their own staff. Sponsored by the Productive Living Board.

September 18, 1pm: Getting the Ball Rolling | Register Online
October 2, 12pm: Gateway to Fun | Register Online
October 16, 1pm: Hay Day | Register Online
October 30, 1pm: Veterans Day Project | Register Online
November 13, 1pm: DIY Projects | Register Online
November 27, 1pm: Box Meal Mitzvah
December 11, Winter Formal Festival | Register Online

Locations vary
Sundays, times vary
Cost and times vary depending on activity.

Theatre Unlimited (adults 18 years and older)

For info about tickets, please contact The Life Enrichment Department, 314-442-3295

Founded in 1987 through the Jewish Community Center’s Inclusion department, Theatre Unlimited is one of the oldest barrier-free theatre programs in St. Louis. Specifically designed to allow adults with disabilities to shine on stage, each Fall and Spring season gives Theatre Unlimited participants the chance to audition, rehearse, and perform an entire production. In rehearsals, participants play ensemble-building games, engage in chorus singing practice, practice their roles, learn basic components of theatre, and socialize with their cast mates. As actors our participants are working on social, cognitive, emotional, and communicative skills. In addition, participants form lasting friendships and get to express themselves creatively through theatre.

Register Online

Fiddler on the Roof

Follow Tevye the milkman as he tries to protect his daughters and his way of life from a changing world.  Created by Broadway legends Jerome Robbins, Harold Prince, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein, Fiddler on the Roof Jr. tackles the universal theme of tradition in ways that reach across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion.

Staenberg Family Complex/Creve Coeur
Rehearsals: Sundays & Wednesdays, September 4 – December 14
Performances: Wednesday & Thursday, December 21 & 22, 4pm
Previous participants and/or resident of St. Louis County $80
New participant who lives outside of St. Louis County $160
Performance Tickets: $14+ fees

IN Program

Ages 18+

Offered via the Adult Day Center
Program partially funded by The Miracle Makers Foundation

Get IN! A new and innovative program offered through the Adult Day Center at the J for individuals 21+ with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Down’s Syndrome or other intellectual/developmental disabilities. IN is a program designed to foster INdependence, INclusion, INgenuity, and to INspire young adults with disabilities to achieve their personal goals and have fun while doing it.

IN aims to maximize the person’s experience offering a full day of activities geared toward INdividualized skill building within a structured group setting. Unlike other day programs, IN has access to a state-of-the-art facility at The J and a variety of trained professionals offering unique services such as personal fitness training, Tai Chi, Aquatics Yoga, Music Therapy, Horticulture Therapy, Pet Therapy, and a multitude of skill-building volunteer activities.

To maximize the social, physical and cognitive benefits of IN, eligible participants must be able to interact and engage appropriately in group settings with a 1:6 staff to participant ratio. Schedule a tour today!

To schedule a tour or get more information, contact:
Lexie Millman, IN Program Coordinator, 314-442-3249

Creve Coeur/Staenberg Family Complex
Monday – Friday, 7:30am – 6pm
Customized schedule


Life Enrichment Fitness Programs

Contact:
The Life Enrichment Department
314-442-3295

Able Bodies (18 years and older)

This class is an artistic outlet for participants with developmental disabilities. Classes are tailored to meet the needs of people with disabilities by providing adaptive approaches to learning dance. Students face physical challenges through exercises that emphasize coordination, muscle control and strengthening in order to achieve an overall balance of the body, mind and spirit. Sponsored by the Productive Living Board.

In-person, Mind Body Studio at the Staenberg Family Complex/Creve Coeur
Mondays & Wednesdays (ongoing), 4:30-5:30pm
Free (with proper intake forms for non-members)

Adaptive Aquatics (18 years and older)

For intermediate to advanced swimmers. This aquatics program is at the J’s fully accessible therapy pool. Our adaptive swim instructor will combine fun and fitness to help participants advance their swimming skills. This class has a 1:5 student/teacher ratio. For 1:1 support or to learn the swimming basics, contact Sarah.

Staenberg Family Complex/Creve Coeur
Winter: Mondays, January 10 – March 4, 3-4pm ($180)
Spring: Mondays, March 28 – May 16, 3-4pm ($144)

Personal Training (12 years and older)

Children and adults with developmental disabilities work with nationally-certified personal trainers to set fitness and independence goals to become their healthiest self. Each workout is customized to fit the needs of the individual and the trainer tracks progress toward the set goals. All trainers are currently working toward an Inclusive Fitness Trainer Certification from ACSM. Sponsored by the Productive Living Board.

Creve Coeur or Chesterfield
Virtual or in-person (participant may choose)
Personal Training: $18 per session for St. Louis County Residents (scholarships available)
By appointment

Zumba (12 years and older)

Adults and teens with developmental disabilities can dance their way to a great workout with this modified Zumba class. Taught by a certified Zumba instructor, participants will learn fun Zumba dance steps while working on their fitness. Sponsored by the Productive Living Board.

Currently via Zoom
Zumba: Free (with proper intake forms completed for non-members)
Mondays (ongoing), 4-5pm

Zumba Zoom ID: 914 689 4895
Zumba Password: Rachel


Life Enrichment – Camps & Camper Support

Contact:
The Life Enrichment Department
314-442-3295

Teen Skills Jr.

Campers with developmental disabilities entering grades 6 – 9

Campers work on acquiring essential social and daily independent living skills as they enjoy traditional camp activities, such as recreational swimming, arts and crafts, cooking, sports, Shabbat, and nature. Additionally, campers will take day trips to St. Louis attractions and engage in volunteer opportunities. Throughout the week, Teen Skills Jr. campers also work alongside Teen Travel Camp to provide an integrated and individualized experience. Participants can be supported in a 1:1 staff ratio.

Teen Skills Sr.

Campers with developmental disabilities entering grade 10 – age 21

Campers work on acquiring essential social and vocational skills as they transition into adulthood. Participants spend time in the community, engaging in a variety of interesting volunteer and recreational activities, and at the J, working on interviewing skills, money skills and interpersonal skills that are vital once they enter the workforce. Participants also enjoy many traditional camp activities such as recreational swimming, cooking, fitness classes and nature. Participants must be successful in a 1:4 staff-to-participant ratio.

1:1 Support – J Day Camps

The J welcomes and invites all persons, including those with disabilities, to participate in its camps and other programs. Program participation is based upon an appropriate match between the individual and a particular program. Where feasible and suitable, the J provides necessary supports, including individualized programming.

The Life Enrichment program provides the opportunity for children with special needs to attend camp with their typically developing peers. Our goal is to include all campers. In order to best assess if a child is a good fit for our program, families must participate in an intake process. If a child is aggressive, a threat to him/herself or others, or even with extra support from our staff cannot participate in our program safely, J Day Camps may not be a good fit.

Life Enrichment Counselors are hired specifically to work with children with special needs. They have backgrounds in special education or a related field and/or other life experiences that provide them with the necessary skill set. Additional training is provided and required for all Life Enrichment counselors. All of our staff must participate in an application, interview and background check process. All Life Enrichment Counselors are First Aid/CPR certified and must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma.

There is no additional fee (in addition to the J Day Camps fee) for Life Enrichment support at J Day Camps up to 40 hours/week. A nominal fee may be assessed for campers who attend camp more than 40 hours per week. Limited space available so please inquire early.

For more information on J Day Camp programming, please click here.