A group enjoying a painting craft.

A group enjoying a painting craft.

Going to the State Fair, a Cardinals baseball game, or an all day trip to a historic town is always a hit in the Day Program. But the activities offered on a regular basis are just as popular.

Those include science experiments, board games, and crafts on-site. Volunteering at the Food Pantry, recycling, and going to the arcade are regularly offered for people who like being out and around town. ACT has even joined the YMCA in Jefferson City to provide swimming, exercise, and recreation opportunities.

Each month, ideas for the activities schedule are generated during team meetings. Day Program Activities Coordinator, Kristin Cummins, meets with individuals to discuss things they would like to do. She also does extensive research on events and opportunities available throughout mid-Missouri.

For on-site activities, Cummins typically uses a theme for each week. Sometimes it’s a country or an animal of interest. Sometimes the theme is seasonal. Once, the whole week’s activities revolved around an ocean cruise. An educational component is almost always included.

In addition to responding to requests, Cummins is very creative in brainstorming new activities for individuals to try. To get everyone moving, and provide opportunities to work on personal fitness goals, she plans a variety of adapted sports.

“We adapt some sports with beach balls or balloons,” Cummins says. “I have an intern who is focused on identifying and leading recreational and exercise activities.”

Cummins is also always on the lookout for partnerships, sponsorships and discounts that might be available. ACT staff frequently bring her information and leads when they return from the community.

“Area businesses recognize the value in welcoming all members of the community. Most are also aware of the budget constraints that an agency such as ACT operates with. We qualify for an affordable group rate at the bowling alley and several local restaurants charge us reduced rates when we go out for coffee or snacks!” Cummins says.

Everyone in the program has his or her favorite activity. For Buddy, it’s bowling. Dylan’s favorite is cooking on-site at ACT.

Day Program activities don’t have to be big or lavish to be valued and appreciated. Sometimes it’s a simple activity that satisfies and fulfills the needs of participants.