MIDDLETOWN – Middletown’s Summer Recreation Inclusion Program will be bolstered next year thanks to a $20,000 award from the state Recreational Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities (ROID) grant program.

“It’s great news that Middletown received a grant from this highly competitive program,” said Mayor Stephanie Murray. “This needed funding will allow us to expand our Summer Recreation Inclusion program which brings children of all abilities together to learn social skills and interact with each other.”

The Middletown Summer Recreation Inclusion Program was started in 2013 to give children with various disorders the opportunity to participate in a summer camp alongside their peers. The Inclusion Program focuses on children with social participation disorders such as ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders, anxiety disorders and Asperger’s syndrome. Children with these types of disorders often do not qualify for extended school year programs through their school districts, explained Township Administrator Anthony P. Mercantante.

Middletown’s inclusion program strives to fill that gap by offering children a higher level of support and intervention than what is usually offered in a summer camp. The program’s director works with participants to evaluate their individual needs and creates a curriculum which helps the children develop skills necessary for participation in summer camps and other activities throughout their lives. Lessons taught can include rule setting and following, addressing feelings, social skills, goal setting and problem solving, he said.

With funding from the 2015 ROID program, Middletown will have the opportunity to expand the program to include additional students and offer a greater variety of activities and lessons, said Murray. She noted program funding also comes from camp registrations.

The purpose of the ROID grant is to assist local governmental entities in meeting their mandates, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and to include people with disabilities into their municipal and county recreation and leisure services.

Call the Recreation Department at 732-615-2260 for more information about the Middletown Summer Recreation Inclusion Program.