Springfield College Therapeutic Recreation Assistant Professor Rachel Keyworth, along with her graduate assistants, and therapeutic recreation undergraduate students, led a four-week wellness program this fall that benefitted the Special Olympics of Massachusetts athletes, and also assisted residents from the Candaras Davison Center for Inclusion.
“Therapeutic Recreation is a really hands-on field, and these service learning projects allow our students to get into the Therapeutic Recreation field early and often,” said Keyworth. “The service-learning projects allow our students to apply what they are learning in our weekly class lectures, and apply it in a hands-on way right away.”
This particular service-learning project started with a focus on group development and social wellness. Participants took part in a hike and scavenger hunt to help them acclimate to East Campus for future sessions. The attendees engaged in activities that allowed each person to get to know each other better, and have a social debrief experience.
In addition, there was also a physical wellness focus. Participants experienced stretching and yoga activities, while socializing and exploring more of East Campus.
“I feel this project is another example of our program making sure we have ready professionals that can get really good internships because they can speak to their hands-on experiences in the interview process,” added Keyworth.
The wellness program continued on with a mindfulness focus, which introduced participants to interactive meditation strategies. To conclude, the final week included activities that involved social, physical and spiritual wellness (mindfulness) in a culminating experience.
“The hands-on learning is something that I really enjoy in the Therapeutic Rec major,” said sophomore and recreational therapy major Tori Kellogg. “Having the opportunity to work with individuals directly out at East Campus is something that helps me take what I have learned in the class and apply it in a real-world setting.”