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July 22, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

MTSU Special Needs Summer Camp to Return

Registration is open and spots are still available for Middle Tennessee State Universityโ€™s Inclusive College Experience camp for people ages 16 to 25 with intellectual disabilities.

Hosted at the College of Education, the weeklong camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, July 15 – 19, and the cost is $150. The registration deadline is July 8 or until camp spots fill up, and those interested can find the application link hereย listed under the Inclusive College Experience camp details.

Tom Black, associate professor in the Department of Elementary and Special Education, coordinates the camp with Alicia Pence, also an associate special education professor, to give special needs campers a week to experience life as a Blue Raider.

โ€œIt fills a need to give high school students and young adults with disabilities something to do during their summer break,โ€ Black said. โ€œOftentimes parents struggle finding fun and constructive activities for their children with disabilities to do when they are not in school โ€ฆ so it can be a huge help to them too โ€” especially those who work during the day.โ€

Black partners with multiple faculty and staff across campus to fully flesh out the campersโ€™ True Blue week.

โ€œOur activities will range from arts and crafts, gardening, agriculture and work with animals, games, computer-based projects, rock climbing and other recreational activities at the Campus Recreation Center and Student Union Game Room,โ€ Black added.

The camp also opens up the opportunity for volunteers โ€” typically made up of local special education teachers, some of them alumni, and high schoolers โ€” to give back to the community as counselors.

Emily Stock, a special education teacher at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, and Thomas Roark, a special education teacher at Oakland High School also in Murfreesboro, are both alumni and will help supervise the camp.

Stock returns to the camp for the third time and said she enjoys both coming back to her alma mater and seeing campers try new things.

โ€œI love MTSU, and I have a passion for people with disabilities,โ€ Stock said. โ€œItโ€™s special to get to see people who might not have the opportunity otherwise to be able to experience life on a college campus do so.โ€

Learn more about opportunities at the College of Education here and the Department of Elementary and Special Educationย here.





About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.