Central Michigan University's Department of Physical Education and Sport and the Gratiot-Isabella Regional Education Service District (GIRESD) and has a goal to develop more opportunities for GIRESD students and to help address the individualized needs of children who have gross motor developmental delays.
The Gratiot-Isabella Regional Education Service District (GIRESD) in cooperation with the CMU Department of Physical Education and Sport, has developed a program to address the needs of children who have motor development delays. Dr. Judy Chandler, a professor of physical education has designed an adaptive physical education class that meets the needs of students with special needs. The Preschool Cooperative program brings adults and children together to yield positive community changes. This program unites special needs students, children from Head Start, parents and CMU volunteers. The Department of Communications Disorders is also in collaboration with this program, by placing internship students under the supervision of faculty members in the GIRESD classrooms.
This program is not an open enrollment program, children are selected based on certain needs and qualifications. The classes for students occur weekly, and focus on enlarging and developing balance, creating body awareness, and strengthening core muscles. The students are also taught about cognitive concepts such as color and shape, physical properties, and spatial concepts.
Volunteers and Activities
The student volunteers do physical activities with small groups of children. The CMU student volunteers bring many ideas and activities to the preschool cooperative. This program provides an opportunity for special needs children to have typical role models for all aspects of development. One of the goals of the preschool cooperative program is to integrate children with differences, that way the children will notice less of these differences as they age, and the individual differences become a normal expectation.