Circle Summer (operating only in West Los Angeles) provides inclusion within the community for teens and young adults with disabilities and creates opportunities outside of the school year, for enriching social interaction.
Circle Summer brings together youth with special needs and non-disabled college students for eight days of field trip fun in July. Genuine and lasting friendships develop through meaningful peer engagement across a variety of real-life situations. During Circle Summer, individuals with disabilities participate in a wide range of activities, both recreational and educational, with friends by their side to lend support.
Activities may include: beach, movie, bowling or mini-golf excursions; visits to museums, science centers, zoos or aquariums; behind-the-scenes tours of local workplaces such as fire stations or supermarkets; and picnics in the park along with meals in popular restaurants.
College students are trained to model and shape interpersonal skills for their friends with special needs. The emphasis is on improving those skills required for work, relationship building and independent living. Youth with special needs practice and strengthen communication as well as everyday life skills.
Departing for field trips on Mondays and Wednesdays from Santa Monica High School, participants and Group Leaders break up into small groups, giving Circle Summer a feeling of friends hanging out as opposed to a large camp format. While out and about, the local community benefits from witnessing the understanding and acceptance of differences in action.
Circle Summer is for teens and young adults with developmental disabilities, e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy.
Circle Summer 2017 Video
Are you a college student interested in working with individuals with disabilities? Volunteer as a Circle Summer Group Leader!
For more information, including enrollment fee, or to learn how to become a volunteer or inquire if your child with special needs is eligible to participate, contact Robyn@CircleoFriends.org.