New outreach program helps students with disabilities

DuBois, Clearfield County, Pa. - WPAL in Dubois teamed up with the Soaring heights school to get kids out of the classroom and into the gym. Every other week these students have been diagnosed with autism or suffer from emotional needs. Each student is rewarded for good behavior with a visit the gym a workout on, with a special outreach class created by owner Aaron Beatty alongside Soaring height's physical education teacher Danny Clark.

"They get to get outside of the walls of the school and come down and be around a different breed of people our mentors our trainers," says Beatty. 

According to Clark, the program is much different than the required traditional physical education gym class. Clarks says the usual gym class focuses on skilled based activities, while getting into the gym is a different environment for the children.

"It's good sensory for them, you know? It helps them release some of that tension that is built up sometimes you don't get to do that in PE class," explains Clark.

During this two week old program the students also have the ability to explore new options, like boxing. A new experience many school students don't get to try try out, Clark says, "some of these kids don't have a lot and this could be a great place for them to use in the future and who knows what they're interested in, you know? I never got to do this."

The focus of this program is to get the children integrated with the community, Clark explains. WPAL is free for any child under the age of 18. For more information, visit the gym's facebook page.

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