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Contact: Millie Gonzalez

Kean University to Host Special Olympics Young Athletes Program

UNION, NJ - Kean University’s Department of Occupational Therapy, in collaboration with the special education, therapeutic recreation, athletics and physical education departments, will host the Special Olympics New Jersey Young Athletes Program (YAP) on Sunday, April 10, 2011, from 10 a.m. to noon at Harwood Arena, located at 1000 Morris Ave. in Union, N.J. There is no cost to participate, but registration is required at

The YAP is designed for children with intellectual disabilities, ages 2 ˝ to 7, and serves as the foundation for play, fun and future participation in the regular Special Olympics program for people ages 8 and older.

Kean University students, faculty and staff will assist young athletes and their families to navigate activities targeting specific gross-motor and visual-perceptual motor skills necessary as a foundation for the child’s main occupation – play. Children will learn how to control their movements, as well as how to follow directions. Sports events and related skills include:

Foundational – body awareness and fitness

Walking & running – “traveling” movement

Balance & jumping – stability and mobility

Trapping & catching – introductory ball

Throwing – arm/hand and eye coordination

Striking – upper body strength and visual motor

Kicking – lower body coordination

Free play area – alternate movement opportunities

For more information, please contact Prof. Mary Falzarano, MHS, OTR, at 908.737.3378 or

Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, boasting a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment, offering more than 50 undergraduate degrees and more than 45 options leading to a master’s degree, doctorate, professional diploma and/or state certification(s). Five undergraduate colleges and the Nathan Weiss Graduate College now serve more than 15,000 students.