OUCARES receives Brooksie Way Minigrant to support Lil’ Kickers soccer program
Oakland University Center for Autism’s Outreach Services, or OUCARES, has received a Brooksie Way Minigrant for $1,060 to help kickoff a new Lil’ Kickers soccer program for children with autism beginning in January 2017.
The program will be held at the Total Sports Complex at 22777 Farmington Road in Farmington. The OUCARES Lil’ Kickers soccer program is open to children with autism four to nine years old. It will run from 9:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. on Saturdays, from Jan. 14 through March 4. The cost to participate is $60 and limited scholarships are available.
The program will offer a structured gross motor activity to help children with autism overcome some of their challenges and increase their socialization and physical well-being.
Autism spectrum disorder is often characterized by difficulties in social interactions, communicating and engaging in typical leisure activities. Soccer has been shown to effectively improve individuals’ abilities to interact with others in a team environment, follow directions and communicate with peers and adults. It may also help reduce repetitive behaviors by increasing physical awareness, improving motor planning and coordination and heighten attention.
“We expect the children participating in Lil’ Kickers will literally and figuratively get a kick out of this new soccer program,” said Caroline Gorman, an OUCARES program coordinator who accepted the minigrant from Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson at a recent informal check presentation event. “We appreciate being selected for the seed money needed to help bring this program to life.”
Patterson added, “The Brooksie Way Minigrant program is proving to be extremely popular. It helps local communities by supplying programs that promote good health. Since its inception, it has returned to the communities nearly $150,000 in grants. I’m delighted to make those awards in my son’s name.”
Lil’ Kickers is a branded, long-standing soccer program for children. Certified Lil’ Kickers coaches use innovative strategies and inclusive techniques to teach basic soccer skills in a fun and safe setting with the goal of players developing physical well-being and confidence.
OUCARES, housed in the School of Education and Human Services, encourages the exchange of ideas relating to the education and support of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and provides services and support needed to improve daily living for people with autism. The goal of OUCARES is to promote understanding and awareness of autism spectrum disorder through educational and support services and to improve quality of life for people impacted by ASD.