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News Release: Magical play puts kids with special needs in the spotlight

May 16, 2013
MISSISSAUGA, 16 May 2013 – Magic comes to Mississauga on June 10, when the ErinoakKids Players present There and Back, a stage adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s much-loved children’s story, Peter Pan.  The young actors are clients at ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development, which serves children and youth with disabilities.
 
“Many children and youth with special needs do not have the opportunity to participate in the arts because mobility, developmental and speech challenges present a barrier,” says Bridget Fewtrell, President and CEO. “Our drama program helps unlock and maximize the potential of our clients and gives them a chance to shine.”
 
The ErinoakKids popular drama program culminates in an annual stage production, which this year features live music and choreographed dance performed by 13 talented young actors. Support is provided by ErinoakKids staff and more than 25 dedicated volunteers, including many from Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga.
 
“Drama teaches focus and concentration and promotes social development and self-esteem,” says ErinoakKids Drama Facilitator Danielle Strnad.  Ms. Strnad is directing the play and co-wrote the original script with her colleagues at DramaWay, an organization which uses drama to enrich the lives of persons with disabilities. “These qualities are vital to any young person, but particularly for children with disabilities, who often have difficulty reaching out. Drama complements and enhances the effectiveness of the therapy they receive at ErinoakKids.”
 
This year’s production is dedicated to the memory of an outstanding volunteer, Claire Kawai, who passed away in early May. As an ErinoakKids volunteer, she dedicated more than 1,500 hours designing and creating dozens of interesting and innovative costumes for actors with a variety of disabilities.
 
Although the Ministry of Children and Youth Services funds core services, ErinoakKids must rely on the generosity of donors to support additional programs such as drama. This year ErinoakKids gratefully acknowledges the financial support of The Henderson Family Trust, a fund held within the Oakville Community Foundation, a registered charitable public foundation serving the Oakville community.
 
There and Back will be presented on June 10 at 7 p.m. at Stephen Lewis Secondary School, 3675 Thomas St. in Mississauga. Tickets are $5 at the door.
 
 
About ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
 
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development is Ontario’s largest children’s treatment centre, serving more than 13,500 children and youth annually who have physical and developmental disabilities, autism, and communication disorders as well as children who are deaf or blind. Our mission is to help our clients achieve optimal levels of independence, learning, health and well-being. Serving Halton, Peel, Dufferin — and, for some services, Waterloo and Wellington — ErinoakKids has 570 staff and 11 sites from which we provide a comprehensive array of assessment, medical, therapy and support services that help children and their families. In 2011 the Ministry of Children and Youth Services approved a redevelopment project to enable ErinoakKids to consolidate its current facilities into three larger sites which will be ideally situated for easy access within our catchment area, and designed specifically for the care of children and youth with special needs.  The new facilities are expected to open in 2017. For more information about ErinoakKids please visit www.ErinoakKids.ca.
 
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Media contact:
Liz Leake
Director of Communications
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
P: 905.855.2690 ext. 4301
C: 416.624.9048
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