A new program in Door and Kewaunee County is helping children with disabilities get some physical activity. The program is called RIDE4KIDS and it’s put on by the Door County Medical Center. RIDE stands for Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities through Exercise. It’s designed for children on the autism spectrum or with Down syndrome or any other cognitive, sensory or physical disability. A student gets paired with a high school volunteer and they play games for an hour after school at the YMCA. It started in the fall with just six students from Sturgeon Bay Schools. The program starts up again on Monday and there are 17 students signed up from Sturgeon Bay, Southern Door and Sevastopol schools. Adam Peronto is an exercise physiologist with the Door County Medical Center and he created the program. Peronto says it’s a unique program not just locally but throughout the country.
Another main goal of the program is to introduce special needs children to a new environment that is relaxed and comfortable for them. RIDE4KIDS is looking to expand into the Kewaunee County school districts as well as Gibraltar.