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LOUISE HAINES

Ambassador/Volunteer

I was a high school Health and Physical Education teacher for 39 years. I coached Field Hockey for 24 years. During that time, I worked with students of all abilities. When I began teaching in 1980, students with any type of special needs were excluded from my “gym” class. To compensate I used hallways, empty classrooms, parking lots, and playing fields. It took creativity, but it was a rewarding experience. I also became involved with Camp Friendship, a summer camp for children with special needs, first as an instructor then the camp director.

As my teaching career developed, so did the ideals of my school. Students with disabilities were included in my classes. The swimming pool was utilized for therapy and fun. Fellow teachers became more receptive to inclusion. Through it all- I never lacked for equipment or places to go for field trips.

Why I Support Embrace Kulture:

In 2016 I went on a trip to Uganda with Embrace Kulture. EYE OPENER! It was a shock to learn children with special needs are not welcome in schools or the community. The few schools where they were accepted had no equipment for recreation and sport. So, I loaded as much as I could in a large suitcase- jump ropes, all types of balls, cones, nets, and one big parachute. It was a blast.

What Program I'm Passionate About:

Indoor and outdoor play boost feelings of happiness and well-being. It helps with socialization and problem solving. It gives individuals choices and the power to control a situation. It has been my experience just about any sport or activity can be adjusted to fit anyone’s abilities.

I was able to help one school. You can help provide crafts, recreational equipment, and field trips to promote creativity and play.

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