Teen volunteer opportunities with PRD’s Sidekicks program

Sidekicks adaptive tennis

The Piedmont Recreation Department is looking for teens who have a passion for working with children to make a difference as a summer volunteer with PRD’s Sidekicks program. The Sidekicks program offers adaptive classes, workshops, and summer camps specifically designed for neurodiverse children – none of which would be possible without the support of teen volunteers, or “Teen Sidekicks.”

Teen Sidekicks assist experienced instructors in ensuring a safe, fun, and inclusive recreation experience for adaptive programming participants. As a Summer Sidekick, you’d help campers navigate an environment that they may at times find overwhelming by doing things like:
• Taking a break with a child who becomes overstimulated
• Supporting campers to work at their own pace by explaining activities and helping with project tasks
• Offering encouragement, support, and lots of high-fives!

Serving as a Teen Sidekick is a great way to complete required volunteer hours and build experience for college applications. Sidekicks program staff ensure that each Teen Sidekick has the tools they need to succeed, offering guidance, feedback, and one-on-one consultations throughout their volunteer experience.

Apply online by Sunday, March 24
To apply to be a Summer 2024 Sidekick, submit your application online HERE by Sunday, March 24.

Volunteers must:
• Complete an interview with PRD staff
• Attend a required training and orientation on May 1, 6 – 8 p.m.
• Commit to volunteering at least one week during the summer
• Have a genuine commitment to helping children enjoy recreational activities

The ideal Sidekick is responsible, punctual, patient, and enjoys working with children. Sidekicks must turn 14 by June 5, 2024 or be entering 9th grade in the fall. Experience working with elementary-aged children is a bonus, but not required.

Please share this opportunity with any teens in your network who may be a good fit. The application is available HERE.

Summer 2023 teen Sidekicks recognized by the City Council last year

Sidekicks adaptive programming: because recreation is for everyone
PRD’s Sidekicks program began in 2021 with the aim of providing a “whole child” experience for neurodiverse kids — offering opportunities to create connections with peers, feel welcomed, and thrive in recreational interests outside of school, just like their classmates and siblings.

Adaptive programs are meticulously designed to meet the unique needs of neurodiverse children. Each class and camp is held in a facility carefully chosen to limit distractions, while the curriculum and pace of activities are modified to support kids and build confidence as they learn new skills.

Building on adaptive classes and workshops offered throughout the year, the Summer Sidekicks program provides the opportunity for neurodiverse children to experience a typical camp experience. Two thirds of last year’s Sidekicks campers attended camp for the very first time.

For more information, visit piedmont.ca.gov/Sidekicks. With questions, contact Recreation
Supervisor Eva Phalen at ephalen@piedmont.ca.gov.

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