About Community Connections
Community Connections is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with disabilities and their families. Many children with special needs live in a cycle of school and therapy with little opportunity for extra-curricular activity. At the same time, families of children who are diagnosed with disabilities often lack education and a support network.
Community Connections was established in 2005 when Todd and Amy Denton (owners of Pediatrics Plus) and some of their staff saw that many children with disabilities did not have the opportunity to play sports and participate in the arts like their siblings and peers. From this need, Community Connections was created to provide extra-curricular activities for children with disabilities and support for their families.
To keep up with us, be sure to visit our website at communityconnectionsar.org and check out our Facebook Page.
ACTS Jr. (Acting Creates Therapeutic Success) is a unique, creative program designed to integrate children ages 7-17 with and without disabilities together through the use of performing arts. Led by occupational therapists, occupational therapy students, and youth volunteers from the community, this program is unique to Arkansas. ACTS Jr. has touched the lives of numerous children and families in Central Arkansas since 2005.
Community Connections partners with Arkansas Baptist High School to provide a summer basketball camp for children ages 7-17 with special needs. The purpose of the basketball camp is to teach children the game of basketball in a positive, encouraging environment. The three day camp is designed to instruct players on the fundamentals of shooting, passing, dribbling, and teamwork. All of our players are taught by the Arkansas Baptist Men's Basketball coaching staff and assisted by the Arkanasas Baptist high school basketball players.
Community Connections partners with The First Tee of Central Arkansas to provide a golf program for children ages 7-17 with special needs. The purpose of the golf program is to teach children the game of golf in a positive, encouraging environment. The golfers spend time each day in the classroom learning the rules and etiquette of golf then take their skills onto the course to put the learning into action. All of our golfers are taught by the instructors at The First Tee and assisted by the Community Connections staff.
Community Connections’ music program seeks to promote the benefits of music in children with special needs. This program teaches that music is unique and beneficial to everyone- regardless of age, personality, mental ability, or musical ability. This program uses broad spectrum enrichment that will be effective for all ages and abilities. For students who might show a great passion or potential to go further (up to the discretion of the teacher), we will offer a separate learning program.
Community Connections offers the Martial Arts program in partnership with Grand Master Han’s in Conway. The Martial Arts program gives children of all abilities to have the opportunity to learn martial arts & experience success!
My Art is a free art class for children ages 3-18 with special needs. This class allows children to explore their creativity in a positive, encouraging environment, while simultaneously allowing them to explore their senses in new and exciting ways. Each week students have the opportunity to explore a new artistic medium, including acrylic paint, watercolor, colored pencil, crayon, charcoal, and craft materials. Projects are designed to challenge the students both physically and creatively. Physical and sensory stimulation is encouraged through an exploration of materials, such as finger-paints. Students are challenged to think outside of the box and afterwards they are encouraged to describe their work to the class. Kids get a chance to socialize with one another, and everyone gets a chance to view and compliment the works of others at the end of class.
The Rivals United Flag Football League was started by a group of committed football fans who wanted to ensure all children, including kids with disabilities, would have the opportunity to play the game. Each child, ages 7-17, playing RUFL gets a chance to play quarterback, kicker, offense, and defense. The program is designed to ensure each child experiences success and being part of a team. RUFL is run by coaches and volunteers who encourage and assist the players. Kids receive official jerseys for being part of a RUFL team.
Showstoppers Cheerleading gives young girls and boys the opportunity to cheer on a squad with peers and highlight their individual abilities. The children, ages 4-18, participate in cheer clinics to learn routines and then perform at competitions and venues in various cities across central Arkansas. Performances may include TOP Soccer & RUFL Football games as well as annual national cheer competitions.
TOP Soccer is an adapted soccer program for children with special needs, ages 3-17. TOP Soccer provides children the opportunity to participate in an organized soccer program in a safe, positive environment. The program is designed to give everyone a chance to play, and to foster the values of teamwork, pride, and accomplishment within each player. Volunteers act as “buddies” for those who need assistance. Players are separated by age and ability to create an equal environment for everyone.