Young Lawyers Give Rhythm to UPARC
UPARC (The Upper Pinellas Association for Retarded Citizens) has received a generous grant from the Young Lawyer’s Division of the Clearwater Bar Association to fund an innovative drum therapy program at UPARC’s Tarpon Center. Representatives of the Young Lawyer’s group will present a set of drums and other percussion instruments to the Tarpon Center at 10 a.m. on Monday, August 4th.
This program, The Rhythmic Arts Project (TRAP), has been in place for several months at UPARC’s Long Center Campus where volunteers come in once a week to work with the clients on various exercises using drums and other percussion instruments. The program is designed to help clients learn to follow direction, to teach letters, numbers, counting, shapes, and colors. The UPARC clients who have been participating in the program have shown progress in these areas. Some clients are speaking more, others have learned to spell their names and their phone numbers. Many clients have become more outgoing, even taking turns leading the group during “jam sessions.”
“I have seen the most amazing breakthroughs,” said Polly Stannard, who volunteers on Wednesdays at the UPARC’s Long Center campus. “People are learning and growing through this creative outlet. It is a wonderful experience and each week I see something new. Someone will join the group who never wanted to take part, or someone will lead the group who was always too shy to do so before.”
“We have been so impressed with the TRAP program,” added Deborah Simeone, UPARC’s Volunteer Coordinator. “and we are extremely grateful to the Young Lawyer’s Division of the Clearwater Bar Association for their generosity in helping us to bring this opportunity to even more of our clients. Music is very therapeutic and, through this grant, the Young Lawyer’s are giving more than money. They are giving the gift of music and the gift of new opportunities of expression to the people served at the Tarpon Center.”
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