Specialized Programs

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department offers a variety of enriching programs tailored specifically for citizens with special needs.

Inclusion Services 

The Town of Wake Forest's Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Resources Department is committed to an inclusive approach to recreation and encourages individuals with and without disabilities to participate together. In order for individuals with special needs to participate as fully as possible, reasonable modifications will be provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you or a family member requires a reasonable modification to participate in a program, please contact Kelly Schurtz at or 919-556-7093.


What is a Reasonable Modification? 

Reasonable modifications are additional supports and resources used to help aid a person with a disability to participate in any program. These resources may include, but are not limited to, auxillary aids or services, adaptive equipment, or additional support staff. The ADA does not require the Town of Wake Forest to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, compromise the safety of participants, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.


Upcoming Events

Preschool Sensory Gym
Mondays, 10:45-11:45 am
Thursdays, 11 am-Noon
Flaherty Park Community Center, 1226 N Main St.

Bring your little one for play time and have the chance to make new friends! We will provide a safe, accepting, and playful environment filled with fun educational and therapeutic toys to play with. No instruction or supervision is will be provided. Parents/caregivers are required to stay with their child. Sensory gyms are FREE and ongoing throughout the year on Mondays and Thursdays for ages 18 months-preschool age.

 
Small Talk Works Social Skills Group (NEW!)
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:15-5:00pm
Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Rd.

Small Talk Works is a program designed to help children develop confident social skills. We focus on age-appropriate concepts like sharing, turn taking, problem solving, and creating play schemes together with peers. Instructor, Judith Welsh, has a Masters in Education and years of experience working with kids and teaching social skills. Small Talk Works is for ages 4-6 and Pre-registration is required and opens February 1, 2020. 

  • Mar. 3 - Mar. 26

  • Apr. 7 - Apr. 30

  • May 5 - May 28

 

Club Connect
4th Thursday of Each Month
Alston-Massenburg Center, 416 N. Taylor St.

Join us once a month for socialization, activities, & fun! Participants will be provided with the opportunity to socialize with peers, play games, be creative, and plan activities based on input from the group. Participants must be 15 years or older and able to perform self-care routines independently and can bring a buddy if necessary. Don't miss out on all the excitement! Connect, Empower, & Achieve! 

Club Connect will be held every fourth Thursday of the month at the Alston-Massenburg Center, 416 N. Taylor St., from 5:30-7:30 pm.

  • Jan. 23

  • Feb. 27

  • Mar. 26

  • Apr. 23

  • May 28

  • Jun. 23

  • Jul. 23

  • Aug. 27

 

Abilities Choir
Every Other Thursday, 6-7 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St. 

Want the opportunity to show off your talents? Come join our inclusive choir! Learn about different choral techniques and types of music. This choir includes individuals of all ability levels and provides and outlet for creative expression. Local high school students will attend practices and any performances for additional support so buddies are needed too. Ages 10 years and older. Pre-registration is required and there is a $50 registration fee. 

  • Session I: Sept. 5 - Dec. 12

  • Session II: Jan. 10 - Apr. 30

 

Rhythm Kids Drumming (NEW!)
6-7 pm
Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Rd.  

Group drumming has been proven to reduce stress, boost the immune system, release pent emotions, foster inclusion, and promote creativity. And bonus, it's SUPER FUN! Drums will be provided by instructor. No experience necessary. Noise canceling headphones will be available upon request. Instructor, Greg Whitt of Drum for Change, is a professional facilitator, educator, and founder of Drum for Change. Everyone is invited to participate! Family members, siblings, support aids, etc. are all welcome to attend but should register and plan on participating. Ages 10+. There are two chances to try it out, but Pre-registration is required and there is a $10 registration fee. A late fee will be applied to anyone registering 7 days prior to session start date. 

  • Thursday, Apr. 9

  • Thursday, Jun. 11

 

Improv to Improve (NEW!)
Mondays, 6-7 pm
Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Rd.

A fun filled approach to developing improved social skills, personal interactions, self-confidence, and the art of compromise through role play, expression & emotion charades, face-to-face communication, and life experience skills. Ages 12+. Pre-registration is required and there is a $60 registration fee. A late fee will be applied to anyone registering 7 days prior to session start date. 

  • Mar. 2 - Apr. 6

  • May 4 - Jun. 15

  • Jul. 13 - Aug. 17

 

Creative Writing (NEW!)
Mondays, 7-8 pm
Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Rd. 

This program is designed to promote written expression of true life events, interests, relationships, and goals through creative stories, shared in a social setting. Each session will focus on a different writing topic. Ages 16+. Pre-registration is required and there is a $60 registration fee. A late fee will be applied to anyone registering 7 days prior to session start date. 

  • Mar. 2 - Apr. 6 : Short Stories of My Life

  • May 4 - Jun. 15 : My Story, My Autobiography

  • Jul. 13 - Aug. 17 : Poetry, Verse, & Rhyme

 
JamX Hip Hop Cardio (NEW!)
Tuesdays, 7-8 pm
Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Rd. 

 JamX Hip Hop is so much fun it doesn’t even seem like a workout! This class will get you burning calories and moving to mainstream pop and hip hop songs from yesterday and today! Each class will begin and end with a unique warm up and cool down. Heather Sholar, the instructor, has years of experience teaching exercise classes to a variety of populations and is excited to be teaching in Wake Forest! Classes will be held in the dance studio at Joyner Park Community Center. Classes are ages 12+. Pre-registration is required and registration is now open for the Jan-Feb classes. Registration for the sessions starting in March will open February 1, 2020 and will cost $30 per 6-wk. session. 

  • Jan. 28 - Feb. 18 (4-wk preview session) : $20 registration fee

  • Mar. 3 - Apr. 21* (No class Mar 17 & 24)

  • Apr. 28 - Jun. 2 

  • Jun. 9 - Jul. 14

  • Jul. 21 - Aug. 25 

 

We Cook Wednesdays (NEW!)
Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30pm
Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Rd.

Experience the fun of cooking! Participants will learn key food preparation techniques and work together to prepare a different dish every week. During each class, we will discuss kitchen and food safety, nutrition, and planning. This is a hands-on participatory calss. Come prepared to cook and taste!  Ages 15+. Pre-registration is required and there is a $60 registration fee. A late fee will be applied to anyone registering 7 days prior to session start date. 

  • Mar. 25 - Apr. 29

 

Mix It Up Baking Class (NEW!)
Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30pm
Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Rd.

Learn and practice baking skills. Participants will learn basic baking skills and work together to create muffins, quick breads, and cookies. During each class, we will discuss kitchen and food safety, nutrition, and planning. This is a hands-on participatory class.   Ages 10-15. Pre-registration is required and there is a $35 registration fee. A late fee will be applied to anyone registering 7 days prior to session start date. 

  • May 13 - Jun. 3


Abilities Tennis Clinics
Saturdays, 4-5 pm
Heritage High Park, 1140 Forestville Road

Abilities Tennis Clinics provide FREE specialized instruction for athletes ages 8 and up. Clinics are led by volunteer coaches and buddies that are trained to teach the fundamentals of tennis, practice drills, and fun games geared toward improving tennis skills. Beginners to those with advanced skills are welcome. Coaches are able to adapt drills for all ability levels. Parents and/or caregivers are asked to stay during the clinics. Ages 8 and up. Please note: Pre-registration is required.

  • Spring Session: Mar. 7 - May 16


 
Spirit League Basketball
Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Rd.

Spirit League is a unifying, safe and inclusive place for special needs teens and young adults, ages 12+, to play basketball, get physically active, and make new friends.  Our program stands for acceptance, teamwork, skill development and fun. Spirit League will always celebrate diversity, sportsmanship and the opportunity to be a beacon of hope for all.  Pre-registration is required and there is a $15 registration fee*.

  • Winter Season: Jan. 10 - Feb. 21; Fridays, 5:30-7pm (late fee applied after December 20th) 

  • Summer Season: May 21 - Jul 2; Thursdays, 5:30-7pm (late fee applied after April 30) 

Dream League Baseball & Buddy Program
Games are played April - June
Heritage High Park, 1140 Forestville Road

Dream League Baseball is designed for school-age participants with special needs. League games are played on Saturdays at 10am from late April through early June at Heritage High Park. Dream League Buddies assist players during games. This may include, but is not limited to, help guide a batter around the bases, assist in retrieving the ball, and cheering players on. Buddies are required to attend at least three games per season. Registration is held throughout the month of February each year for both players and buddies, and all registration is held online only. 

  • April 25 (Opening Weekend)

  • May 2

  • May 9

  • May 16

  • May 23

  • May 30

 

Special Needs Swim Lessons (NEW!) 
June - August
Holding Park Aquatic Center, 133 W. Owen Ave. 

Swimming is an important life-saving skill with a variety of benefits. We now offer 1-on-1 swim lessons for individuals of all swimming ability levels. Each package includes three, 30-minute sessions. Topics that will be covered include water safety and stability, back floating, belly floating, kicking, and breathing exercises. Lessons will be held Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 6:00 - 8:00pm and Friday mornings from 9:00 - 11:00am at Holding Park Aquatic Center. Ages 4+. Pre-registration is required and there is a $120 registration fee. 

 
Flourish: A Parents Workshop (NEW!)
Saturday, 9:00am-3:00pm
Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Rd. 

Flourish: to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment. Feel like you're walking through a maz without a road map? Join us for a day of education, sharing, and inspiration on topics related to caring for and loving an individual with special needs. Topics will include special needs trusts and guardianship, transition services, education and IEP advocacy, travel tips, and so much more! A continental breakfast and lunch are included with registration.  Pre-registration is required and opens February 1, 2020. 

 

Wake Forest's Got Talent Showcase (NEW!)
Sunday, 4:00-6:00pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St. 

Have a talent you want to show off? Join us for the first ever Wake Forest's Got Talent Showcase! Those interested can register for free to participate in the Town's first talent showcase. Show off your talent, from dancing, singing, dramatic acting, storytelling, poetry, and so much more! The stage is yours, will you take it? All ages are welcome! Pre-registration is required and opens February 1, 2020. 

There will be a pre-show rehearsal at the Renaissance Centre Thursday, June 4, from 5:00-8:00pm. 


Special Needs Decades Dance (NEW!) 
Friday, Jun. 19; 6-8 pm
Wake Forest Community House, 133 W. Owen Avenue

Kick off summer with a dance party! Come dressed up in your favorite decades outfit and join us for an evening complete with a DJ, refreshments, dancing, and fun!. Additional support will be available but participants can bring a support person if necessary. This dance is for ages 10+ and Pre-registration is required. Registration is $15 and opens February 1, 2020. There will be a late fee applied after May 31st. If you are interested in being a peer-aged volunteer for the dance, please register using the same link but under the program titled "Decades Dance VOLUNTEERS."


Dream League Baseball & Buddy Program
Games are played April - June
Heritage High Park, 1140 Forestville Road

Dream League Baseball is designed for school-age participants with special needs. League games are played on Saturdays at 10am from late April through early June at Heritage High Park. Dream League Buddies assist players during games. This may include, but is not limited to, help guide a batter around the bases, assist in retrieving the ball, and cheering players on. Buddies are required to attend at least three games per season. Registration is held throughout the month of February each year for both players and buddies, and all registration is held online only. 

 

Specialized Programs
Recreation Specialist - Specialized Programs
919-435-9559