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Children's Services of Sno-Valley helps kids with special needs

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NORTH BEND - Trevor can't get enough of grabbing onto the nearest instructor and jumping as high as he can with their assistance. Camden has found a blue balloon that he likes to send buzzing above the other campers' heads. Elly is more than happy with the pudding the group had for a snack.

This scene is probably typical of just about every summer camp meeting on the Eastside, but this particular camp being held at Children's Services of Sno-Valley (CSSV) in North Bend is special. Although on the outside this camp may appear to be just another group of kids enjoying the lazy days of summer with games and song, it serves a higher purpose.

CSSV's camp helps special-needs kids, ages 2 1/2 to 5 years of age, develop their communication skills during the summer months when those outlets, usually offered at school, aren't available.

"For me the big thing is meeting an unmet need - filling that gap," said program coordinator Nickie Gael.

Crista Graves, the program's lead teacher, said camp participants play games, sing songs, work on craft projects and even help make pudding, like in any preschool camp setting. The difference is that at CSSV, the focus is on interaction and communication.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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