While February celebrates many things, one that is closest to our heart is Therapeutic Recreation! As you may have seen in some of our social media posts, we are spreading the word about this amazing career! KSRA has been led by so many great Recreation Therapists: Julie, Stacy, Dawn, Allie, and now Sam. We also include all our past student interns who were studying Recreation Therapy. Many of you remember Cassie, too - her work at KSRA brought her to the profession of Recreation Therapy, and she is now working full-time in the field.
There is so much that goes into becoming an RT practitioner! Recreation Therapy is a degree program offered by an accredited institution, and we're lucky enough that Illinois has some fabulous institutions to choose from. Those studying RT must also complete a senior internship under a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and pass a national exam. The KSRA Board of Directors has acknowledged the importance of this certification for the Executive Director and the TR Coordinator at our organization to ensure the quality of programming provided to our families. While Dawn has had her CTRS for many years, Sam recently passed his certification exam in May of 2021 (go Sam!)
Every February, CTRS’ around the world celebrate our profession and the impact that we have in our chosen areas of services. KSRA is considered a community-based TR program - did you know that Illinois is the only state that has these unique agencies? There is an Illinois code of law within the Park District Code that allows for the creation of Special Recreation Associations through the partnerships of Park District, Villages, or Townships to better serve their residents with disabilities.
Where else can you find a CTRS working you ask? Well, we can be found in hospitals, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, mental health centers, Department of Corrections, and so many more places. And here’s a fun fact for those that don’t remember: I have worked in the Department of Corrections and in an inpatient behavioral health hospital for children - and that makes me seasoned, not old :)
We hope that our work has and continues to impact you and your family through our therapy that is so much fun!
Sam and I are proud to be YOUR Recreation Therapists!