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BY Bassie

Friendship Circle launches new spring and summer programs

At Friendship Circle we are always looking to add new programs and enhance our current programming. This spring and summer will be no different. Below you will find two new spring programs and our summer lineup of camps, Sunday programs and more great activities!

Soccer League

This past summer, the grand opening of the Florene Elkus & Edward Elkus Memorial Gym presented us with an opportunity to brainstorm new ways to expand our sports programs.

In our brainstorming session for our new sports programs, we realized the importance of a competitive sports league. Competition can be rough, but it also teaches other vitally important “life lessons” such as defeat, confidence, accomplishment and good sportsmanship. After three months, we have seen a dual benefit for both sets of players.

In our first season, the floor hockey players came out of the program feeling capable, bonded as a team and confident in their athletic ability; a true success and precursor to season two.

This Spring, The Friendship Circle is launching the second round of inclusion-leagues with Soccer.

Study Hall
Homework can be frustrating for typically developing children. Imagine how much harder it can be for children with special needs. This spring, we are launching a brand new program called “FC Study Hall.” Similar to our other programs, each child will be paired with a teenage volunteer for homework sessions at The Friendship Circle. We hope this program will bring a fresh approach to accomplishing the homework challenge that parents face every day.


Summer Programs

Sunday Programs
The Friendship Circle has made the decision to continue our  Torah Circle and Torah Teen program for five Sundays this summer.

During Torah Circle, children are divided into small groups to partake in different activities throughout LifeTown, all the while learning about their Jewish Heritage. Activities include sports, art, music, cooking and use of our activity wing. This popular program gives children an opportunity to gain from group activities while still receiving one-on-one attention from their volunteers.

Torah Teens gives individuals, teenage and older, an opportunity to partake in group activities such as organized sports and group games; as well as trips into the community that promote important social and life skills. Examples of past trips and activities include: mall shopping, volunteering at senior homes, bowling, animal care at a local farm, visits to the library and eating out in a restaurant.

Miracle League
Friendship Circle will once again be running a baseball league in conjunction with Miracle League during summer 2011. This incredible program allows children with special needs to join a baseball team of their own and play real ball on the state-of-the-art Miracle Field located in the Southfield Civic Center. This custom designed field accommodates wheelchairs and prevents injuries to ensure fun and exciting games throughout the summer.

Summer Day Camp
Friendship Circle’s summer day camp will be back in full swing, with two weeks of summer camp offered this year instead of our usual one week. This enriching program offers children a chance to build true friendships with their one-on-one teen volunteers as well with their peers. Each action packed day will be filled with stimulating, therapeutic, and fun activities such as music, swimming, art, sports and outdoor water fun. The camp program will also include educational trips throughout Metro-Detroit.

Social Skills Camp
Friendship Circle will be launching an all-new 2-week Social Skills Camp program that will focus on teaching appropriate behaviors that are crucial to development as an independent person.

Social Skills Camp will take a comprehensive approach to facilitating improved social interactions. Through the use of games, role play and dramatic play, boys and girls will learn better conversational skills and the nuances of verbal and nonverbal communication. Participants will also develop assertiveness and cooperative play skills, differentiate between being a leader versus a follower, and learn how to develop and build friendships and relationships.

Camp Tanuga
The highlight of the year for children (and their parents!) returns each summer at the end of August. Friendship Circle, in conjunction with the Bear Hug Foundation, travels up to Kalkaska to spend three exhilarating days at Camp Tanuga. This overnight camp experience gives children an opportunity to partake in traditional camp activities such as swimming, boating, campfires, arts and crafts and talent shows. Like most childhood camp experiences, Camp Tanuga offers memories to last a lifetime.

To Learn about all of our summer activities visit


Written on March 1, 2011 by:

Bassie Shemtov founded Friendship Circle together with her husband Levi. Bassie is always looking for ways to enhance the lives of children with special needs while providing relief to their families and empowering teen volunteers.

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