New Therapeutic Recreation Initiative Expands ASPNC Impact and Programs

Matthew Jeralds, a graduate of the University of New Hampshire’s Therapeutic Recreation Program and licensed CTRS-L, has joined the team at Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) to implement therapeutic recreation services for ASPNC and their participants.  Matthew has volunteered and worked in a variety of recreation settings, most notably at Northeast Passage (NEP) in Durham, a nationally recognized leader in the fields of Adaptive Sports and community and school-based Recreational Therapy.  At Northeast Passage, Matt implemented NEP’s veteran in-home therapeutic recreation program and assisted with many adaptive sports programs including the NEP Quadriplegic Rugby Team.  “The addition of Matt and the new ASPNC Recreational Therapy Initiative keeps our mission to enrich the quality of life for people with disabilities moving forward,” shared Sandy Olney, Executive Director of ASPNC. “The health-promoting program deepens ASPNC’s continuum of services and impact by adding person-centered treatment for individuals and groups in their home communities. Our focus will be on wellness education, fitness plans, functional skill development, community integration, resource and network development, and individual and family recreation, all geared toward helping our participants reach their full potential.”   This new initiative is paid for in part through a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. An immediate goal for Matt and ASPNC is to implement a Community/Home Based Recreational Therapy program and a School-Based Recreational Therapy Program, both modeled after existing, successful programs at Northeast Passage. The new ASPNC Programs will include outreach to local schools, healthcare organizations, and human service agencies for collaborative partnerships and coordinated services. Matt will also be identifying organizational volunteer staffing needs, recruiting volunteers, and organizing training opportunities.  “I look forward to meeting all our volunteers and members of the community. Together we can create a truly special program for the North Country.”