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Super Kids Club Fall Festival

A Super Kid enjoys roasting marshmallows on an open fire.

On November 16, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Recreation Department hosted the Super Kids Club Fall Festival at the recreation football field next to the multipurpose building.

This is Recreation’s monthly family event that gives special-needs children and their parents/guardians recognition, appreciation and a chance to enjoy a family outing. The cookout-style event featured a petting zoo, pony rides, hayrides and a fire to roast marshmallows.

Social Programs Supervisor Teresa Masayesva explained why these monthly events are held.

A Super Kid member enjoys the petting zoo surrounded by ducks, chickens, goats and llamas. Little star of the petting zoo, a black baby pot-bellied pig was loved by everyone.
“We really want to cater to the families, and provide something where there’s a little bit of a release so they can just relax,” Masayesva said. “Our activities are designed for their children, as opposed to maybe some of the larger [Community] events that might not be so adaptive. [For example], the hayride is adaptive; we have the ramp going up because we have a few kids who use wheelchairs. Everything we do, we keep in mind our children and how we need to make [the activity accessible for them]. Not every event in the Community will be able to do that, so that’s what we’re here for.”

A special surprise was also celebrated at the Fall Festival. It happened that Kevin Riding In was celebrating his birthday that day, so the Recreation staff prepared a cake for him. Riding In is one of the original Recreation staff members who started the Super Kids program 13 years ago. The department felt it was perfect timing to celebrate both, to show how grateful they are for his continued support for the program.

Masayesva expressed her gratitude towards her staff for their dedication and for helping her put the event together.

A Super Kid Gently brushes out the miniature ponies mane.
“All of my staff is trained; we all went through training [to work with children with] developmental disabilities. We get trained every year, and we make sure we are updated on CPR and first aid,” Masayesva said. “We want to make sure we’re certified through the (Arizona) Division of Developmental Disabilities. Our team is pretty well trained and comfortable with our kids. That’s important to me, because the kids will feel it.”

The evening was filled with lots of fun and with everyone greeting one another with warm smiles.