Since TRS has postponed all in-person activities in response to COVID-19, they got creative in order to provide their participants with activities to keep them engaged. Utilizing virtual group meetings, TRS has been able to bring fun and engaging programming to the participants they serve.
Before COVID-19, TRS organized roughly one event per week, not including Special Olympics practices and competitions. Since making the transition to virtual programming, TRS is providing participants with as many as five programs per week, including exercise and cooking classes, sing-a-longs, and more.
"It has been so special to be able to virtually connect with our friends,” said Jenn Wilson-Marchino, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. “We all light up with happiness when we get to see each other's faces.”
Virtual programming has boosted participation with existing participants and has paved the way for new participants to join. Individuals who have previously been unable to join in-person have been able to join in on the TRS fun because of the virtual programming.
"In certain categories, like exercise and healthy eating classes, we have seen higher attendance in our virtual programs than we typically would have in person,” said Wilson. "We have met new people virtually and have been able to serve people that may not have been served in our traditional programs due to higher assistance needs than we can achieve with our staffing levels."
Once life returns to normal, TRS will incorporate virtual sessions into their regular programming schedule. Some of the most popular in-person programs are dances, trips, sports training and classes. In addition to these popular programs,
TRS sponsors the Sacramento County Chargers, who participate in Special Olympics activities and programs.
Information on participating in, volunteering with and supporting TRS programs can be found on the TRS webpage