The mission of the Recreation Therapy Division of the Brookline Recreation Department is to provide effective, Therapeutic-based programs for youth through adult populations who have disabling conditions and/or illnesses in an effort to promote positive growth, development, and independence. This is accomplished through the provision of recreation services in a safe, structured, and prosperous environment via the Brookline Recreation Department.
Recreation Therapy in Brookline
The Brookline Recreation Therapy Division provides evidence based recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses, aged youth to adult. Serving the Greater Boston area, some programs provide specialized instruction, while others are inclusive for people of all abilities. The Brookline Recreation Therapy Division is also home to Brookline Special Olympics, one of the largest Special Olympics Chapters in Massachusetts. The Recreation Therapy Division is managed by our Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Micah Barshay, and is supported by dedicated part time staff and volunteers. For more information about the Brookline Recreation Therapy Division, contact Micah at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (617) 730-2069.
What is Recreation Therapy?
Recreation Therapy is a form of therapy that uses leisure modalities and the things you like to do to increase functional independence, reduce barriers related to recreation, and improve the overall quality of life for individuals living with disabilities. “Recreation Therapy means, a treatment service designed to restore, remediate, and rehabilitate, a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.”
Why is Recreation Therapy so important?
Research supports the concept that people with active, satisfying lifestyles will be happier and healthier. Recreation Therapy provides services, and treatment which are based on the individuals’ interests and lifestyle. This allows them to better engage in therapy and apply these functional improvements in all areas of their life. For individuals who have functional deficits and a need for therapy, Recreation Therapy services which integrate the client’s lifestyles and natural environments are often the most clinically appropriate manner to achieve meaningful outcomes. Recreation Therapy allows for better generalization to enhance individuals’ functional orientation to treatment. Put simply, Recreation Therapy works to improve individuals’ functioning and keep them as active, healthy and independent as possible in their chosen life pursuits.
Forever Young is a social group for individuals 21 years-old and up and is a great way to make friends and enjoy the area with bi-weekly dinners. Forever Young meets at a different restaurant every other week from 5:30PM-7:00PM. Attendance is free; you just pay for your food. Transportation will not be provided, please arrange to meet at the scheduled restaurants. To view the current line up and to register, click here
On the Town Outings
Join us for our Friday Night outings for teens and adults ages 14 and older. On The Town is a great way to explore the community, experience different recreational activities and build friendships. These outings are facilitated by the Brookline Recreation Therapy Staff. The cost includes transportation to and from the Eliot Recreation Center, food, and any program fees. Pre-registration is required for trips at least a week in advance.
- Register for upcoming trips
Special Olympics of Massachusetts (SOMA)
The SOMA program has a local Brookline Recreation Chapter in the north section. A number of training programs for Brookline children and adults are available throughout the year. Each program is designed to assist athletes improve their physical fitness and athletic skills and ultimately prepare them for one or more local and statewide competitions per sport season.
Athletes must be at least 6 years-old to train. Athletes must be at least 8 years old to train and compete in the local and statewide competitions. Training programs typically meet once per week for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Join us this fall for our hiking club to explore hiking spots in Massachusetts and spend time in nature with our Brookline RT community. The hiking club with offer beginner hikes as well as intermediate hikes for an added challenge. Hiking club will be offered bi-weekly on Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM during the months of September and October. Click the following link to register for the hiking club
The walking club offers a chance to improve your physical health while socializing with others. Come get to know others within our TR program, make some new friends, and come enjoy what our town has to offer! Attending our walking club will give you the chance to discover new spots around Brookline to spend time outside and in the community. Walking club will be held on Tusdays from 4:30pm to 5:30pm weekly.
- To register, click here.
This Season's Dance
The fall dance will be our Halloween Dance which will be held on October 29th, 2021 in the Brookline High School Atrium from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Come have some fun and show off your best costume with the Brookline RT crew. Don't forget your dancing shoes because we will be showing off our best moves from 6pm to 9pm! Don't miss out on a night of fun by registering online by clicking here.
Sensory Friendly Swim
Our sensory friendly swim time blocks allow for family and children a safe times to enjoy Brookline's Evelyn Kirrane Aquatics Center. This time block is specifically reserved for our sensory friendly group to have fun and work on swimming techniques and confidence in the water. This program also helps our participants improve on their physical fitness and is a great opportunity to engage with others who share a common goal. Register online to join us on Saturdays from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm!
Get Out and Play!
This fall, take your TOTS and PLAY! This weekly program is designed to introduce toddlers with disabilities to fundamental play and direction skills needed for their pre-k/kindergarten education. While the toddlers enjoy various games and activities, they will practice motor, cognitive, and communication skills that will support childhood development. So let’s Get Out & Play! Click here to register for Monday sessions from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM, or click here to register for Thursday sessions from 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM.
Rhythm in Motion
Introducing Rhythm in Motion! This unique program utilizes movement and rhythm to enhance physical, cognitive, and social wellness. Rhythm in Motion is designed for individuals with disabilities 13 years and older. Join us in a fun and musical program that will keep you on your toes! This program is offered on Wednesdays from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Soule Gym. Click here to register!
Athlete & Volunteer Participation Forms
Brookline Recreation is always looking for dedicated Special Olympics athletes and volunteers! If you are interested in participating or volunteering in any SOMA sport please print off and fill out the proper form below and mail it to:
133 Eliot St.
Brookline, MA 02467
Current Season: Summer Softball
Season Dates: July 1, 2021 to August 26, 2021
Practice Day/time: Thursdays from 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Practice Location: Jean B. Waldstein Playground, Brookline (Beaconsfield T Stop)
For Game Schedule Click Here
Upcoming Season: Flag Football and Cheerleading
Season Dates: Septemeber 9, 2021 to November 18
Practice Day/time: Thursdays from 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Practice Location: Brookline Avenue Playground, 575 Brookline Ave, Brookline, MA 02445 (Brookline Village T Stop)
For Game Schedule Click Here
Special Olympics Sports offered through Brookline Recreation Therapy
- Flag Football
Discover what it feels like to be a part of a team this fall! Flag football features all of the fun of football, without the physical contact! Not interested in football? That's okay! You can cheer on our teams from the sideline with our cheerleading squad instead!
Basketball is not only the largest Brookline Special Olympic sport, it is also the only sport offered during our winter season. With 6 teams ranging in age and ability level, there is sure to be a place for everyone!
- Track and Field
With the support and encouragement of their teammates, athletes have an increased opportunity to focus on improving their individual performance in track and field or swimming events during the spring season. Each sport has a long list of events to choose from so everyone has a chance to shine!
Make your summer a home run by joining Brookline's softball team! We have two teams so there is always space for athletes of all abilities!