Special Kids Therapy & Nursing Center recently received a 2016 Nashville Predators Foundation Grant of over $1,400 in order to commence their “Play with a Purpose” program.

“Play with a Purpose” is a new Special Kids recreational therapy program that enhances the care of nursing patients through learning the fundamental skills of varying sports. Children are taught a different sport every two months through games, music, play, and reading.  Recreational therapists lead activities that teach entry-level fundamentals of each designated sport.  Children also participate daily in core-skill activities that build the strength, endurance, coordination, balance, and social skills needed to perform the sports’ fundamentals. 

“We are so thankful for the Nashville Predator’s grant.  It is only through grant funding that Special Kids is able to purchase extra things like sporting equipment and start new programs like “Play with a Purpose” for our children to take part in,” states Sarah Callender, Special Kids Foundation Specialist.  “These are programs that children with special needs would not have the opportunity to participate in outside the walls of Special Kids. Because of a grant from the Predator’s Foundation we are able to show a child in a wheelchair how to play baseball and assist a child with braces on his legs while learning to play soccer. The Predators Foundation is a blessing to our community in many ways.”

To celebrate “Play with a Purpose” and the grant received, the Predator’s Foundation staff, along with the Predators’ mascot Gnash, visited the Special Kids skilled nursing facility. The children were well prepared for Gnash’s visit, chanting “Let’s go Predators!” and making “fang fingers” as Gnash made his entrance. Gnash gave hugs to all the children and then played a round of hockey with Special Kids new hockey sticks and balls purchased with the Predator’s grant funding.  To end their visit, a Predator’s Foundation staff representative led a story time, while Gnash acted out the story page-by-page. 

This Predators Foundation Grant will have positively affected up to 45 children with special needs through Special Kids by the end of 2016.

The Nashville Predators Foundation strives to meet the educational, social, health and cultural needs of the community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations. Established in 1998, the Foundation has since given out hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to local nonprofits and charities.

Special Kids is a Christian therapy and nursing center for children with special needs. The Murfreesboro-based ministry started with one child in 1998 and has grown to serve over 3,100 children from 18 counties in middle Tennessee. To learn more about Special Kids' therapy and nursing services, call 615.809.2632 or visit specialkidstn.com.