New North Park Club All Star program set to start Feb. 1
It’s a first for The North Fort Myers Community Park, and something that is greatly needed, according to requests by local parents.
The park will launch a Special Needs high school after school program called Club All Star. The program provides children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities both a healthy and fun outlet after school, with well-rounded activities.
That”s according to Ursula Shay Thomas of Lee County Parks & Recreation Special Needs Department. She will organize the classes four days a week, Monday through Thursday, with another director on Fridays.
“What we’re trying to do is meet the demands of our parents by providing these children this outlet. There will be organized games, activities, sports, clubs and crafts. We do also have scheduled homework times. Grades are important. And besides the craft time we have outdoor time, snack time and a creative exploration time.”
The program is for kids 13 to 21 years of age (still in school) and will be held from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on all regularly scheduled school days.
It will be held at North Fort Myers Community Park, located behind the library, but in a portable unit versus the Community Center where many other programs are held. When you enter the park, it is on the right, in the first portable next to the shuffleboard courts.
The cost is $50 for the period from Feb. 1 to the end of the school year, June 15.
Thomas noted that goals include kids learning the benefits of recreation, healthy lifestyles, teamwork and caring for nature and the environment. It is also a chance for the kids to “burn off the stress of the school day.”
She describes herself as a very positive person, and proves that with her enthusiasm for the program. Exercise will also be a part of the program including fun exercise like the hula hoop, in which she demonstrated her skills.
Sheis originally from Alabama. She said she has had several family members who have had different disabilities, so special care is part of her background.
Thomas said she is looking forward to spearheading the classes. “I love giving back, if I can do it, I’m happy.”
There will be many planned activities and a steady attendance is encouraged.
All participants must have an assessment of file with an updated IEP. “That’s very important,” Thomas said. “You can’t just bring it in with the class, it must be provided at registration.”
There are two ways to register – online at or call the registration staff at 533-7440 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you have any questions or need an assessment form, contact Thomas at 707-7493.
She also said it is recommended to get on the waiting list if all spots are full.
If there are not a minimum of six participants, the programs will be cancelled, she continued.
Thomas welcomes calls about the program. “Space is limited and spots are filling up, so contact us soon,” she said.