Our 2021 Fall/Winter programming schedule is here! We encourage you to take a look through our offerings and register asap for the programs of interest to your family. Most programs are resuming in-person, but virtual participation options will continue to be offered. If you have any questions, please contact Program Director Nate Clark at nate@dsawm.org or 616-956-3488. We look forward to seeing you this fall!
Fall/Winter 2021 Programming Schedule
Aging with Down Syndrome
Who: Caregivers of adults with Ds aged 30+
Where: DSAWM Office
When: 4th Mondays monthly from 6:30-7:30pm

Caregivers of individuals with Down syndrome over the age of 30 are invited to this support group sponsored by DSAWM and Alzheimer’s Association. Participants share experiences and discuss the process of caring for loved ones growing older with Down syndrome.
Baby Sign Language
TLP speech playgroup
Who: Members aged 5 and younger
Where: Online via Zoom
When: Saturdays, October 23 & 30 and November 6 & 13 from 10-10:45am

With just a few simple signs from American Sign Language, you can start communicating with your child – even before (s)he starts to talk! Signing is fun, easy to do, and great for your child’s development. This class is taught by Sarah Feaster, LMSW, and parent to two with Down syndrome. Classes will be held online via Zoom, with participation links emailed weekly.
Book Club
Who: Members aged 16+
When: 2nd & 4th Wednesdays monthly from 5:30-6:30pm

Teens and adults with Down syndrome are invited to join Bobbi for Book Club at Schuler Books on 28th Street. All reading levels are welcome.
Buddy Up Tennis
Who: Members aged 5+
Where: TBD
When: TBD

Buddy Up has currently been postponed, with a hopeful start date coming in October.
GR Cooking Capers
Who: Members aged 16+
When: Thursdays, October 7 - December 16 from 6-8pm

Cooking Capers introduces teens and adults to culinary terminology, cooking methods, measurements, and kitchen safety while crafting a delicious, healthy recipe. We will be meeting in the Life Skills Room at SOMI beginning October 7. Depending on interest, we may form two separate groups who alternate weeks in the kitchen. We ask that everyone be masked as we cook and hang out. We will still eat together at the end of the night, but will make sure we are socially distanced while enjoy our meal.
Kzoo Cooking Capers
Who: Members aged 18+
When: Thursdays, October 14, November 11, and December 9 from 6-8pm

Cooking Capers introduces teens and adults to culinary terminology, cooking methods, measurements, and kitchen safety while crafting a delicious, healthy recipe. Classes will be led by WMU's Student Dietetic Association. Parents are free to stay and socialize together in the church's dining area, or drop off students and return upon the end of class. We will begin with a few classes this fall and hope to have a full schedule starting in 2022.
CTC Therapeutic Play & Learn Groups
Who: Ages 5 and younger
Where: DSAWM Office
When: Monday-Saturday, December 6-11 at a time TBD

Join DSAWM and Comprehensive Therapy Center for a week full of free Therapeutic Play and Learn Groups hosted at the DSAWM office! At the play groups, you can expect: Therapist-led play activities, One-on-one time with dance-movement therapists, Occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists, Play and learn kits, Free books, and Snacks. A celebration will follow on December 11!
Who: DSAWM parents
Where: locations vary
When: Monthly, dates/times vary

Moms' Night Out (MNO) and Dads' Night Out (DNO) give parents the opportunity to share experiences and support over dinner with others raising children with Down syndrome. MNO groups meet in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and the Lakeshore, and DNO groups meet in Grand Rapids. If you are interested in participating or learning more, please email the appropriate contact below.
Music Jamboree
Who: Members of all ages
Where: Online via Zoom
When: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8-8:30pm

Members of all ages are invited to join our Music Therapist Leah for a virtual sing-along session featuring your favorite songs. Sessions will be offered online via Zoom every Wednesday and Thursday evening at 8pm. Please note that this is not a therapy program, but rather focused on fun and socialization.
Reaching with Rhythm Dance
Who: All ages
When: Wednesdays, November 17 (ages 12 and younger) and December 8 (ages 13+) from 5-6:30pm

Join the Reaching with Rhythm Outreach Dance Program for a fun night of performances, interactive learning of new dance genres, and an exploration of rhythms and sounds! Classes will be limited to maintain social distancing. We ask all participants to wear their masks and not participate if they are feeling sick leading up to the class. Wear clothes and shoes you are comfortable to move around in.
Shape Up
Who: Members aged 14+
When: Mondays, September 20 - December 13 from 6:30-8pm

Shape Up is a health & fitness program for teens and adults aged 14+ with Down syndrome. Learn to take control of your health through wise food choices and fun physical activity. 45 minutes of health & nutrition education is followed by 45 minutes of fun exercise. Coach Tabitha will be leading our sessions this fall at the Special Olympics Michigan Center. Sessions will be held in the auxiliary gym in the northwest corner of the building, so please park in the West parking lot and enter from the main doors there. The exercise portion of class will be livestreamed on Zoom at 7pm for those unable to attend in-person.
Fall/Winter 2021 Events
Meant to Be: Loving Down Syndrome
October 7
Who: Anyone!
Where: Online
When: Thursday, October 7 from 6:30-7:30pm

Katelyn S. Herrygers, a Holland resident, is the author of I Am Me/Yo soy yo and mother to Jameson, “Jay”. In this family friendly presentation, Katelyn will share their diagnosis story, and she and Niurka Diaz will read aloud the story, I Am Me/Yo soy yo in both English and Spanish. Join us to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month with a family activity and Q&A following the presentation.
Halloween Party
October 23
Who: Anyone aged 21+
When: Saturday, October 23 from 7-11pm

Join us for a spooky night of live music, appetizers, open bar, and a casino night as we celebrate the conclusion of the DSAWMF Connecting Communities Capital Campaign. Costumes are required! Tickets start at $75 and all proceeds benefit DSAWMF. An invitation will be emailed and more details posted on social media tomorrow, but you're welcome to purchase tickets now!
Member Holiday Party
December 5
Who: All members
When: Sunday, December 5

Join us for the 2021 Member Holiday Party! This year we will be gathering again at the Grand Rapids Public Museum! Members will have the opportunity to explore the museum, ride the Spillman Carousel, and view a holiday-themed planetarium showing all free of charge! Sweets will also be provided and Santa Claus will fly down from the North Pole to take photos and hear all of your holiday wishes. This is a member only event open exclusively to DSAWM members and their families. RSVP will open in November.
Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan
(616) 956-3488 | www.dsawm.org