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What are Sibshops?
Sibshops are opportunities for brothers and sisters of children with special health and developmental needs to find peer support and education within a recreational setting. Throughout their lives, brothers and sisters will share many of the same concerns that parents of children with special needs experience, as well as, issues that are uniquely theirs.
In March of 2019 Lynchburg Parks and Recreation hosted Emily Holl, Directory of The Sibling Support Project to facilitate Sibshop training. Sibshops are engaging groups in a recreational setting for children who have a sibling with special needs. Lynchburg saw participants from Tennessee to Connecticut and everywhere in-between. The National Recreation and Parks Association highlighted the training in the July 2019 issue of Parks & Recreation Magazine, in an article titled “The Ties That Bind” linked below. As a result of the training several more Sibshops have started offering support to children up and down the east coast.
Kelsey Laubach is a Community Recreation Programmer for the Miller Center and attended the training to become certified to facilitate Sibshops. Kelsey has her bachelors in Social Work and masters in Therapeutic Recreation. It was while earning her masters that she was first introduced to Sibshops. Kelsey followed the Sibling Support Project and Sibshops while waiting to find the right agency and time to get certified to facilitate the groups. Shortly after joining Lynchburg Parks and Rec she pitched the idea to host a training and they agreed. Kelsey has volunteered with Special Olympics, Horse Sense for Special Riders, Sun Valley’s Higher Ground program, and Challenged Athletes of West Virginia. Kelsey is excited to be offering Sibshops through Parks and Rec and is looking forward to seeing it grow.
Rebekah Meadows is a Licensed Professional Counselor with approximately 17 years of mental health experience. She greatly enjoys her work as an Outpatient Therapist at Impact Living Services, and as a Regional Behavioral Health Care Coordinator with Anthem. Rebekah has a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University, coupled with a M.Ed. in Community Counseling from the University of Lynchburg (formerly Lynchburg College). Rebekah is an “adult sib” in that she was raised with a sister with Down Syndrome, as well as with 2 brothers with Long QT Syndrome. Rebekah has been following the Sibshop trainings and information for approximately 10 years. She believes strongly in the concept of individual strengths and intelligences, and is excited to team with Lynchburg Parks and Rec. to facilitate local Sibshops.
This will be a classic Sibshop where children meet other who can relate to having a brother or sister with special needs all while playing games and having fun. Dinner will be provided. Register 4 days in advance of each class.
This Sibshop will meet at the Jackson Heights Art Studio where participants will get to explore a working pottery studio, see a wheel demonstration, and make their own pinch pot in addition to meeting other children who can relate to having a brother or sister with special needs. Lunch will be provided. Register 4 days in advance.