CSU, Chico News

Freedom in Elements Camp for People with Autism Slated for June 14-17

Date: 06-02-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Rebecca Lytle, Coordinator
Adapted Physical Education Program

Sponsors, Participants, Volunteers Needed for June 22 Golf Tournament Fundraiser

California State University, Chico’s Autism Clinic will host its Freedom in Elements camp June 14-17 focusing on increasing social skills and developing interpersonal relationships through movement, theatre, art, drama and music.

Now in its third year, the program is designed to give teens and adults who are on the autism spectrum a pre-college experience. Campers stay in the dorms, eat in the dining halls and participate in programming each day related to arts and movement. This year’s program will serve 15 local participants.

“For many (people with autism), their school settings don’t include much exposure to the arts,” said kinesiology professor Rebecca Lytle, who founded the Autism Clinic and co-directs Freedom in Elements. “We work with them as individuals and help them find their strengths. The arts allow for flexibility in presenting and communication, and they end up creating amazing songs, paintings and poetry. They think, ‘I can do this.’”

About eight CSU, Chico kinesiology students will work with campers throughout the four days, along with several international facilitators.

The program closes with a culminating exhibition the afternoon of June 17, during which campers present or perform their work for family and community members.

To learn more about the camp, please visit www.facebook.com/freedominelements or contact Lytle at 530-898-4298.

Golf Tournament Fundraiser

To offset costs to the summer camp’s participants, Chico’s Cleanrite-Buildrite (CRBR) is hosting a golf tournament fundraiser on Monday, June 22, at Butte Creek Country Club in Chico. One hundred percent of proceeds will go toward program costs, which are covered entirely by donations plus a small fee to participants for housing and food.

Sponsors, players and volunteers are needed. Individual registration is $125; teams play for $500. A variety of sponsorship levels are available. For more information on the golf tournament, contact CRBR’s Jill Cooper at jillcooper@crbr.com or call 530-513-1078.

In 2014, CRBR raised $15,000 for Freedom in Elements through a golf tournament. This year’s goal is $20,000. Other program supporters include Hignell Companies Foundation and LRT Graphics.

More information on the tournament is available on the event’s Facebook page.

CSU, Chico’s Autism Clinic is part of the Kinesiology Department in the College of Communication and Education. Its mission is to promote the sensory, motor, communicative and cognitive skills of individuals with autism through a multi-sensory approach to learning. Learn more about the clinic and its services here.


Caption: Neo Campagna and Natalie Cruzen perform original music at the 2014 Freedom in Elements summer camp for people with autism at CSU, Chico. Photo by Jason Halley.