On Tuesday, the Chiefs Rookie Club, cheerleaders and KC Wolf visited the Children's Center Campus, which houses three agencies, including the YMCA, the Children's Therapeutic Learning Center (TLC) and the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI).
The group interacted with the children, singing songs, reading books, decorating cookies and handed out special Chiefs toys. The students were delighted when they saw the Chiefs enter their classroom. Many of the children were decked out in their Red and Gold being sure to show off their team pride for their favorite role models.
"It means a lot to these kids for us to come spend time with them, but it also mean so much to us too," Chiefs QB Aaron Murray said. "It's incredible to see these kids' faces light up just by us walking into the room or giving them a high-five; it's the little things that go a long way. We decorated cookies with them, read books and played games and we all had a great time giving back to these kids."
Murray spent time in classrooms for those who are visually impaired. The idea of decorating a cookie seems simple to most, such as frosting the cookie or adding sprinkles, however for children who are visually impaired this simple task helps teach them important skills.
"It seems like a fun activity, but for our visually impaired children to focus on a small task by applying icing to a particular shape, then apply candy or sprinkles on top helps them engage those motor skills," Nicola Heskett Executive Director at CCVI explained. "When you are blind or visually impaired the world can be a very scary place and you can become very reluctant to reach out and touch it. These activities help these students to be curious and comfortable in this setting and explore the world."
The Kansas City Chiefs rookie club and community caring team visit the Children's Center Campus to interact with the children during their classes.
The CCVI is designed to prepare children with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities, to reach their highest potential in the sighted world.
Another early intervention program at the Children's Center is TLC, which provides therapeutic and educational services for children with disabilities in an environment, which fosters their independence and celebrates their successes.
"The children in our classroom are ages two through five years old and range in disabilities, such as a slight speech impediment, or autism or sever cerebral palsy, or others," Molly Cunningham, Director of Development for Children's TLC, noted. "It means a lot to these students though to have the Chiefs come visit their classroom and encourage them and meet those big players they cheer for on TV. This will be a day they'll always remember and truly cherish."
Along with the CCVI and TLC, the YMCA is another agency located at the Children's Center. Serving children six weeks to Pre-K, the YMCA provides on-site daycare for children without disabilities, facilitating social interaction and assimilation with impaired children. Activities incorporate YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
The players, cheerleaders and KC Wolf visited each agency to pass out toys and spread some holiday cheer.
To learn more about the Children's Center Campus agencies, visit their websites below.