Caring for Kids Karate Program Photo


Weekend Programs


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Caring for Kids program provides adaptive sport and recreation programs for children with physical impairments or conditions. Our year-round and weekend programs are designed to foster a positive quality of life for participants by promoting physical fitness, independence, socialization, activity and adaptive resources.

To participate in our Caring for Kids Weekend and Year-Round Programs, first fill out the needed information on our registration page.  If you have any questions, contact Ashley Gruenwald.

Weekend Programs


This ballet-based program encourages movement, improves posture, and increases selective motor control of limbs while promoting socialization and artistic expression for kids with physical disabilities.

  • Times: Class meets at 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays at the Menomonee Club. 


  • Thousand Waves Karate for Kids Program provides adapted Seido karate for kids focusing on peaceful conflict resolutions and self-defense. Karate emphasizes a progressive development of strength and aerobic capacity. Children learn to focus their minds and build their spirits.
  • Time: Karate is offered on Sundays following Yoga. Like yoga, the Karate program follows a 5-week session format. Karate is from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the Drucker Center.
  • Cost: The fee to participate is $30 paid once for the year. This fee will enable a child to enroll in any session offered in a single calendar year.

Since 2009, Caring for Kids has partnered with the Menomonee Judo Club to offer the Japanese Olympic/Paralympic sport of Judo. Judo, which translates as "the Gentle Way," promotes the development of necessary physical skills such as movement, balance, muscle tone, and visual/spatial awareness to participants of all abilities. Of equal or greater importance is the self-esteem and sense of purpose that the students gain through participation. The program is run by Sensei Brett Wolf and his experienced staff. In May 2012, the Menomonee Judo Club was named Paralympic National Training Site by USA Judo. USA Judo is the national governing body of Judo in the United States.

  • Time: Judo classes take place on Saturday afternoons from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at the Drucker Center: 1535 N. Dayton St., Chicago, IL 60642. Sessions last five weeks with a two week break in between.
  • Cost: All judo class participants must be registered with the Caring for Kids Program. The fee to participate is $30 paid once for the year. 


In 2005, Caring for Kids teamed with Carey Freyman and Yoga for the Special Child to provide yoga instruction to youth in the Caring for Kids Program. Yoga techniques are safe and therapeutic and help to enhance strength, flexibility, and balance. Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques help to improve concentration. Yoga is held year-round on Sundays at the Menomonee Boys and Girls Club's Drucker Center in Chicago.

  • Time: Yoga classes run in 5-week sessions with 2–3 week breaks in between each session. There are two classes offered on Sundays. The first class is from 11:00 to 11:55 a.m. and the second class is from Noon to 12:55 p.m.
  • Cost: The fee to participate is $30 paid once for the year. This fee will enable a child to enroll in any session offered in a single calendar year.

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