Connect Us was founded in 2009 by a mother whose 5-year year old son was struggling socially. She observed that while his classmates were being invited to birthday parties and developing friendships, her son began to withdraw from his peers and family. This prompted her to visit his recess and she was alarmed by what she discovered. Cliques, bullying, and social isolation were beginning as early as kindergarten! She watched her socially awkward son make several attempts to play with peers, but he was rejected or ignored. She feared that if this rejection continued, her son would become vulnerable to bullying, low self-esteem and depression. Fueled by his yearning for friendships and her determination to create a safe play environment for children, Connect Us was established.
In June of 2009, we introduced our pilot program – a weekly summer camp located in southeast Denver. Our kids participated in a variety of games, art projects, drama and sports – all facilitated by an AMAZING team of professionals.
For the first time EVER, Brooklyn looks forward to going to camp EVERYDAY, and talks about it all weekend long! Connect Us has a unique program unlike any other camp my kids have been to. Both girls are accepted, happy and thriving socially in this setting.
- Shar Gardenhire
Connect Us programs empower children. We provide the setting and the tools for children to become resilient, self-confident individuals. Our participants have proven to us that when they feel successful with their peers, have a supportive group of friends and are able to safely express their individuality, their confidence soars! These kids generally seek out positive relationships, can overcome rejection and are far less susceptible to being bullied or becoming a bully.
Who benefits and how quickly? Parents, siblings, teachers and therapists have reported that they’ve seen positive changes in our participants within the first few classes. After completing a session we are told that our kids have improved attitudes, are kinder, more patient and better equipped to handle frustration. Families have noticed more respectful and cooperative children. Teachers have remarked that their students are “stepping out of their comfort zones”, “coming out of their shells” and “seem happier”. Click on our testimonials to hear it firsthand from the families.