Saint Mary's College Expands Academic Partnership With Joey Travolta Autism Spectrum Film Camp

New Special Education Internships To Give Graduate Students Valuable Experience

The Saint Mary’s College of California Kalmanovitz School of Education (KSOE) announces an expansion of its academic partnership with the Joey Travolta Full Inclusion Camp. The camp, which runs July 2 to July 13, provides children and young adults diagnosed with high functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome an opportunity to work creatively in small groups and learn the techniques required to make a short film. The camp is organized by Futures Explored Inc., a Lafayette-based organization that provides life skills and opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities.

Recognizing the need to provide services for a growing number of children identified with an autism spectrum disorder, KSOE has expanded its collaboration with the special needs camp through new internship opportunities for its special education graduate students. Teacher candidates enrolled in the College's summer “Mild to Moderate Education Specialist Credential Program Intensive term" will provide special education assistance to the film camp's teachers, behaviorists and counselors and gain valuable practical experience.  

"Teaching graduate students how to address and meet the needs of individuals with autism and Asperger's syndrome has long been a focus of the special education program within the Kalmanovitz School of Education," said Dean Phyllis Metcalf-Turner. "This expanded collaboration with the Joey Travolta Film Camp will provide more resources for the camp and enrich our students' classroom instruction in special education principles and strategies with real-world experiences in a supportive learning environment."

During the 10-day collaborative session, Saint Mary's students will gain a greater understanding of the communication, social, emotional and cognitive development of individuals with high functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Additionally, the graduate students will support the mission of the Travolta Film camp by providing supervision of participants and assisting the campers in reaching the social and developmental goals of the program.

Through his Inclusion Film Camps, Joey Travolta provides children and young adults diagnosed with autism and Asperger’s syndrome opportunities to grow socially and experientially by learning how to craft short films. Joey Travolta is an actor, director, former special education teacher and the brother of noted Hollywood actor John Travolta.

What: Approximately 60 Bay Area children and young adults will participate in the Joey Travolta Full Inclusion Camp at Saint Mary's.

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 2 -13, 2012, Special Media Day: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where: Saint Mary’s College of California, 1928 Saint Mary’s Road, Moraga, CA 94556

Background: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD); which is a 23 percent increase since 2009, and 78 percent higher than it reported in 2007. The Kalmanovitz School of Education has hosted the Joey Travolta Full Inclusion Camp for the last five years. For more information about Saint Mary’s academic collaboration with the film camp, contact Prof. David Krapf at (925) 631-8177 or by email at [email protected].  For more information about the film camp and Futures Explored, Inc., contact Jennie Dobies at (415) 577-1805 or [email protected].