The Physical Activity Mentoring Program for Persons with Disabilities is sponsored by the Center on Disability Health and Adapted Physical Activity
at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. This innovative community-service program matches college students (mentors) with children and adults (mentees) with disabilities, ages 5 and above. The goals of the mentoring program are to increase physical activity, improve nutrition habits, and enhance community-based physical activity experiences for persons with disabilities through significant one-on-one relationships. The program requires completion of surveys at the start and end of each 8-week session.
Mentors are college students from all areas of academic study who are interested in obtaining meaningful experiences with children or adults with disabilities. A background in or experiences working with persons with disabilities is helpful, but not required for mentors. Program staff prepares college students for participation. Mentors must pass background checks and participate in a training session prior to providing physical activity experiences. Program sessions are 8-weeks in length, with a minimum of two, 1-hour meetings per week with mentees for physical activity. Visit our mentor page for information about this exciting service learning opportunity for college students.
Mentees are referred to the program by parents, teachers, doctors, friends, counselors, and others. A mentee application must be completed by a parent/guardian for participation consideration. The program is free, but minor fees may apply when participating in community programs or activities. See our
parent information to learn more about registering your child/guardian and other aspects of the program.
Physical activity takes place in numerous settings including UW-La Crosse facilities such as the Eagle Student Recreation Center and Mitchell Hall. Off campus sites for physical activity include Hixon Forest, Myrick Park, bowling alleys, Forest Hills Golf Course, La Crosse Park and Recreation Department areas, outdoor swimming pools, Children's Museum, Pettibone Park, YMCA, bike/running/walking trials, and many other La Crosse area locations. The types of physical activity are wide ranging, but we emphasize relevant experiences that link with school goals, parent requests, and/or involvement in community programs in which the mentee is enrolled or planning to enroll for future participation.