On and off the field, the friendships that develop between children with and without disabilities form the heart of ODS' community. Kids with disabilities and from low-income households are often left out of the play and confidence-building that after-school sports programs provide. At no cost to families, ODS offers weekly adapted sports classes year-round in which each child is paired with a middle or high school volunteer peer buddy to play soccer, basketball, and bocce. Across warm-up activities, skill development drills, and scrimmages, players improve their self-esteem while having fun in an inclusive and supportive environment. A competitive Game Day League allows more skilled players to experience a real game environment, complemented by kids' nights out where everyone enjoys social activities together. From birthday party invitations to high fives in school hallways, ODS players and peer buddies become true friends.
Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County
Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; MD-Montgomery County; Montgomery County - Rockville, Silver Spring, Kensington, Bethesda; Washington, DC - Ward 1
Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)
Population(s) Served: Individuals with Disabilities; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students
Schools They Work In: Katherine Thomas School; The Maddux School; Rock Creek Forest Elementary School; Flora Singer Elementary School; Silver Creek Elementary School; North Chevy Chase Elementary School; Bethesda Elementary School; Tilden Middle School; Westland Middle School; St. Patrick's Catholic School; Sacred Heart School
Awards & Recognition
Anderson Jones, a young adult with Down Syndrome, has been hired as an assistant coach the first time a player with disabilities has transitioned to this role.
Anderson Jones, and his experiences with Open Door Sports, was featured in the November Issue of Kensington Neighbors Magazine.
Open Door Sports was featured in the Kentlands & Lakelands Living Magazine
Earned Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar in January 2023
Selected for the 2023 Class of Spur Local, formerly Catalogue of Philanthropy in May 2023
Featured in January/February 2023 Issue of Bethesda Magazine
2 ODS Players had wishes granted through Dream On 3
Sarah Albus received the AACPDM Duncan Wyeth Award in October 2022
ODSs annual Youth Changemaker Award was awarded for the first time to a player - Lucy Harris
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