Giving Back

Special Needs Children Enjoy Their Own Pool Time

Credits: Alex Marcantonio
Credits: Alex Marcantonio
Credits: Alex Marcantonio

ELIZABETH, NJ – The temperature was hitting the 90s today, so it was the perfect day for a special group of swimmers to splash around in the Erxleben pool on Richmond Street.

Those swimmers are children with special needs, hosted by Elizabeth Parent Support Group. From July 10 to September 4, two hours, from 10 a.m. to noon, are set aside for free recreational swimming for this group.

“This program is organized for Elizabeth Parent Support Group in collaboration with the City of Elizabeth, Department of Park and Recreation,” explained Iliana Chevres, a founder of
Elizabeth Parent Support Group. “The objective of the program is to provide a time for children and families to have the opportunity to improve the social skills and sensory issues in children with special needs.”

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Poolside, Freeholder vice chairman Sergio Granados watched the swimmers. When the pool was created with support from the City of Elizabeth and Union County to provide recreational opportunities for the city’s youth, Elizabeth Parent Support Group asked for this period of time to be set aside. “The City of Elizabeth dedicated this time, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., every Sunday,” said Granados. “This is a great event every week. More and more special needs families are using the pool. It is great to see everyone working together.”

Added Elizabeth Board of Education member Jose Rodriguez, “The program is awesome. It is an opportunity for kids with special needs to have their own time. I see how their faces light up. For some, it is the first time they have been in a pool.”

Although the program is free, registration is required. Contact Iliana Chevres at


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