FAQs for Parents | KEEN Greater DC

FAQs for Parents

How much does it cost to enroll my child?
Nothing. All of KEEN’s programs are provided entirely free of charge. 

What are the requirements to be enrolled in KEEN?
There are no requirements. KEEN serves individuals with such diverse disabilities as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and various developmental and intellectual disabilities. Because KEEN’s activities are non-competitive and inclusive, we offer opportunities for young people who have not been able to access or find happiness in other programs.

What is the benefit of participating in KEEN?
KEEN participants develop friendships with other athletes and volunteers, self-esteem and confidence, social and teamwork skills, athletic skills and talents, and perhaps most important, gain a sense of belonging.  KEEN is a place where young people with disabilities are accepted as they are and have fun in a safe, supervised setting while their families gain valuable respite opportunities.

Can parents participate in the sessions?
One of the biggest benefits of KEEN is that it provides a bit of respite for families. By leaving their child at KEEN, not only can the parent run a few errands, read a book, or even nap in the car, but the athlete will be more likely to form a relationship with their coach. Parents who are new to KEEN and not comfortable with the separation may certainly stay, perhaps enjoying a soda and a chance to visit with other parents outside the gym. If an athlete has particularly challenging behaviors, the Program Coordinator may ask the parent to stay on site to be available if needed. In rare instances, KEEN may have a severe shortage of volunteers and ask the parent to stay and coach their child. But KEEN will always strive to match the athlete, one-to-one, with a volunteer coach. That is our mission.

How can I help my athlete get the most out of KEEN?
Make sure your athlete arrives on time and is wearing comfortable play clothes. Introduce yourself to his or her coaches and let them know how your athlete is feeling that day. When you pick up your athlete, thank the coaches and find out how the session went.

What should I do if my athlete will be absent?
Call our KEEN Hotline at 301/770-3200 or email [email protected].  It’s important for us to know if your athlete will be absent, so we can coordinate our volunteer assignments. Please call us, even if your call is at the very beginning of the session! For more information, see our Attendance Policy.

What emergency contact information do I need to provide?
It’s vital that we be able to get in touch with you or someone you trust in case of emergency. We also need information on the medication your child is currently taking,
in the unlikely event your child needs medical care that involves and EMT. Please make sure that our Emergency Contact Form with your athlete’s information is up-to-date.

How will I know if KEEN is canceled because of inclement weather on the day of the session?
If a KEEN session is canceled due to inclement weather, it will be posted on the website and Facebook. KEEN follows the public school closing policy of the governing jurisdiction - If public schools are closed in an area where KEEN operates programs, KEEN programs in that area will be canceled.

How can I become more involved in KEEN?
Parent involvement is a critical component of KEEN. We need parent input for our Newsletter, and welcome ideas for parent information sharing and support. We also welcome parent input for program development, etc. For more information, call 301-770-3200 or email [email protected].