Therapeutic Recreation Empowering Kids: Exploring best practices in transition


  • Allison Wilder, PhD, CTRS-L
  • Patricia J. Craig, PhD, CTRS-L
  • Matthew S. Frye, MS, CTRS-L



transition, recreation therapy, collaboration, best practices, school and community based


The purpose of this article is to describe the collaborative components of a school and community-based recreation therapy (RT) program designed to support the educational, developmental, and transitional needs of students with disabilities in the K-12 public school system in New Hampshire. The program, Therapeutic Recreation Empowering Kids (TREK), is one of three core service areas of the University of New Hampshire's Northeast Passage, community-based adaptive sport and RT organization. This article focuses on TREK's transition services, which align with many of the recommended best practices in transition. TREK services are delivered in school and community settings by state licensed Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists to students with disabilities, in accordance with their individualized education plans. Beginning as early as elementary school, through the use of purposeful RT interventions, community integration, and meaningful inclusion, the TREK therapist facilitates valued transition outcomes. In furtherance of these outcomes, the TREK therapist functions as a critical broker in establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial cross-system collaborative partnerships. The purpose of these partnerships is explored, demonstrating how the TREK program facilitates recreation therapists' ability to successfully partner with K-12 public school personnel, community providers and the families of students, all of which potentiate synergistic partnerships toward accomplishing mutual transition goals. A case example is provided to illustrate ways in which the program impacts those involved and encourages continued collaboration.

Author Biographies

Allison Wilder, PhD, CTRS-L

Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

Patricia J. Craig, PhD, CTRS-L

Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

Matthew S. Frye, MS, CTRS-L

TREK Program Coordinator, Northeast Passage, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire


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How to Cite

Wilder, PhD, CTRS-L, A., Craig, PhD, CTRS-L, P. J., & Frye, MS, CTRS-L, M. S. (2014). Therapeutic Recreation Empowering Kids: Exploring best practices in transition. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 13(2), 33–48.