on a model resembling modern-day Scouting organizations, WOW programs
empower school-age children in wheelchairs by teaching them important
life skills, thereby building their sense of self-worth, self-esteem
and levels of independence.
meet twice a month in locations across the
United States. A
volunteer leader and a group of co-leaders who are recruited and
trained by the program staff at the WOW National Headquarters lead the
"All participants in the WOW program are school-age children
in wheelchairs ranging in age from six to eighteen. WOW calls each of these children a “Winner.”
Winners participate in WOW through activities called
are badges that teach meaningful social, life and
teamwork skills building self-esteem in those whom participate in
them. WOW offers over
fifty Wheels to its Winners covering subjects like Banking, Bowling,
Community Service, Goal Setting, Hockey, Music, Nature and Personal
Each Wheel combines peer interaction and tangible skills
with structured activities in the form of six related projects (Spokes). Each
a defined goal and teaches specific skills in a manner that combines
fun, education and interaction.
develops its educational programs in close collaboration with
educators, psychologists, physical therapists and parents. Most importantly, the programs benefit from direct input from
the Winners who participate in them.
In 1994, in
an effort to reach out to school age children in wheelchairs who did
not have access to Circles, WOW established Kid’s
Club. This write-in
group enables participants in areas where WOW Circles are not
available to earn Wheels by completing individual exercises without
having to actively participate in a Circle.
publishes a bimonthly newsletter - The WOW Connection. As the official newsletter of Winners On Wheels, The WOW
Connection serves as a vehicle for disseminating information on
exciting new programs, upcoming events and important deadlines.
Each issue highlights WOW Circles, educates Leaders, provides
new Kids Club activities and offers an informative section for
have discovered that it is beneficial to offer an environment where
children in wheelchairs have a chance to talk to one another about the
special issues, challenges and concerns that they face as a result of
using a wheelchair. To
address this need, WOW created a Pen Pal Program.
Whether Winners attend a Circle or complete Wheels through Kids
Club, the need to communicate to members of their own peer group still
exists. WOW National has
recently established a pen pal program and Winners from all across the
nation are learning about each other and sharing their stories.
a new Circle is not a simple task.
Therefore, WOW created the Mentor Program. The staff at WOW National does everything within their means
to make each new Circle successful.
While that is quite a lot, it is not enough.
To make the process even easier, WOW pairs all new Circle
Leaders with veteran mentor. A
mentor is an experienced Circle Leader with a proven record of
day-to-day knowledge of running a Circle has proven to be quite useful
to new leaders and co-leaders.
innovative and esteem-building programs and services for school-age
children in wheelchairs have been in high demand since the
organization’s inception in 1991.
There is unquestionably a need for our programs and services as
the population of youth in wheelchairs continues to grow nationally.
To Intro Section