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Aspire After-School

The Aspire after-school program is offered in Needham and is open to all students with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, from area elementary, middle and high schools, regardless of their place of residence.  Children range in age from 7-22.  Aspire follows the Needham Public Schools calendar.

The program includes:

  • Sports
  • Music therapy
  • Arts and crafts
  • Cooking
  • Computer use
  • Homework assistance

The primary goal of Aspire is to encourage children and young adults to recognize and strengthen their abilities while having fun with friends in a recreational environment.

Staff includes professional program coordinators, as well as college and high school recreation aides.  Many middle and high school students volunteer in Aspire, making it truly inclusive.

Hours are from 3 pm to 5:30 pm and registration and fee are required.

School Vacation Programs 

Family Support offers recreational programs in December, February, April, June and August so that children and young adults have the opportunity to socialize and participate in recreational activities when schools are closed.

Programs include:

  • Indoor and outdoor games
  • Sports
  • Music therapy
  • Dance
  • Art
  • Field trips

School vacation programs run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Registration and fee are required. The program is staffed by Charles River personnel, as well as college and high school students -- all trained in CPR and First Aid.


Social Recreation Programs - Natick

Located in our Natick facility, Charles River currently offers social and recreation programs and on Saturdays. These include:

  • Fitness fun
  • Artistic afternoons
  • Girls group
  • Sibling outings
  • Family craft night
  • Avenues to Adulthood (school vacation weeks only)
  • Volunteer day 


Kid's Break Saturdays

Held in Needham, this is a Saturday afternoon recreational program for children 7 and older, allowing them to socialize and have fun.   Children are engaged in activities such as bowling, music, field trips and art.

The hours are from 12:30 – 3:30 pm. Registration and fee are required.