Last week we gave the village of North Riverside a rough ride over its financial decision-making during the past quarter-century, so we figured we’d even things out a bit this week.
When Teresa Michalik was named director of the North Riverside Recreation Department earlier this year, we knew good things were about to happen. She came to the village from neighboring Riverside, where she helped Director Ron Malchiodi reinvigorate a department that five or six years ago was in jeopardy of serious funding cuts and restructuring.
Just a few months into her new job, Michalik is tackling a subject that has seen lots of talk but no action for years in North Riverside and Riverside — special recreation.
She’s starting small, but by next year North Riverside, perhaps in cooperation with Riverside, will have programming that serves people in those communities who lack special recreation opportunities.
During a time when the village is trying to tighten village services, it might come as a surprise that the North Riverside Recreation Department is looking to branch out.
There’s no additional tax levy funding this effort; funding for staff and programs will come through fees paid by participating families. It likely won’t be cheap for those families.
But the new programming will provide special recreation opportunities in town, not out in DuPage County or other far-flung places where special recreation agencies are located.
Families who have children and adults with special needs deserve this type of programming, and we’re glad Michalik has taken it upon herself to make sure those services are provided.