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Thursday, August 01, 2013 - Joey Travolta to host eighth annual OUCARES film camp
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

Hollywood actor and director Joey Travolta (left) will host the eighth annual OUCARES Film Camp for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 
The Oakland University Center for Autism Research, Education and Support (OUCARES) will once again partner with actor, director and writer Joey Travolta to host the eighth annual OUCARES Film Camp for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Set to run from Monday, Aug. 12, through Friday, Aug. 23, the film camp gives individuals with ASD ages 11-20 and their siblings or peer buddies an opportunity to write, edit, direct and star in their own film. The OUCARES camp is a unique program offering an inclusive setting that supports immersion in the creative arts. Oakland University became the first location outside of California to host the acclaimed camp, which is now offered in six cities nationally. 

The university continues to be recognized as a strong supporter of individuals and families affected by autism. Last summer, the OUCARES Film Camp was featured on a Fox 2 News Detroit broadcast and in a WDIV Channel 4 Heart of Detroit video segment recognizing the many programs and services OUCARES offers to the surrounding community. 

Founded by Detroit-based writer and media personality Mitch Albom, Heart of Detroit is a public service project and WDIV Channel 4 feature profiling inspiring leaders in the Metro Detroit area. The Heart of Detroit segment can be viewed here.

Participants at a recent OUCARES youth summer camp. 
This past February, Oakland University hosted the first Michigan Autism Summit, bringing together experts, donors and community leaders to address health care and quality of life challenges facing individuals and families affected by autism. OUCARES is helping to lead this effort by opening a second a location at Meadows School in Rochester Hills. The new center will provide more families with access to ASD-focused programs and services. 

“OUCARES provides autism-focused services, as well as being an autism resource in our community to help improve quality of life for those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),” said Kathy Sweeney, director of OUCARES.

“The demand for our service continues to grow annually. Our practical approach offers a wide range of recreational and social skills programs specifically designed for individuals on the autism spectrum from pre-K through adulthood to help improve their life skills. Now that we have expanded to Meadows School, we are able to increase programing, camps and autism awareness and acceptance efforts to better meet the needs of the autism community.” 

For this year’s film camp, OUCARES is seeking volunteers aged 18 years and older to assist the participants in the creative process. The two-week camp will run daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Pawley Hall on the campus of Oakland University. For more information or to volunteer, contact a representative at oucares@oakland.edu or (248) 370-2424.

The completed film will debut on Saturday, Oct. 26, with a red carpet film premiere in the Oakland Center. The event is open to the public and will showcase the cinematic achievements of the film campers. Mrs. Michigan America 2013, Laura Zdravkovski, will emcee the event and tickets will be on sale beginning Wednesday, Aug. 21, on the OUCARES website

For more information about OUCARES or the upcoming film camp with Joey Travolta, visit oakland.edu/oucares. To support the center directly, visit oakland.edu/oucaresdonate.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at@OaklandU_News.
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