Portsmouth City Logo

Portsmouth Waterfront
Skip Navigation Links



Therapeutic Recreation Programs

Cradock Recreation Center | 308 Allen Road | 757-393-8481 ext. 4103

The mission of our Therapeutic Recreation Program through Portsmouth Parks, Recreation & Leisure Services will empower our participants to become self sufficient, responsible and productive members of society. Our philosophy is to provide a safe, positive environment which encourages positive self esteem, individual expression and personal development. We are committed to the health and growth of our youth by employing creative safe techniques to meet each participants needs in a stable and non-threatening environment. Therapeutic Recreation is important because we provide recreational activities which enhance physical fitness, increase self-confidence and increase social interaction. Research shows that productive and positive use of recreation for persons with a disability is not only desirable, it is imperative per the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation.

The Therapeutic Recreational staff are here to provide programs for individuals who have disabilities that focus on abilities, rather than disabilities and encourage people to attain their highest level of independent leisure functioning by increasing leisure skills, improving social and communication skills, increasing independent living skills as well as increasing their awareness of and involvement in community recreational activities; to advocate for and ensure inclusive opportunities in all program services; to act as an advocate for individuals with disabilities by promoting accessibility at all department parks, facilities, programs, special events and classes.  

Program Description

The City of Portsmouth Therapeutic Recreation Program provides sports, recreation, leisure and outreach services to Portsmouth residents with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. Services include therapeutic recreation programs and adaptive sports opportunities, which address the special needs of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty accessing and participating in recreation opportunities offered to the general public. Under the direction of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, activities and services are designed to maintain or improve the physical, cognitive and social functioning of those who have limitations.


  • The ability to manage personal belongings with minimal assistance
  • Ability to follow 1 to 2 step directions
  • Ability to use the restroom with minimal assistance, and have a desire to participate
  • If the participant has a personal aide, they are encouraged to stay and assist and actively participate.
  • If additional assistance is needed, please let us know ahead of time so we can accommodate their needs

We invite you to enroll your child(ren) in this wonderful program. For more information please contact Ericka Bynum at (757) 393-8481 ext.4103.

Summer Inclusion Program

Portsmouth Therapeutic Recreation Services encourages and promotes inclusive leisure experiences in all of our programs, activities, sports, classes and events. Inclusive leisure experiences encourage and enhance opportunities for people of varying abilities to promote and foster physical, social, and psychological inclusion of people with diverse experiences and skill levels. Inclusion enhances the individuals’ potential for full and active participation in leisure activities and experiences.

Our program will provide:

  • Improved Cognitive Skills, Improved Physical Skills, Improved Emotional Well Being as well as Behavioral Modification
  • Life Skills: Decision-Making, Problem-Solving and Conflict Resolution
  • Sports, Athletics and Fitness (large and small group games, organized competition).
  • Character and Leadership Development
  • Social Recreation: (Social Clubs, Current Events, Game room activities)


Ericka Bynum, Therapeutic Recreation SpecialistMy name is Ericka Bynum and I am the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for the City of Portsmouth Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services. I have been a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist since 1997. I received my degree in Recreation and Leisure Services with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation from Virginia Wesleyan College. I was a recipient of the Woody Brown Award for one of the best therapeutic programs in the state of Virginia. Upon taking this position, I worked for Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs (SECEP) as a School Community Trainer. I had a 99 percent pass rate on SOL testing in Earth Science, History and Writing as well as the highest reintegration of students back to their home school from an alternative school setting. I am a product of this wonderful city due to growing up, as well as attending its great schools and participating in all the programs that were offered through Portsmouth Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services. I have been given a great opportunity to give back to a city that has given so much to me as a child through their outstanding Recreation Program. My goal is to provide a safe positive environment which encourages positive self esteem, individual expression and personal growth. I look forward to interacting with the people of Portsmouth as well as continue to build upon Portsmouth’s strong character and commitment when working within the community.

Phone: 757-393-8481
Fax: 757-393-3865
Email: bynume@portsmouthva.gov

Download the Therapeutic Recreation brochure





City of Portsmouth, Virginia · All Rights Reserved · Portsmouth City Hall · 801 Crawford Street · Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8000