Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Summer Programs and Community Activities

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center offers a variety of summer programs for children, adolescents, and young adults with and without disabilities. Our camps are a wonderful way to encourage self-esteem, self-respect, and compassion while learning valuable life skills, making new friends, and discovering new interests.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center programs are unique in that they provide: model services for participants, support for families, training opportunities for college students preparing for educational or service careers, and opportunities for participant and family members to take part in innovative research.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Music campers perform on stage at the Grand Ole Opry

Summer Programs

ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp for People with Williams Syndrome

A weeklong residential camp where campers participate in a songwriting workshop, recording session, songwriter's night and a live performance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

Next Steps at Vanderbilt Summer Institute

Next Steps at Vanderbilt Summer Institute is a weeklong residential college transition program for rising high school juniors, seniors, and young adults with developmental disabilities up to the age of 26.

SENSE Theatre

SENSE Theatre is a 2-week day camp for youth, 7-18 years of age, with and without autism spectrum disorders.

If you wish to learn what it’s like to be a counselor at one of our camps, please click here. If you are interested in applying for a counselor position for 2014, please complete this form. Please note: ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp for People with Williams Syndrome and Next Steps at Vanderbilt Summer Institute are both residential programs and require counselors to stay in the dorms with the program participants overnight. These are 24/7 positions. SENSE Theatre Camp is fully staffed for 2014 and is not accepting counselor applications.

Community Activities

Best Buddies (Vanderbilt Chapter) (affiliate)

Vanderbilt University's Best Buddies chapter.

Week of the Young Child

The National Week of the Young Child focuses public attention on the rights and needs of young children. It is sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which is dedicated to improving the quality of early childhood education for all young children and their families.


Giving: How Can Your Generosity Change Lives?

Music of the Heart

See how one Nashville couple was able to help teach people living with developmental disabilities how to use music therapeutically, while also supporting research in human development and training for professionals in the community.

Read how Lorie and John Lytle brought music to the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

See Also...

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Links

Other Links and Resources