You know those big signs on Route 4, near Riverside Square in Hackensack?
The big electronic billboards, the ones that usually show images from Holy Name Medical Center, but include some pictures of kids in its regular rotations? One happy-looking kid at a time, standing next to huge letters spelling out My Challenges Don’t Define Me, pointing to a sign with a self-definition? A sign saying I Am Smart, for example. Or Beautiful. Or Hard-Working. Or Cool.
Imagine that you see a small group of students working with an art teacher, concentrating, creating, learning.
Add the understanding that these children have developmental disabilities, and that the art teacher is in fact an art therapist. Be sure, though, that when you add this knowledge, you do not — because you should not — let it detract from the clear truth that there is joy in this learning, and learning in this joy.
For at least 25 years now, Joseph Freedland of Fair Lawn has been hiring people with special needs to help in the production and packaging of shower curtains and hospital curtains at Hospi-Tel in East Orange.
The family business, founded by his father and uncle and now owned by his brother David, has eight to 10 such people working in the factory at any given time. Two of them have been with the company 20-plus years.
Ready for camping! Enter for excitement! Intelligent!
Really Excellent and Incredibly Interesting and Intriguing!
We vividly recall the unforgettable moment when the doctor told us that our child had Down syndrome. It felt like a horrific sentence meted out to us. The questions and fears loomed large. What kind of a life would our child have? How would this impact our family?
Last week, I found myself sitting in a circle of six girls, some of their teachers, the director of their program, and some other visitors, far more moved and infinitely more engaged than I had any reason to expect to be.
We were at Ma’ayanot, the girls high school in Teaneck; the six girls in the circle were part of the program the Sinai Schools runs there.
Cross River, a Bergen County-based financial institution, is SINAI Schools Community Partnership awardee, to be celebrated at SINAI’s annual dinner on Feb. 24.
“We have started the relationship this year with the creation of a scholarship fund at SINAI as well as the establishment of an internship program for SINAI students where we hope to provide them with, among other things, vocational training,” explained Drew Parker, a director a Cross River and longtime SINAI supporter.
SINAI Schools is a success story of collaboration, one that partners the students of its schools with the community that supports it. It is a healthy, vibrant partnership and it is changing lives for our community’s children with special needs for the better. But it’s not only success that SINAI aims for. SINAI’s goal is to enable each and every student to spread their metaphorical wings and fly toward their fullest potential, knowing that the support they enjoy today will always be there for them.