Special Needs

Our Special Needs Department seeks to provide developmental opportunities for a wide spectrum of individuals with exceptionalities. Through recreation and other social activities our myriad of programs support individuals from ages 5 through early adulthood. Our staff’s mission is to provide opportunities for participants to improve social skills thereby enhancing their overall well being. 


Kids Club for Special Kids

The Dr. and Mrs. Megna Kids Club for Special Kids after school program for children with high functioning autism presents an opportunity for children to socialize and complete nightly homework. Licensed teachers provide academic supports in addition to facilitating beneficial activities including yoga, swimming, basketball and other exciting opportunities.

IDB Bank Day Habilitation

Our day program serves young adults with developmental disabilities. Through occupational activities as well as time for socialization,we prepare our participants for lives rich with community service and lasting relationships.The young adults engage in vocational tasks both within the community and at our community center. This includes delivering their own Meals on Wheels route as well as watering plants at Staten Island’s Seamen’s Society. Individuals are picked up by our staff before 9:00 AM and dropped off  after 3:00 PM. We provide services Monday through Friday.

Contact Christina Tesoriero,
Day Habilitation Coordinator,
718.475.5288 or ctesoriero@sijcc.org

Pearl’s Project

This unique program allows children with disabilities to engage in social networking with their typical peers. With the support of JCC staff, children enrolled in Special Needs
Department program keep Blogs of their experiences each week. These Blogs provide their typical peers with insight into the world of a child with an exceptionality. Additionally, the program is supported with professional photographs of our children with special needs. This provides an added visual lens into their world.

Super Special Sundays

Two Sundays each month, up to 3 dozen children with a range of special needs come to our JCC for 3 hours of fun. Each hour is devoted to a specific activity: Social Skills, Zumba and Arts and Crafts. Throughout our day, children are encouraged to engage with each other and our staff.

Music and Teen Social Group

Two Wednesdays each month, teens with developmental disabilities join their typical peers for a 90-minute social program. Each evening begins with a share-out of personal events since our last meeting. Each night ends with some pizza for dinner. In between,teens are welcome to use our teen lounge, gymnasium or fitness center.

ReelAbilities Film Festival

Each year, the JCC is proud to join other organizations in the metropolitan area in showcasing films depicting the unique triumphs and challenges experienced by individuals with special needs. We invite guests to attend viewings as well as participate in discussion following these extraordinary movies about extraordinary people. 

Disabilities Advisory Committee

Our agency seeks to collaboratively design programs for individuals with special needs. Our Disabilities Advisory Committee provides guidance around developing program goals as well as the steps necessary for accomplishing Special Needs Department objectives. Establishing program goals and mission statements are vital components of our programs success, and the committee ensures we have the best staff and optimal resources for achievement.

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Bernikow JCC

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1466 Manor Road, Staten Island, New York 10314
Ph: 718.475.5200
Fax: 718-475-5208

For Membership Inquiries Please Contact:
Membership Services 718.475.5223 

Avis/South Shore JCC

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1297 Arthur Kill Rd, Staten Island, NY 10312
Ph: 718.475.5270
Fax: 347-466-4410

Select JCC facilities are available to all organizations, groups and individuals for life cycle events, meetings and celebrations. Call 718.475.5261 for information.

Aberlin/North Shore JCC

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485 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10301
Ph: 718.475.5290
Fax: 718-720-5085