Special Needs

Our Special Needs Department seeks to provide developmental opportunities for a wide spectrum of individuals. Through recreation and other social activities our myriad of programs support individuals from ages 5 through early adulthood. Our expanding program serve the Special Needs population including other departments. We’re always seeking to offer exciting, innovative ways to engage and stimulate our members and the community in general. Our staff’s mission is to provide opportunities for participants to improve social skills thereby enhancing their overall well being. 

SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAMS

Kids Club for Special Kids (ages 6-13)

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.

Day Habilitation

Our Day Habilitation Program for Young Adults offers our participants an array of social, recreational and vocational activities in collaboration with local organizations and our home agency. With professionally supported direct care staff, we engage our participants in opportunities to be healthy, social, and active members of the community with a maximum degree of independence, ultimately aiming to establish the groundwork for optimal success in achieving their highest potential
as they transition into adulthood.

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.

Support Groups and Special Need Resources

The Special Needs Department is in the process of formulating a support group for individuals, families and friends that live with developmental and physical disabilities. These support groups will have a clinical facilitator, art therapy, professional speakers (to bring up-to-date information, knowledge and experience) and much more. In addition, the Special Needs Department is in the process of formulating a monthly newsletter which will include up-to-date information in Special Needs for both developmental and physical disabilities.

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 before the stress of the school week starts again. Each hour is devoted to a specific activity: table talk, social skills, dance and creative play, and take home arts and crafts. Throughout our day, children are encouraged to participate to the best of their ability in the activities as well as engage with each other and our staff. Children enrolled in this program are supported by a licensed special education teacher, volunteers, as well as college and high school students enrolled in the UJAfunded CLASSP internship program with our agency.

Wednesday Music and
Teen Social Group

Every Wednesday at 6pm young adults and children with developmental disabilities interact with their peers in a variety of activities that increase self-esteem and enhance social skills. The Wednesday Music program begins with a share-out of personal events topics including school, family and relationships. Activities include music, drums, harp and a variety of other social activities

Kids Club for Teens
After School Program

(ages 13-18)
Our Teen after school program for young adults with autism or other related disorders presents an opportunity to young adults to be healthy, social, and active members of the community with a maximum
degree of independence, ultimately aiming to establish the groundwork for optimal success in achieving their highest potential as they transition into adulthood. Licensed teachers provide academic supports in addition to facilitating beneficial activities including homework help, inclusion, social skills exploration, fitness and athletics, recreational group classes, monthly trips, and parent communication.

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. 

Committees

The Special Needs Department has a Special Needs committee which is comprised of professionals and family members of those with disabilities. The committees act as a resource for both individuals with mental and physical disability in assisting to develop policies, collaborative programs, community outreach, and referrals of individuals and professionals. For more information on joining or supporting our committees, please contact Yoni
(Jonathan) Wiesel, MSW at 718-475-5291 or via email at jwiesel@sijcc.com

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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