Special Needs

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 6 through early adulthood. Our staff’s mission is to provide opportunities for participants to improve social skills thereby enhancing their overall well being. Staff consist of professionals and college students working together to provide stimulating experiences for these children and young adults.

Christina Tesoriero, Director of Special Needs Service718.475.5250 Ctesoriero@sijcc.com



Kids Club for Special Kids

(ages 6-12)
The Dr. and Mrs. Megna Kids Club for Special Kids is our 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
  • music
  • and other exciting opportunities.
Marvin's Camp 2016

Marvin’s Camp 2016

Kids Club for Teens After School Program

(ages 13-21)
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
  • and parent communication

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
  • 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 UJA-funded CLASSP internship program with our agency.

Marvin’s Camp

JCC of Staten Island Camp_LogoMarvin’s Camp is a unique recreational summer program customized for those ages 6 – 21 with special needs as well as those who are non-ambulatory. After six weeks of dance classes, swimming, social skills and field trips, the children show off their skills in a dance performance for their families and relive the summer through a picture slide show. With a wide array of both social and developmental activities, children are engaged by professionally supported trained staff to create some of the best memories of their summer.


2015 Staten Island Advance Readers Choice Award for Best Summer Camp

Support Groups & 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.


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.

Contact  Christina Tesoriero,  Director of Special Needs Services 718.475.5250 Ctesoriero@sijcc.com

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.

For more information on joining or supporting our committees, please contact Contact Rob Calitri at 718.457.5288 or rcalitri@sijcc.com

Special Events

The Special Needs department year round has fun and exciting events for both the Special Needs community and the community at large.

Special Events include:

  • ReelAbilities (a film festival which brings awareness to the community about physical and mental disability)
  • Music for Autism (concerts for families and friends of Special Needs individuals)
  • Senator Lanza Special Education Fair (to support the needs of Special Needs individuals and families) and much more.

We can't wait to give you a tour of the JCC and show you how your family will fit in with ours.


For Membership Inquiries Please Contact:
Membership Services 718.475.5223 

Avis/South Shore JCC

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