A Beery Great Time at NSSA’s First Ever Brew-B-Q!!!

i Aug 14th No Comments by

NSSA held it’s first ever Brew-B-Q at the Great South Bay Brewery on Saturday, August 12.

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Guests enjoyed unlimited barbecue, beer and wine.

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There were plenty of games and activities to keep everyone busy.

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Friends and families socialized…

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The Fearless performed throughout the afternoon keeping the atmosphere festive.

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The photo booth was a popular spot.

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But without a doubt the most popular spot was the dunking booth! Adults and kids alike tried their hand at dunking volunteers. Thanks, Stacey, for being such a good sport!

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brewbq collage 1 blogsizedbrewbq collage 3 blogsizedThere were two great prizes raffled off:

a 125-quart Igloo cooler filled with craft beer from local Long Island breweries: Great South Bay Brewery, Sand City Brewing Co., Fire Island Beer Company, Oyster Bay Brewing Company, Port Jefferson Brewing Company and Montauk Brewing Company. Thanks to all who donated and helped to make the event a great one!

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And two Paul McCartney concert tickets

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We thank Great South Bay Brewery for their amazing space and all their support in the planning of the event, as well as our generous sponsors – thank you, everyone!

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We’re already thinking of ways to make Brew-B-Q bigger and better next year, so we hope to see you there!

A Job Well Done at Old Navy

i Aug 8th No Comments by

NSSA Adult Services clients recently spent a day at Commack Old Navy experiencing what it’s like to be an employee at a retail clothing store.

General Manager Doug Wadsworth and Business Operations Manager Lisa Simonelli invited five adult clients to be a part of the on-the-job experience.

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 Clients first watched a training video on safety and then went out onto the sales floor split up into groups: cashier, fitting room, clothes folding and sweeping. Each client got to take a turn and experience each area.

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They got right to work!

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Happy faces at the register.

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They had lunch in the break room and then returned to their duties in the store.

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It was a wonderful day for everyone and we appreciate Old Navy allowing our clients this opportunity to experience a day in the life of an Old Navy employee.

Those We Love Don’t Go Away, They Walk Beside Us Every Day

i Jul 31st No Comments by

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This past week we celebrated the life of our co-worker and dear friend, Gina Doria Pisaeno. In her 22 years with NSSA, Gina dedicated much of her time to our students and clients. She loved learning about their lives and they loved spending time with her. No matter what, she was always available to them and showed great compassion and concern for their welfare.

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This summer we installed a gazebo in our backyard which will be a nice spot for children and clients to get some shade on hot days while out on the playground. Blue hydrangeas were Gina’s favorite flower so we planted them around the base and dedicated the garden and gazebo to Gina’s memory. On July 25 we held a dedication ceremony and invited her and her husband’s family, past and present staff members and the individuals and families served by NSSA to join us. We had a full house of almost 100 people!

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It was a lovely cool evening for guests to socialize and share fond memories of Gina. Memory books filled with pictures and sentiments from people who had known Gina were presented to her father and her husband. Refreshments were served, children played on the playground, and in all, it was a lovely celebration of her life. The gazebo and garden are each a beautiful reminder of our beloved friend and will bring joy to the students and clients of NSSA, just as Gina always did.

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We know that we will get much enjoyment from the gazebo and garden…and they will help keep Gina in our hearts forever.

Someone’s in the Kitchen with NSSA

i Jul 14th No Comments by

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 ELIJA Farm extended an invitation to NSSA’s Adult Services clients to attend a Cooking Demo with natural foods chef  and food activist Bhavani Jaroff. Currently Bhavani is running a program called iEatGreen which is helping to facilitate change in our communities, home, schools and workplaces.

On July 12 she visited the ELIJA Farm to speak to our clients about healthy cooking and eating.

The demo was beneficial for our clients so they could learn how to prepare healthy food choices. They were also practicing attending to a speaker while in a group. And the most fun part, they got to try new healthy foods.

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A. is enjoying the demonstration.

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B. & J. eagerly await their sample meals…

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…and relish the new dishes when they arrive!

Bhavani shared some recipes for healthy cooking:

Wilted Kale Salad with Pepitas, Pomegranate Seeds & Lemon Dressing

  • 2 bunches of kale, red, green or dinosaur
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1/4 cup raw pepita seeds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsely
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • pomegranate seeds
  • coarse salt

Remove the stems of the kale and discard in compost. Chop the leaves into small pieces and put into large bowl. Squeeze 1/2 lemon onto the kale, drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil and sprinle 1/2 tsp of salt over. Massage the kale leaves for 3 minutes, until softened. Add the grated carrots, parsely, pomegranate seeds and pepita seeds. Make a salad dressing with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with avocado right before serving.

Watermelon, Mint and Feta Salad

  • 1 medium seedless watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb feta cheese, cute into small cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • a medium bunch of mint, chopped

Drain 1″ watermelon cubes for 1/2 hour with a bowl underneath (this way you can drink the juice!). Whisk together the white balsamic vinegar, oilive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Mix the drained watermelon, feta, onion and mint in a large bowl. Chill in refrigerator. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and toss right before serving.

 

Happy Father’s Day from NSSA!

i Jun 19th No Comments by

Last week was a flurry of activity and craft projects, with both Barell and Adult Services classrooms working on Father’s Day gifts!

Tori put together an “I Spy Aquarium” shaker jar, with colorful sensory beads, glitter and miniature sea animals. Students selected their animals of choice, counted out how many beads they wanted, and selected blue or green glitter to fill their jars with. The sensory beads were a big hit with students and staff alike!

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The Adult Services classes made homemade barbecue sauce for Dad.  Clients measured out and mixed the ingredients and then bottled them in jars with a sauce brush and label.

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We hope all the dads out there had a great day…and enjoyed their handmade Father’s Day gifts!

Congratulations, Graduates!

i Jun 15th No Comments by

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June 12, 2017 was Graduation Day here at NSSA. We had two fine young men graduate from the Martin C. Barell school program…in preparation of their entrance into NSSA’s Adult Services program.

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Teachers, families and district personnel have all done a great job in preparing the graduates for their next step at NSSA.

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Through job sampling or training, the Adult Services program works to ensure that the adults we serve are able to grow and develop to their maximum potential. Our primary concern for the adults we serve is that they continue to grow to their greatest level of independence through employment and skills required of daily living.

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Families were beaming with pride as students accepted their certificates from teachers and school district personnel.

We wish the graduates every success in the next phase of their lives.

Congratulations, graduates!

NSSA’s Special Olympians

i May 31st No Comments by

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On May 20, 2017, Bethpage High School hosted the Special Olympics Spring Games North.

The Special Olympics is an international organization that provides sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness and participate with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

NSSA is proud to have a Barell student as well as an Adult Services client participate in the event.

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N., a student in the Martin C. Barell School, took the bronze medal in the 50 meter run and the gold in the softball throw! Way to go!

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J., one of NSSA’s Adult Services clients, also won two medals – bronze and silver – in the 50-yard-dash and softball toss. Congratulations, J!

Exercise is important for all people, regardless of age or ability. We’re so pleased to see our students and clients participating in events like the Special Olympics, as well as horseback riding, kayaking, badminton, running and more.

Drumroll, Please!

i Apr 28th No Comments by

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Jack Licitra of South Bay Arts is passionate about music. NSSA was fortunate to be introduced to Jack by a staff member and now he’s bringing his love of music to our students and clients.

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Jack came to the Martin C. Barell School in April with enough bongos in tow for each class to have a 15-minute trial session. From this brief trial, NSSA staff were able to determine which students and clients would enjoy and benefit from ongoing drum classes at Jack’s studio.

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Some clients and students have enjoyed music classes in the past and they have been used as reinforcers for skill acquisition and appropriate behavior. It’s also a good group activity and practice for following group directions and remaining on task. Music classes are also an excellent way to teach and develop new leisure interests and skills that our students and clients can enjoy during their down time.

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The happy faces and enthusiastic drumming indicated that this exercise was a beneficial one and some of our students and clients will be attending and enjoying future drum classes at South Bay Arts in Bayport.

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Friends & Family Celebrate NSSA’s 25th Annual Dinner For Our Children

i Apr 19th No Comments by

Our April 1 Dinner Dance was no joke, as over 400 guests attended the annual fundraising event. Old and new friends helped celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary at Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck, NY.

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There was dancing….

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Games of chance with wonderful prizes.

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We celebrated two graduations from The Martin C. Barell School program into NSSA’s Adult Services program.

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Executive Director Nicole Weidenbaum and Event Chairperson Paul Raguso inspired generosity in the crowd and we were able to raise more money than ever before. Thank you to everyone!

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Overall, people just had a wonderful time celebrating NSSA and helping to support our programs and services.

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Thank you to all the amazing, hardworking people who brought this event to life, as well as our generous sponsors:

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If you would like to receive an invitation to next year’s Dinner For Our Children, or any of our events, email dinnerdance@nssa.net.

Dancing the Night Away with NSSA

i Jan 13th No Comments by

Smithtown High School East once again hosted a Winter Dance for NSSA students and clients who were over 14 years old.

The cafeteria was decorated with a winter theme, refreshments were served by Smithtown High School students, DJ Matt Figuccio kept the dance floor jumping…and there were smiles everywhere.

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Thank you to Smithtown High School East with providing our students and clients with another evening of fun and friends!