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.
Teachers, families and district personnel have all done a great job in preparing the graduates for their next step at NSSA.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The students and faculty of Smithtown High School East, once again, hosted an evening of dancing, food and fun at their Hollywood-themed event for NSSA adult clients, consultation students and Barell students aged 14 and up.
Attendees arrived by walking up a red carpet and into a gym filled with high school students dressed up and ready to dance with our students and clients.
It’s so great to see our students and clients having a great time with the Smithtown East students and one another.
The high school also served a fun pizza dinner that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Many thanks to Stacey Agosta for helping to set this up, DJ Matt Figuccio for the dance music, NSSA teachers for accompanying their students and Smithtown High School East for their graciousness and hospitality in putting this event on for us once again.
The spirit of our loyal supporters prevailed on May 6, 2017, as the day of the 11th Annual Jack’s Run began with drizzly grey skies and whipping winds…and still we had a full turnout of racers and walkers and volunteers!
Volunteers arrived at the venue hours ahead of race time to mark the course, set-up the post-race breakfast, organize registration and prepare the water stations. We were happy to see so many enthusiastic registrants show up in spite of the gloomy weather and run the 5k in support of NSSA and autism awareness.
Members of the football team of the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY were there along with their coach to run in support as well.
The Nesquik Bunny was on hand for photo opps and to give out prizes at the Nesquik booth.
Many NSSA and Barell families and staff showed up to participate and join in the race day fun!
The winner of the race was cheered to victory in a time of 17:32. Congratulations to Tim Cote!
The woman’s winner was Julia Savacool with a time of 22:33.
We are so grateful to everyone who participated in the day.
At this year’s Jack’s Run, NSSA presented a plaque to Ondine Slone and Mike Miranda in recognition of their ongoing generosity and dedication to this event and to NSSA.
Thank you to everyone involved who helped the 11th Annual Jack’s Run run as smoothly as it did – volunteers, runners, family members and staff. And of course our generous sponsors and donors.
And special thanks to Trophy Depot of New Hyde Park for the many medals we awarded to all our wonderful race winners!
Thanks everyone, see you next year!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There was dancing….
Games of chance with wonderful prizes.
We celebrated two graduations from The Martin C. Barell School program into NSSA’s Adult Services program.
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!
Overall, people just had a wonderful time celebrating NSSA and helping to support our programs and services.
Thank you to all the amazing, hardworking people who brought this event to life, as well as our generous sponsors:
If you would like to receive an invitation to next year’s Dinner For Our Children, or any of our events, email email@example.com.
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.
Thank you to Smithtown High School East with providing our students and clients with another evening of fun and friends!
2016 ended at NSSA with a flurry of holiday activity.
From the end-of-year luncheon hosted by the Parent Association, complete with pizza, live music by Fish and dancing for staff, students and clients…
To a holiday craft led by Tori Ardito…
Thank you to Tori for leading the students in this fun craft project!
And…there was even a surprise visitor…
Thanks for stopping by, Santa!!!
It was a busy but fun and festive end to the year…and we look forward to more good times in the year ahead!
Several years ago we made the acquaintance of a darling young man named Tyler Fazzari. Tyler arrived at NSSA, shortly after celebrating his 10th birthday, to donate almost $1000 that he had raised for us through his organization BirthdayBack. BirthdayBack is dedicated to inspiring people to use their birthdays as an opportunity to give back. It started with Tyler’s desire to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy and has since developed into something much greater. Since starting the organization, Tyler and BirthdayBack have raised over $50,000 for various local organizations!
In recognition of his generous achievements, we nominated him for the “Leader of Tomorrow” honor at Long Island’s Association for Fundraising Professional’s Annual Philanthropy Day. We were so pleased and proud to hear that he would be the recipient of the award!
We would like to share Tyler’s good news and to say THANK YOU again for all that he has done for NSSA, and for so many others. We are deeply grateful for Tyler’s friendship.
At this time of year, we remember all the people and organizations that have been a friend to us by making a donation, raising money on our behalf, volunteering at an event, or spreading the word about NSSA and autism awareness. We are so thankful and grateful for the wonderful people who support our organization and mission.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends!
NSSA Adult Clients were fortunate to spend a crisp autumn morning last week at ELIJA CSA, a ten-acre farm on the beautiful North Shore of Long Island. The farm is a sustainable, non-profit farm committed to using environmentally responsible practices to raise high quality, organically grown produce.
The ELIJA CSA is dedicated to enriching the health and wellness of our community by providing an innovative community supported agriculture (CSA) program that offers dynamic learning opportunities to its diverse membership. On this particular day, NSSA and Elija Adult clients were planting garlic. Rows were tilled in advance by hand, then clients were instructed how to plant the garlic bulbs (pointy end up!) without stepping onto the freshly turned soil.
Clients took a break when needed and just enjoyed the fresh air.
There was even a mascot!
And everyone seemed to enjoy their work in the beautiful sunshine.
We can’t wait to visit the ELIJA CSA farm again soon!