Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day, which is part of Teacher Appreciation Week, the first full week in May of each year.
The National Education Association describes National Teacher Day “as a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.” And NSSA is more than proud to honor our teachers, who are kind, patient, dedicated and SO hard-working.
Thank you for all you do!
On April 2, 2019, World Autism Awareness Day, 10-year-old Jake Prince got up in front of his entire school at Waverly Park Elementary School and gave a presentation about autism to his fellow students.
Jake’s younger brother has autism and attends the Martin C. Barell School in Commack, NY.
Jake’s presentation was called “What is Autism” and shared what it’s like living with a brother with autism. When he asked the audience if there were any questions, one girl asked, “Do you ever wish your brother didn’t have autism?” His very mature and poised response was, “I wish NOBODY had any disabilities!”
All during the week, Jake has been reading to his 5th grade classmates from Meet LISA at NSSA, a book featuring stories inspired by those served by NSSA, and selling Autism Awareness bracelets. His bracelet sales raised $477 which he donated to his brother’s school!
Jake is a wonderful example of today’s youth that is being raised to be compassionate and accepting of differences in people in the world around them. Young men like Jake give us hope that the future can be a better place.
We’re so proud of Jake that we’re officially declaring him an NSSA Champion!
On November 30, the Smithtown High School East Leadership Club visited The Martin C. Barell School to learn more about NSSA’s school program. For seven years, Smithtown High School East students have been hosting dances for our students and clients at their school, so we have an excellent long-standing relationship with these amazing students.
When the Smithtown students arrived in the morning they were given a tour of the school by Stacey Agosta, NSSA Senior Behavior Intervention Specialist, then split up into smaller groups to spend time interacting with students in their different classrooms. Our teachers explained what the students were currently working on so the high schoolers were able to participate in the activities. They also brought craft projects to do with the students.
Afterwards, members of the Leadership Club shared a pizza lunch with the NSSA friends they have made over the years at their school dances.
We are so grateful to the students of Smithtown High School East for taking an ongoing and active role in the lives of our students and adult program participants at NSSA. We look forward to more wonderful events that these students host each year for their friends at NSSA.
From the time students and clients arrive at NSSA in the morning til the time they leave, their days are filled with learning, job sampling in the community, recreation and physical activity.
NSSA offers Parent Training workshops to help foster learning with challenges at home. In-home respite, a Saturday recreation program and a week-long summertime day camp are available to provide them with enjoyment, structure and leisure activities.
NSSA’s reach also extends beyond our walls with outreach in the form of consultation services to Long Island school districts and twice-yearly Adventureland events and training workshops for teaching professionals.
Your support allows NSSA to offer valuable school, adult and outreach programs such as these. Will you join our Give $5 Tag 5 Campaign for #GivingTuesday on November 27 to help NSSA raise money and spread awareness?
Crisp autumn air and colorful fall foliage mean one thing – it’s time for NSSA’s Annual Halloween Party for students, clients and staff! The day began with bears, pigs, a dinosaur, The Back Street Boys and more entering the building in full costume.
Students went trick-or-treating from room to room asking for treats, waiting their turn and showing off their costumes.
But Halloween is not just about costumes and candy. The gym was turned into Halloween Hall for the annual party. Adult clients manned stations where students took turns making pumpkin slime, cheez-doodle jack-o-lanterns, q-tip skeletons and more.
At least one teacher got mummified by her students with toilet paper!
The grand finale of the party was the pinata where everyone took a swing or two at the hanging pumpkin. There were a few tentative swipes and then one decisive swing brought the pinata crashing to the floor!
Teachers, Direct Support Professionals and other administrative staff showed off their creativity in the costume contest–and while everyone is a winner–The Banana Splits got the most votes. Congratulations, Classroom 4!
anks to the hard work of Principal Deb Kennedy and all the teachers and staff for creating such a fun day for students and staff!
Classroom 1 headed to De Lea Sod Farms in Elwood, NY to pick pumpkins in preparation for Halloween. It was a crisp, clear morning and the students had the pumpkin patch all to themselves.
While they were having a brief break from their classroom day, they were still working on things like following group and individual direction and practicing waiting in line to make their purchases.
Some students chose the biggest pumpkins they could find!
While others chose more manageable sizes.
Not sure who had a better time – students or teachers!
Lugging pumpkins is hard work, but somebody’s gotta do it!
Pumpkin picking was a perfect break after a morning of classroom work for Classroom 1!
It was Spirit Week here at NSSA! The last week before program breaks we like to have a little fun and dress in a different theme for each day.
Monday was Character Day, where students, clients and staff dress wear a logo tee representing a favorite character.
Everyone’s favorite, Tie Dye Day, was Tuesday.
Some recreation time at Adult Services.
S. using the postage meter to finish the Adventureland flyer mailing. Are you coming? It’s Friday, September 28, from 6:30-9:30pm.
Through a grant awarded by Autism Speaks, NSSA was able to host a two-day workshop entitled Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders for School District personnel from Long Island school districts.
R. washing veggies for the Salad Shoppe.
Adults do a yoga class for some relaxation.
Classroom 1 went to an end-of-year party at a classmate’s house!
And a last day of summer program field trip to Adventureland for some adult clients.
We had a great, active summer here at NSSA and now it’s time for a program break. Hope everyone enjoys their time off…and we’ll see you back here in September!
Every year NSSA holds a special “Sibling Day,” when families and friends are invited to spend a fun day with students, clients and staff. Siblings have a chance to interact with their own brothers and sisters, and to meet up with other siblings and family members like themselves.
It was another scorcher last week for this year’s Sibling Day, but students, clients and families made the best of it by playing on the giant bouncy waterslide, splashing in the pool and lunching in the shade.
The playground was put to good use, as well.
The NSSA Parent Association treated students and clients to a delicious lunch from the Eat Me, Drink Me food truck, while staff enjoyed a hero and accompanying sides.
Families and friends mingled and enjoyed watching the children (even the adult ones!) having a fun day.
Welcome to another week at NSSA. Here’s a little of what’s been going on around here.
The face you make when you see your buddy wearing the same shirt as you!
Who doesn’t love bubbles?
Classroom 2’s littlest yogis.
NSSA’s annual Sibling Day is always a lot of fun for families, students, clients and staff. Here’s a sneak peek….you’ll see more in a full blog post next week!
And that brings us to the end of another week at NSSA – join us again next week!
NSSA’s Education Program, The Martin C. Barell School, has four classrooms. Classroom 3 is the second oldest class, with seven students ranging in age from 16 to 17. They spend their days doing classroom work both individually and as a group, doing jobs in the community, and engaging in recreational activities, such as yoga, going in the pool, spending time on the computer, or relaxing in a beanbag chair in a quiet corner of the classroom. That said, every day is a little bit different…so let’s follow the students of Classroom 3 around for one day and see what their actual day is like.
This particular Wednesday started out drippy and steamy as the students arrived at school by bus.
They put their belongings away in their lockers then went to their classroom where they worked independently on tasks such as filing, counting, following written instructions, etc.
Early in the morning they headed to one of their job sites at Outback. They go well before opening time to clear off tables, wipe them down then re-set them with menu cards and folded napkins. They fly through their tasks but still do a really good job.
Great job, guys!
After finishing their work at Outback, everyone got back in the van to return to school. A few students went right back out to another job site with Classroom 4 and a couple headed to Elija Farm for a meditation class.
When everyone returned a little later, they all met in the gym for yoga with Miss Danielle. The practice involves following instructions, maintaining positions and breathing.
By this point in their busy day everyone was ready for some savasana!
After lunch the students had leisure time, during which they can go on the computer or iPad or do puzzles or other favorite classroom pastimes.
Then it’s Smartboard time where students work on taking turns, calendar skills, phonics-based learning and more.
After their long day the students got to relax until it was time to get on their bus, either having a snack or using a computer or iPad.
And then it was time to go home after a very full and productive day!
Hope you enjoyed spending the day with Classroom 3!