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Each December The NSSA Parent Association hosts a holiday party complete with pizza, dessert and live music.
Teachers and direct support professionals enjoy the festive atmosphere while students and clients enjoy lunch and dancing.
Some of the adult clients have been practicing for weeks to put on a Holiday Singalong, led by teacher assistant Shelley.
Teachers got in the act, too.
And everyone else came to watch and sing along!
As if that wasn’t enough, on Friday, SANTA surprised the boys in Classroom 1 by showing up with gifts for everyone in the room!
It was quite the way to end 2017…and now classrooms are empty and quiet waiting to be filled again after New Year’s with happy excited voices and activity.
Here’s a little video for you…have a Happy New Year.
Everyone looks forward to Halloween at NSSA. Students, clients and staff have fun dressing in costume for the day’s activities.
The Halloween party is a big success with games, activities and treats. Adult clients do a great job running the different stations. And this year some of the younger classrooms went trick-or-treating in the administrative offices.
Students kept busy with games and activities.
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.
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.
They got right to work!
Happy faces at the register.
They had lunch in the break room and then returned to their duties in the store.
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.
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.
A. is enjoying the demonstration.
B. & J. eagerly await their sample meals…
…and relish the new dishes when they arrive!
Bhavani shared some recipes for healthy cooking:
Wilted Kale Salad with Pepitas, Pomegranate Seeds & Lemon Dressing
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, at NSSA it’s Halloween!
The annual Halloween party was a smashing success…
Hope everyone had as much fun as we did on Halloween!
Jason Harris, long-time NSSA consultation student, made a touching presentation today at The Martin C. Barell School when he presented his new video “Jason Harris-Transitioning from High School” and officially ended his time with NSSA and announced his newest venture as a student at Vaughn College of Aeronautic Engineering, Aviation and Technology.
Jason’s friend Chris, an NSSA Adult Service client, began the presentation with a talk about some of his own experiences at NSSA.
NSSA’s Transition Coordinator Jacquie Frangoulis introduced Jason and congratulated him on all his hard work at achieving his goals.
After the video presentation Jason removed his NSSA ID card and replaced it with his new Vaughn College ID.
Students and staff congratulate Jason on his exciting new future.
Morgan Kauffman, who has known and worked with Jason for many years, was on-hand to celebrate with him as well.
Everyone at NSSA is so proud of Jason and excited to watch him take the next steps into his future – Congratulations, Jason!
And here is Jason’s story…..