PS 373R October PTA Meeting – All Sites are Welcome!

P.S. 373R

PTA Meeting


Tuesday October 13, 2015

9:30 am @

P.S. 373R @ P.S. 58

77 Marsh Avenue – 10314


Executive Board Officers:

President                                                                    Julia Luppino

Treasurer                                                                  Jessica Pizzuto

Recording Secretary                                           Antoinette Strikcani


Please join us for our monthly PTA meeting.


We will be holding our SLT (School Leadership Team) election this month, if you would like to apply for a parent member position please forward your application or just come to the meeting.

Nominations can be taken from the floor but nominee must be present.


Maryalice Fegeley, Regional Coordinator from Parent to Parent of NYS will be our guest speaker after the Election.

Take this opportunity to meet her as she presents and discusses

MSC’s for Families


While supporting your child’s school it’s a great way to meet other parents and share information.


We look forward to seeing you!



– School Spirit Apparel sale deadline is October 15th.

– Catalog order forms are due back by October 16th.

– Our next Restaurant Fundraiser will be at October 20th at TGIF (additional details and flyer to follow).


If you would like to receive PTA correspondence via email in addition to by backpack please send your email address along with your child’s name and site to Jessica Pizzuto at


Any questions or concerns please contact our PTA President, Julia Luppino at or 347-729-3895.

2015 Family Resource and Transition Fair

If you have a child with Special Needs – Please Join Us for Information on Services in Staten Island!
Family Resource and
Transition Fair
                                                                                                                                                                             Sponsored by
                                                                                                            The Richard H. Hungerford School
                                                                                      The Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council
Friday ~ October 30, 2015 ~ 9:00 am-1:00 pm
College of Staten Island (Center for the Arts)
2800 Victory Blvd., Building 1P
Staten Island, NY  10314

Browse and meet with representatives from over 50 agency providers and community organizations. Speak with agencies that provide services for children, teens, and adults. Learn more about after school transition programs, recreation opportunities, respite services, camps, and service eligibility. Attend one or more of the informative workshops.

Join us to gain vital information for your loved one and much more!

FREE CHILDCARE AVAILABLE (PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED) For more information or to register for child care,

contact the SIDDC Office
(718) 983-5276/

Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council (SIDDC)

Click onto the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council (SIDDC) Website for services in S.I.

  • Established in 1969, the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council (SIDDC) assists in the planning, promotion and development of services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their family members.  An association of self-advocates, family members, service providers, professionals and other interested individuals. The SIDDC works together in an effort to ensure the quality of life for Staten Islanders with special needs by sharing relevant information and advocacy.
  • Monthly meetings are held at the Elizabeth A. Connelly Center (930 Willowbrook Road, Bldg. 41A) and include guest speakers/special presentations to keep members informed about current issues.  In addition, each of the SIDDC standing committees provide reports, which highlight the work and advocacy efforts being conducted for the purpose of educating and better informing all interested parties on issues and trends impacting individuals with developmental disabilities.

  • The SIDDC also ensures that public and elected officials are informed on the concerns and needs of the people we represent through quarterly Legislative Information Exchange and an annual Legislative Breakfast.  A Family Resource and Transition Fair is held each year, which provides a forum for relevant information regarding available supports and services and development in the field.

Do You Need Information on NYC DOE Atlantic Bus Bankruptcy?


bus stop sign Effective December 31, the Atlantic Bus Company and affiliated companies (Amboy, Staten Island Bus and Atlantic Queens Bus) are no longer providing school bus service for the NYC Department of Education. All bus routes operated by Atlantic Bus Company in the past will now be operated by other bus companies. Normal bus service for General Education and Special Education students will start after Winter Recess on January 2, 2014.

Visit the School and Student Transportation Search page on the OPT website to find contact information on the bus company that will now provide service for your child’s route, and to confirm the route number that your child is assigned. As these bus companies begin providing service, please be aware of the following:

  • The name painted on the bus may be different, or the bus may still be identified as an Atlantic Express Company bus; please check the route number in the window to confirm that your child is being placed on the correct bus;
  • You may know the driver and/or attendant on the bus, or the driver and/or attendant may be new;
  • The bus should arrive at the regular stop at the regular time. However, if a bus is late please contact OPT at 718-392-8855 as soon as possible to report the lateness and to find out about the status of the route.

You can view this memorandum in other languages:

Find Your Child’s Bus Stop or Route

Which bus route has my child been assigned? If you know your child’s student ID and birthday, you can get the answer to this and other questions on the Transportation Search Page.

If you don’t know your child’s student ID, call The Office of Pupil Transportation at 718-392-8855.



December 2013 Calendar of Events from the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council

Date Time Event
Front Door Information Sessions  Various Dates & Times OPWDD ~ Front Door Access to Services Information Sessions for Individuals and Families

12/04/2013 10am-12pm Parent to Parent New York, Inc. ~Aspergers Support Group 2013DECEMBERflyer.pdf
12/05/2013 6pm-8pm Eden II:Parents as Partners ~ ABA & Behavioral Strategies Parents_as_Partners_2013-2014_Flyer.pdf
 12/06/2013 6:30pm-8:00pm Parent to Parent New York, Inc. ~Sibling Support Group 2013DECEMBERflyer.pdf
12/08/2013  9am-2pm Sensory Santa Free Event ~ Hosted by Person Centered Care ServicesPCCS_Photo_with_Santa.jpg
12/11/2013 9:30am-11:30am FSSAC Meeting @ 930 Willowbrook Road, Building 12G
 12/11/2013  10am-12pm  Parent to Parent New York, Inc. ~ Mothers Support Group 2013DECEMBERflyer.pdf
 12/11/2013  7pm-9pm  Parent to Parent, NY Inc. ~ Fathers Support Group 2013DECEMBERflyer.pdf
12/12/2013 7pm-9pm Parent to Parent NY, Inc. ~ Workshop: Does the IEP Meet Your Child’s Needs?2013DECEMBERflyer.pdf
 12/12/2013 10am-12:30pm YAI Autism Family Support Series ~ Behavior Management yai_fs_series.pdf
12/13/2013 9:30am-11:30am SIDDC General Council Meeting ~ Celebrating Achievements @ 930 Willowbrook Road, Building 41A SIDDC_Flyer_Dec..pdf
12/16/2013 10am- 12pm Willowbrook Property Planning Meeting @ AVSP, 49 Cedar Grove
12/18/2013 9:30am-11:30am Health & Clinical Committee Meeting @ Elizabeth Pouch Center 657 Castleton Ave.
 12/18/2013 9:30am-11:30am Education Committee Meeting ~ 930 Willowbrook Road, Building 41A Conference Room
12/18/2013 10am- 12pm Parent to Parent New York, Inc. ~Aspergers Support Group 2013DECEMBERflyer.pdf
12/20/2013 10am-12pm Parent to Parent New York, Inc. ~Mothers Support Group 2013DECEMBERflyer.pdf


IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION! Our dates have changed. We are unable to meet on Tuesday, April 23rd. Our next class is Tuesday, April 30th! 

REVISED Workshop Schedule:

  • Tuesday, April 9th – Welcome Dances

  • Tuesday, April 16th – Rhythm Day

  • Tuesday, April 30th – Story Dancing

  • Tuesday, May 7th– Hula Hoop Day

  • Tuesday, May 14th – Freestyle Day

Contact Person: Virginia Carmona, Parent Coordinator


Telephone: (718) 816-8897 and press “1″ then “3″

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark Producing Autism-Friendly Show


Spiderman 3

Spiderman 3 (Photo credit: Oscar J Baeza)



Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is that Broadway musical version of Spider-Man
that was plagued by accidents and legal problems.

Now that things are running much smoother for the production, they have
announced they will be performing a first-ever autism-friendly production!

The show is going to seriously cut down on things like strobe lights and
loud, harsh sounds that could really bother an autistic person.

There will also be autism experts staffing quiet areas inside the theater.
They’ll have bean bag chairs and coloring books for anyone who is
overwhelmed by the show and needs a break.

The director of the Theatre Development Fund, a nonprofit that provides
access to live theater, said:

“We’re grateful to the show’s producers, management and creative staff
and crew for accommodating the Autism Theatre Initiative and uniting with us
to make the show an unforgettable experience for all.”

The nonprofit bought every single matinee ticket there was for the April
27th show at Foxwoods Theatre and will offer them at a discount to autistic
kids and adults.

Tickets will range in price from $35-$80, so if you have an autistic family
member, friend or have autism yourself, grab a ticket and go see one heck of
a play!




Respect For All Week February 11-15

Respect for All Week begins February 11. Schools will have the opportunity to highlight and build upon ongoing diversity programs and instruction in schools and embark upon new projects that engage students in meaningful lessons, such as preventing bias-based harassment, intimidation and bullying. Letters have been sent to school communities along with a flyer for posting. Additional resources are available on the DOE’s website.

Advocates for Children Workshop Series


Winter & Spring 2013 Free Workshop Series AFC’s Parent Training Information Center is offering the following free workshops:

  • February 28, 2013, 6 pm  Turning 5: The Transition from Preschool Special Education to Kindergarten
  • April 4, 2013, 6 pm Behavioral Issues and School Discipline
  • May 2, 2013, 6 pm Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act:  An Alternative to Special Education?

 All workshops will be held at 151 West 30th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001.  

 For information or to register, contact Joanne Buccellato, or (212) 822-9505.  Space is limited.

Important Information for Families of Pre-K Students with Disabilities (Students “Turning Five”)

Important Information for Families of Pre-K Students with Disabilities (Students “Turning Five”)

Later this month, the DOE will host kindergarten orientation meetings for families of preschool students born in 2008 who currently receive special education services. Translations of the material below and additional information is available on the Transitioning to Kindergarten page of the DOE’s website. A schedule of meeting dates and resources can be found in the links below:

2013 GED Campaign to Finish!

Finish your GED in 2013

In 2014, a new high school equivalency test will take its place in New York State. To avoid losing your GED course work, you’re encouraged to participate in the 2013 GED® Campaign to Finish to prepare to complete or retake your GED test before January 1, 2014. For more information, you can direct people to call 718-557-2525 or text GED to 30644.

NAMIWalk 2013! Support for families and Individuals Living with Mental Illness

NAMIWalk 2013!

NAMIWalks NYC 2013 will be held on Saturday, May 11 at the South Street Seaport.

The 5K Walk route begins at 10 AM. Walkers will travel over the Brooklyn Bridge and back to the Seaport for a Post-Walk Wellness Fair with activities such as free massage, yoga, basic health screenings, raffle prizes, and more!

Join over 5,000 New Yorkers in the city’s only Walk to support mental health and fight the stigma people affected by mental illness and their families face every day. Proceeds fund NAMI’s free support and education programs for families and individuals living with mental illness.

Visit our Official Walk Page

Click Here to Register!

About NAMI-NYC Metro

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, Inc. (NAMI-NYC Metro) is a grassroots organization that provides support, education, and advocacy for families and individuals of all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds who live with mental illness. As the largest affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, they work collaboratively with our state and national affiliates, and with other stakeholders in the community, to educate the public, advocate for legislation, reduce stigma, and improve the mental health system.

Reelabilites Film Festival 2013 at the JCC

JCC of Staten Island

Joan and Allan Bernikow Building 1466 Manor Rd Staten Island, NY, 10314

Admission: $10

Saturday, March 9th


6:30 PM Wine and Cheese


7:15 PM  Feature Film: Wampler’s Ascent  (77 min)

Steve Wampler, a man with severe form of cerebral palsy ascends the biggest rock face in the world, El Captain in Yosemite National Park. 20,000 pull-ups, 5 nights 6 days on the sheer face of the mountain and, with only the use of one limb, this is a story of terror and triumph. Steve Wampler’s story is a American feel-good tale which will leave the viewer inspired and happy. 



Sunday, March 10th


2:00 PM Short Film: Willowbrook (16 min)

In 1964, a young pediatrician begins his residency at Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, only to discover that the institution is conducting Army-funded experiments on developmentally disabled children. Based on true events, Willowbrook addresses the awful conditions in which people with developmental disabilities were warehoused and the controversial research experiments that took place in the 1960s.


2:30 PM Feature Film: The Importance of Tying Your Own Shoes (110 min)

Alex’s high opinion of himself isn’t backed up by reality as he is unemployed and having trouble with his girlfriend. When he finally gets a job with the local council/municipality of Hudiksvall his life is about to change. Suddenly Alex finds himself the leader of a local theatre group of people with learning difficulties. Through their work together, Alex comes to appreciate that we all have our own talents which can grow if given the opportunity and support. “How many cranberries are in the world?” is based on the work of the Glada Hudik Theatre whose performances have met with success in Sweden and internationally since it was formed in 1996.

GRACE Foundation Weekly Update – Information for Families w/Children with Autism

  • CLUB L.I.F.E. (Learning, Independence, Fun, Empower) Location: 264 Watchogue Road Friday Nights 6:00pm-9:00pm This is a socialization program for teens and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Participants will plan a weekly schedule of activities under the supervision of trained staff. Activities include but are not limited to social interaction with peers, on site movies, video games, seasonal activities, community service and daily living skills.
  • MEDICAID SERVICE COORDINATION The Grace Foundation provides Medicaid Service Coordination. Medicaid Service Coordination is a Medicaid State Plan service provided by the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) which assists persons with developmental disabilities and mental retardation in gaining access to necessary services and supports appropriate to the needs of the individual. For assistance and further information please contact Lina Suarez at 718-983-3800.
  • PARENT SUPPORT GROUPSREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Support groups meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at 264 Watchogue Road. Please contact Dolores Ragazzo at the Grace Office 718-983-3800 to register.
  • RECREATION PROGRAMS: For additional information or to register for any of the recreation programs, please call Dawn Beacham at the GRACE office 718-983-3800.
  • BOWLING AT SHOWPLACE located at 141 East Service Road -off Victory Blvd. Sundays, 10:00am – 11:30am.GYM PROGRAM – Saturdays Saturdays. P.S. 55, 54 Osborn Street, Staten Island. Please call the GRACE office at 718-983-3800 for further information. Session 1 – 9:15am-11:15pm Session 2 – 11:30am- 1:30pm
  • LITTLE LEAGUESundays Great Kills Little League, Greaves Avenue 10:00am-12:00pm
  • SWIMMING – Saturdays Elizabeth Connelly Center Therapeutic Pool 930 Willowbrook Road
Medical form is required from the Elizabeth Connelly Center pool.
Please call the GRACE office at 718-983-3800 for further information.
  • Mother’s Night Out – Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. – Jimmy Max Restaurant, 280 Watchogue Road – $25.00 per person R.S.V.P. GRACE office: 718-983-3800 

Letter from Advocates for Children about NYC SCHOOL BUSING ISSUES

Student MetroCard (Grades: 7-12) (face)

Student MetroCard (Grades: 7-12) (face) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear friends,

As you all know, New York City’s school bus drivers are striking.  We wrote you a few weeks ago urging you to follow the story and get updates from the DOE on alternative options for families that rely on yellow bus service to travel to and from school.  AFC is continuing to push the Department of Education for a solution that works for all of our youth, but we wanted to write now to make sure that you are aware of some more specific resources available to help get your children to school during the strike.

  • If you don’t know yet, and need to determine if your child’s bus route has been disrupted by the strike, see here.
  • For general information about the use of MetroCards and reimbursement for driving or taking a taxi or other car service see here.  A few things to note about these options:
    • MetroCards are available for all students who use yellow bus services through school offices. 
    • MetroCards are available for some parents of students who use yellow bus services to allow them to accompany their children to and from school. 
      • Parents of all preschool and all school-age children with IEPs are eligible.
      • Parents of general education students in grades K-6 are eligible. 
    • Parents of students in grades K-6 who receive yellow bus services will be reimbursed for driving costs at a rate of 55 cents per mile upon completion of reimbursement forms.
    • Parents of students in grades K-6 who receive yellow bus services may also be reimbursed for cab fares upon completion of reimbursement forms. 
    • Families of students who are eligible for yellow bus services who cannot utilize public transportation and cannot afford to pay carfare costs up front and then seek reimbursement should reach out to their school administrator or CSE for further assistance.  If the family qualifies for free or reduced price lunch and the child receives specialized transportation, protocols have been set up to arrange to have families’ fees for car services assigned to and paid by the DOE.  A list of car service providers is available on the DOE website or by calling the Office of Pupil Transportation’s Customer Service number at (718) 392-8855. Families who can demonstrate financial hardship regardless of Title 1 status should reach out to their schools as well. If that is not successful, contact your Committee on Special Education.
    • Students who have IEPs that require paraprofessional or nursing support for transportation should continue to get those services.   Speak with your school directly about this.
    • Students who don’t generally have paraprofessional support on their yellow buses, who are traveling during the strike to school by subway or through a car service, and whose families are, for whatever reason, unable to accompany them, but who still may need an adult other than a parent to travel with them by train or by car, should also speak directly with their schools to determine what arrangements can be made under the circumstances.
  • For information specific to finding an accessible ride, go here
  • For a copy of the travel reimbursement forms in multiple languages, see here.

As always, we urge you to continue checking back on the DOE’s website or contacting 311 for updates and to advocate with your schools and central DOE offices if you need assistance (see here for AFC’s tips on advocacy).  If you are confused or encounter unexpected obstacles obtaining MetroCards, reimbursement, securing accessible transportation services, or arranging for other forms of assistance, contact the AFC Helpline at 1-866-427-6033 for information and assistance or send specific information about your case to us at


Advocates for Children of New York

The Citywide Council on Special Education November Public Meeting

The Citywide Council on Special Education

November Public Meeting

Talk to Officials from the Division of Students with Disabilities

Thursday, November 15, 2012

6:00 p.m.

The Institute for Basic Research (IBR)

1050 Forest Hill Road

Staten Island, NY 10314

Please keep comments to less than three minutes.

Translation services will be provided.

~ Refreshments will be available ~

Calendar of Events for PS 373R

  • Tuesday, November 13                    -PS 58 Parent Teacher Conference
  • Wednesday, November 14              -PS 58 Parent Teacher Conference
  • Thursday, November 15                  -School Spirit -T-Shirt Orders Due
  • Friday, November 16                       -Main/Mini Picture Day                                                      
  • Tuesday November 20                    -School Leadership Team Meeting – and -P861 Site Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Thurs 11/22 & Frid 11/23              –NO SCHOOL –Thanksgiving break
  • Tuesday November 27                    -Petrides Picture Day AM
  • Thursday November 29                  -PTA Fair set up – and -Main/Mini/Petrides Parent/Teacher conference rescheduled


Please link for the Con Ed Claim for Food and Medicine Spoilage resulting from loss of power during the Hurricane.

This applies to anyone who lost power during the storm long enough hours for refrigerated food and medicine to spoil.

Instructions are on the form. Questions should be addressed directly to Con Edison.-LINK HERE:  con ed claim form

Advocates for Children: Assistance Resources


Dear friends,

We hope you and your loved ones made it safely through Hurricane Sandy. As you know, the New York City public schools have experienced a number of disruptions due to the storm. We wanted to pass along the following information and resources to assist you and your families as students transition back to school.

School Closures and Relocations

The majority of New York City schools reopened today. A number of schools, however, sustained severe damage from the storm and remain closed. Those schools will be temporarily relocated, and the Department of Education says they will reopen to students on Wednesday, November 7. You can find a list of relocated schools, as well as the schools that will host them, here. In some instances, schools will be relocated across multiple sites. Additional schools remain closed today because they are serving as shelter sites or do not have power. Students in those schools can return on Wednesday, November 7. 

All schools will be closed on Tuesday, November 6 for Election Day.

For the most current information on school closures and relocations, visit the Department of Education’s website.

Students Living in Temporary Housing

Many families have been displaced by the storm and are currently staying with friends or relatives, or at a motel or shelter. These families are considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Under McKinney-Vento, homeless children residing outside their original school district have the right to continue to attend their school of origin OR enroll in a school closer to their temporary residence. 

Displaced elementary and middle school students who wish to attend the zoned school for their temporary residence can find their zoned school by visiting or calling 311. If there is no zoned school for an address, you should visit an enrollment office. To find the enrollment office nearest you, visit or call 311. All displaced high school students should visit an enrollment office if they would like to enroll at a high school that is closer to their new residence. Displaced students do not need to provide any documents in order to enroll.

For more information on students’ rights under the McKinney-Vento Act, visit the website of Advocates for Children’s New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS) at or call the NYS-TEACHS toll-free Helpline, 1-800-388-2014. 

Additional Resources

If you or your loved ones have been affected by Hurricane Sandy and are in need of assistance, you can register with FEMA for aid. To do so, call (800) 621-3362 or TTY (800) 462-7585 or register online at
The Red Cross has shelters throughout affected areas. Visit their website for a listing or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Distribution locations for food, water, and blankets can be found here
Information on Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available here
Additional information about the relief effort can be found at, and
For other questions related to the NYC schools, AFC will try to help. Call the Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline, 1-866-427-6033, Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 4 pm.

2012 Halloween Events in Staten Island: Pooch Parade, Spooktaculars and More!

  • “Spooktaculars,” Oct. 21, 5:30-9 p.m. at Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway, 718-815-0242; Oct. 26, 7 p.m. at St. George Theatre, 35 Hyatt St.; 718-442-2900; Oct. 26, 8 p.m.-midnight at The Renaissance, 2131 Hylan Blvd.; 718-354-9322 or 718-219-9564;  

  • “The 20th Annual El Dia de los Muertos Celebration,” 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 21, Bldg. P, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terr., Livingston; 718-425-3517 or 718-448-8348.

  • Haunted Houses by Corinne May Botz- Photo exhibit at Alice Austen House, 2 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island – starting Friday, October 19, 2012 11a.m. to 5p.m. For more than ten years, the Corinne May Botz searched for ghost stories in buildings across the United States. She ventured into these haunted places with both camera and tape recorder in hand; her photographs, accompanied by first-person narratives, reveal a rare glimpse into American interiors, both physical and psychological. $3.00 donation LINK HERE 
  • Autism Friendly Halloween Party – Saturday, October 27th, Noon to 4 p.m. at The Lake Club, 150 Clove Road T. (718) 442-3600 Pumpkin Painting, Scarecrow Making, Face Painting, Prizes, Costumed Characters and Much More! All Proceeds go to GRACE foundation. $5.00 per child, $15.00 per family (3 or more children).

  • Pooch Parade Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.2:00 p.m. Location: Hylan Boulevard and Cornelia Avenue (in Wolfes Pond Park), Staten Island Who will the winner be? Bring your pooch our for our fantastic Halloween party for pooches.  Prizes awarded for best costume, longest tail, and much more. This event is presented by Syfy. Syfy is the proud sponsor of 14 NYC Parks fall-themed events across the city, including Pumpkin Fest in Central Park on Saturday, October 27!


Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council October Meeting Schedules

  • Family Support Services Advisory Council Committee Monday, October 15th @9:30 am 930 Willowbrook Road Building 12G Conference Room RSVP:  Diane Peruggia
  • Health & Clinical Committee Wednesday, October 17th @9:30 am Always on the third Wednesday every month A Very Special Place 55 Quintard Street RSVP:  Dorothy Clark
  • Advocacy Committee No Meeting scheduled       Proposal Review Committee No meeting scheduled
  • Staten Island Disabilities Council General Council Meeting  Tuesday, October 23rd 9:00 am – 1:00 pm IBR1050 Forest Hill Rd Residential Quality of Life Presentation *Registration begins at 8:30 am RSVP:  Angela Edwards@  Note: this meeting replaces the original date on Friday 10/19
  • Service Coordination Committee Tuesday, October 23rd @ 2:30 pm A Very Special Place 55 Quintard St. RSVP: Cris Marchionne
  • Willowbrook Property Planning Committee  Wednesday, October 24th @ 9:30 am @College of Staten Island, Bldg. 1L Archives Section of the Library   RSVP:  Diane Buglioli @
  • Adult Services Committee Friday, October 26th @ 9:30 @ IBR 1050 Forest Hill Road  RSVP: Iris Goldberg
  • Education Committee Tuesday, October 30th @ 9:30 am @ Elizabeth Connelly Center 930 Willowbrook Road, Bldg. 41A Conference Room RSVP:  Laura Kennedy

Fundraiser at Hair Essentials for “Speaks for Autism” Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hair Essentials




Sunday, October 14, 2012

11:00am to 5:00pm

$20.00 Blow Out

Half of the proceeds will benefit THE GRACE Foundation of NY


Half of the proceeds will benefit Making Strides for Breast Cancer

Walk-ins or Appointments

Hair Essentials

3279 Richmond Avenue

(Greenridge Shopping Center)

Parents as Partners Week in NYC – Staten Island Meeting

Staten Island Federation Parent-Teacher Associations Meeting 

Monday, 10/15/2012 
9a.m. Sign-In

Petrides Complex, Building C
715 Ocean Terrace
Staten Island, NY 10301

Division of Family and Community Engagement Executive Director

Jesse Mojica will give opening remarks at this month’s Delegate Assembly

meetings to kick-off Parents as Partners week.



Having it All – Link to an Insightful Article About Having a Child with Special Needs

Marie Myung-Ok Lee is a novelist who teaches at Columbia University and writes for Slate, Salon, The New York Times, and The Guardian. Because of her child’s disabilities, the author will never have a tidy, peaceful life. But none of this keeps her from being happy — as long as she asks herself the right questions. Here is her story, which originally appeared in The Atlantic.

Please Link to the Story at YAI:

Message from NYC Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn: New Special Education Services for Students and Families

Dear New Yorker,

We are happy to announce that, at the urging of the NYC Council, the NYC Department of Education’s (DOE) Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners has created additional resources for families with questions about the citywide expansion of the special education reform initiative that will go into effect this coming September of 2012.

Under this initiative, every effort will be made to enroll students with special needs in their zoned community school.

To that end, the following services are being offered to help families get their questions answered in a timely manner.

Beginning August 1, 2012, families who need assistance with their children’s placements or have any questions, can do any of the following:

  1. Call a dedicated hotline for special education support at (718) 935-2007;
  1. Call 311 and ask for services for parents;
  1. Attend family office hours in nine sites across the five boroughs with day, evening, and weekend hours beginning July 31, 2012.  During office hours, a special education specialist will be available to help resolve families’ questions about the special education reform initiative and work to reach solutions to support their child(ren).  The complete schedule of dates, times and locations are attached and also available through the DOE’s family web site at:

For more information about these services, please feel free to contact Ms. Mathangi Subramanian in the Council’s Policy Division via e-mail at or via phone at 212-788-9194.

We believe that every student deserves a great education and that every family should have the information that they need to make sure that their children are in a positive, supportive, and healthy learning environment.

We hope you will help spread the word about these additional services.

Thank you!

English: This is a headshot photograph taken o...

English: This is a headshot photograph taken of New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn by her photographer William Alatriste (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Christine C. Quinn


NYC Council

Music & Dance at the Richmondtown Library on August 4, 2012

Come and experience music, rhythm and dance at the Richmondtown Library on Saturday, August 4, 2012 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The Council for the Arts and Humanities on Staten Island, in conjunction with Golden Gate Health Care and the Staten Island Multiple Sclerosis Group, will present an interactive music program featuring traditional Irish music from Linda Hickman and Doug Barr, with a presentation from Whistle OutLoud and sean nos stepdancing from Siobhan Butler. There will also be a program of Afro-Cuban dance and Afro-Puerto Rican rhythms featuring Jose Ocasio and his sister Nydia.

The Patterns of Percussion World Rhythm Band (from Golden Gate Health Care Facility) will perform a percussion piece. Everyone is invited to join master percussionist Jose Ocasio in a group drumming & rhythm session. Please come out to this free event and enjoy an afternoon of interactive musical traditions from different areas around the globe.

The Richmondtown Library is located on 200 Clarke Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10306. T. 718-668-0413

Funding for this program is made possible by a grant from the Christopher Reeves Foundation. Funding for the Golden Gate World Rhythm Band is made possible through Golden Gate Rehabilitation and Health Care.

Richmondtown Library

200 Clarke Avenue (at Amber St.)
Staten Island, NY 10306
(718) 668-0413

Fully accessible to wheelchairs

Autism Speaks Walk in Staten Island Staten Island, NY on October 28th 2012

Autism Speaks is holding its first walk in Staten Island, on October 28th 2012 at the Midland Beach Boardwalk (starting at the Turtle fountain).

They would like all agencies and providers to have a table along the walk route.
They would love if each agency/ school / families could organize a walk team!!! Please consider joining the walk to support Autism awareness.

The next Autism Speaks meeting is  Wednesday, July 25th  7:30pm at Holy Family.
They will be meeting at the Msgr. Glynn Comminity Center on 366 Watchogue Road.  Feel free to invite anyone who is interested.

The Kick Off Party has officially been confirmed for August 15th at the Staaten.  It will begin at 7:00PM.  Invitations will go out shortly.  Contact Maeve MacKenzie, Metro NY Walk/Events Manager

Staten Island Walk Kick Off
Date: Wednesday, August 15th
Time: 7:00PM
Location: Li Greci’s Staaten- 697 Forest Ave, Staten Island, NY 10310
RSVP: If you would like to attend, please RSVP by clicking here.  You can also email or call 646-843-6665 to RSVP.  Kindly reply by August 10th.

Register for LOSE THE TRAINING WHEELS: Bike Camp for Children with Special Needs

LOSE THE TRAINING WHEELS: A camp that teaches children with special needs to ride a bike!
AUGUST 6-10th
Aviator Sports & Event Center
Floyd Bennett Field, 3159 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn
(Registration is limited)

Participant Requirements:
 Must be at least 8 years old by start of camp and have a disability
 Must be able to walk without an assistive device and sidestep to both sides
 Must be able to attend a 75-minute session each day of the 5-day camp
 Must be under 220 lbs. and have a minimum inseam measurement of 20” (measure from floor not pant hem with sneakers on)
The camp runs Aug 6-10th. There are 4 ninety minute sessions to choose from. The first 15 minutes of the camp is check in and getting ready; the remaining 75 minutes are spent biking. Each camper will attend the same 90 minute session for each of the 5 days. For example if you select session 2, your child will be at Aviator Sports every day, Monday- Friday from 1:50-3:20.
Daily Sessions:
Session 1 12:30pm – 1:45pm
Session 2 1:50pm – 3:20pm
Session 3 3:25pm – 4:55pm
Session 4 5:00pm – 6:30pm
For more info contact:
Or visit
Also seeking volunteers!
Lose The Training WheelsTM is a nonprofit organization that teaches individuals with special needs to ride a conventional two-wheeled bicycle and become lifelong independent riders. This achievement helps individuals with special needs gain assurance and self-reliance in many other aspects of their lives.
Sponsored by:
The National Down Syndrome Society & The Lyle Foundation

YAI Summer 2012 Calendar: Workshops for Parents of Children on the Spectrum


Link Here For Flyer:autism-family-support-series

MONDAY JULY 16TH 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
“Carrots, Squash and Spinach, Oh My!” Bring Your Recipes for Healthy
Eating and Leave with New Ones
Tracy Mazza, LMSW, Project Manager and Whitney Cottle, LMSW, Intake Specialist,
THURSDAY JULY 26TH 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Anger Management and Autism
Grazyna Kusmierska, PhD, Psychotherapist, Premier HealthCare Article 16 Clinic
MONDAY AUGUST 6TH 12:00PM – 2:00 PM (pizza lunch provided!)
Walking the Tightrope: Balancing Your Young Adult’s Need for Support
with his/her Need for Independence
Valerie Gaus, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Author of Living Well on the Spectrum and
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult Asperger Syndrome
How Sensory Processing Impacts Social Skills
Becky Lewin, MS, OTR/L, The Parkside School
THURSDAY AUGUST 23RD 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Sexuality Education: Why it Matters and Where to Start
Catherine Jones, LCSW, Assistant Coordinator and Valencia Small, BSW, Assistant
Applied Behavioral Science Specialist, YAI Network
THURSDAY AUGUST 30TH 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Yoga and Relaxation
Laura Mitchell, LMSW, LMT, Supervisor, YAI LINK, Certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor
What To Do If You’re Just Getting Started – Accessing Services in the
Developmental Disability Service System
Jennifer Shaoul, MPA, Senior Coordinator, YAI LINK
MONDAY OCTOBER 1ST 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Upcoming Changes in Funding and Program Design for People with
Developmental Disabilities
Marco Damiani, MA, Senior Director, YAI Clinical and Family Services
TUESDAY OCTOBER 16TH 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
DSM-5: An Update on the Changing Definition of Autism and its
Peter DellaBella, MD, Medical Director, Premier HealthCare
TUESDAY OCTOBER 23RD 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Understanding Psychological Evaluations
Glenn Ellenbogen, PhD, Supervisor of Psychological Assessments, YAI Center






Free Summer Meals
for all children

Delicious Sandwiches • Tasty Salads • Fresh Fruit • Cold Milk

Starting June 28th

Call 311


Text “NYCMeals” to 877-877

To find an open pool, school, or park near you!

Available to all children 18 years old or younger every weekday.

School Hours

Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Lunch: 11:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Children do not need to show registration, documentation, or an ID to receive their meals.

For Young Children with Autism, Directing Attention Boosts Language


Thursday, June 21, 2012

For young children with autism, directing attention boosts language

NIH-supported study confirms that pointing, gestures to focus attention improve later language

An intervention in which adults actively engaged the attention of preschool children with autism by pointing to toys and using other gestures to focus their attention results in a long term increase in language skills, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health.

At age 8, children with autism who received therapy centered on sharing attention and play when they were 3 or 4 years old had stronger vocabularies and more advanced language skills than did children who received standard therapy. All of the children in the study attended preschool for 30 hours each week.

“Some studies have indicated that such pre-verbal interactions provide the foundation for building later language skills,” said Alice Kau, Ph.D., of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute that supported the study. “This study confirms that intensive therapy to engage the attention of young children with autism helps them acquire language faster and build lasting language skills.”

First author Connie Kasari, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), conducted the research with colleagues Amanda Gulsrud, Ph.D., Stephanny Freeman, Ph.D., Tanya Paparella, Ph.D., and Gerhard Hellemann, Ph.D.

UCLA is one of 11 institutions that receive support from the NIH through the Autism Centers of Excellence Program.

The study findings appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The 40 children who participated in the study were 8 and 9 years old. Five years earlier, they had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and received the intensive therapy program or standard intervention, as part of a separate study.

The researchers assessed the children’s vocabulary, language, and other cognitive skills. They then compared the results of these assessments to those taken when the children were 3 and 4 years old. The earlier and later assessments also included measures of the child’s ability to initiate interactions with adults, the variety of the child’s play, and the quality of interactions with a parent.

The researchers found that children who started the attention-focusing therapy earlier had more advanced linguistic skills at age 8. Those who learned to point or direct an adult’s attention to an object of interest at age 3 and 4 also developed more advanced language skills when they were 8. And children who showed greater flexibility in playing with objects at age 3 or 4 demonstrated better memory and other cognitive skills at age 8.

“Our findings show that therapy focused on such basic skills as pointing, sharing, and engaging in play can have considerable long-term effects as children with autism spectrum disorders grow and learn to express themselves with words,” said Dr. Kasari.


About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s website at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Big Apple RX: Save with a NYC Discount Prescription Card!

Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley Announce New Yorkers Saved $6 Million with BigAppleRx 

The City launched its first official prescription drug discount card one year ago.

New York, NY – In May 2011, New York City released its first official prescription drug discount card, BigAppleRx. Today, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Health Department Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced that since its debut, the BigAppleRx card saved more than 56,500 New Yorkers a total of $6 million on prescription medications, for an overall savings of 47%. The BigAppleRx card is free of charge, available to anyone regardless of age, income, citizenship or health insurance status and accepted at more than 2,000 city pharmacies, including Target, Duane Reade, Walgreens and CVS.

“Health care is a growing cost for New Yorkers and it’s up to the government and our partners to find innovative solutions to this problem – BigAppleRx is one of them,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “To me, these numbers represent that we’ve been able to provide a little peace of mind for people burdened by the expense of prescription drugs. No one should have to forgo necessary medication because it’s too costly, and with more and more New Yorkers armed with this card, fewer will have to choose between saving their health and saving their money.”

“Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers need to take medicines for chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “The BigAppleRx prescription drug discount card is one way we can help New Yorkers afford these medicines so they can avoid the consequences of these conditions.”

“The incredible benefit BigAppleRx has brought to over 56,000 New Yorkers is cause for celebration and a great example of what is possible when government and industry work in tandem to address the challenges faced by New Yorkers,” said Council Health Committee Chair Maria del Carmen Arroyo.

“This program is taking a big bite out of prescription drug costs in the Big Apple. As Chair of the City Council Aging Committee, I’m especially pleased that this card has helped seniors save money,” said Council Aging Committee Chair Jessica Lappin.

New Yorkers saved 63% on generic prescription drugs and 18% on name brand prescription drugs. A total of 155,850 claims were discounted through BigAppleRx. The thousands of New Yorkers using the card have seen an average annual savings of $295 per household.

People can easily download and print the card by visiting or by downloading the iPhone or Android app and presenting the card to pharmacists right from their phone.

For more information on how to get the BigAppleRx card or to locate participating pharmacies, visit or call311.

High! - Year 2 - 285/365

High! – Year 2 – 285/365 (Photo credit: Amarand Agasi)

This Weekend in NYC Parks, June 23rd and 24th

Saturday, June 23

Cleaning Westerleigh Park

9:00 a.m.12:00 p.m.
Come out and lend a hand to help us rake, weed and do various gardening chores. Join us for… Location: Westerleigh Park, Staten Island
Category: Volunteer

Fitness Hike (Vigorous)

11:00 a.m.
Hiking is the ultimate way to enjoy the outdoors and reduce stress. Regardless of the…
Location: High Rock Ranger Station (in High Rock Park), Staten Island

Rockstock and Barrels

12:00 p.m.6:00 p.m.
Rockaway rocks with this 6th annual festival including surf contests, skate board demos and…
Location: B.90th street Rockaway Beach (in Rockaway Beach), Queens

Summer on the Hudson: Kayaking on the Hudson

10:00 a.m.5:00 p.m.
Join the Downtown Boathouse for 20-minute instructional paddles, and explore the Hudson…
Location: AccessibleKayaking on the Hudson Meeting Point (in Riverside Park), Manhattan

Sunday, June 24

Saltwater Fishing

11:00 a.m.
Mastering any new skill requires practice and patience. Fishing programs help develop these…
Location: East River Esplanade, Manhattan

Lost Ladybugs at High Rock Park

1:00 p.m.2:00 p.m.
Some species of ladybugs, including the official insect of New York State seem to be…
Location: AccessibleHigh Rock Gate (in High Rock Park), Staten Island


Stay hydrated and productive during these hot summer days by carrying your own reusable water bottle instead of buying one. Over 1500 bottles of water are consumed in the US every second, and 90% of these go into landfills. Parkies Marianne Anderson in the Bronx and Jeff Sigadel in Brooklyn have already pledged to bring a reusable water bottle to work.

Staten Island Outdoor Events for June 2012

  • NatureFest at Willowbrook Park Eton Place, Staten Island NY 10314 Saturday June 9, 2012 11am-3 pm -Learn about the great outdoors around you -Meet NYC’s premier environmental organizations -Hands-on activities and live animals -Fun for the entire family-Event will be held on the walkway between the Carousel for All Children and the Archery Fields.
  • Alice Austen House Presents Foreclosed: Documents from the American Housing Crisis
    Friday, June 1, 2012 – 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
    Alice Austen House Museum, Staten Island
  • Strawberry Festival Saturday, June 2, 2012 Life is just a bowl of strawberries in Queens this weekend. Come to Highland Park on Saturday or Utopia Playground on Sunday for the free children’s Strawberry Festival, a celebration of all things berry!
  • Kayaking and Canoeing
    No matter your skill level, this summer is a perfect time to head to the waterfront. The New York City Water Trail connects 160 square miles of NYC’s waterways for experienced paddlers. Or, take a look at upcoming Kayaking and Canoeing events for beginner and intermediate paddlers.
  • Happy Hounds Hike

    Sunday, June 3, 2012 LINK

    11:00 a.m.12:00 p.m.

    Bring your canine companions for a hike through High Rock Park in the Greenbelt, where you and your dogs can learn the trails and make new friends.

    Hikers should meet at the parking lot of High Rock Park, 200 Nevada Avenue, off of Rockland Avenue.

    Remember to bring water and bags to clean up after your dog. Registration required.

Building Support for the Arts: At School, At Home and in the Community

Looking west along the fronts of the five nort...

Looking west along the fronts of the five northern buildings of Sailors Snug Harbor, Staten Island, NY. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Workshop – Thursday, May 31, 2012 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

All parents and members of the school community are invited to attend this hands-on workshop focused on providing children with a vibrant arts education. Childcare/arts activity will be provided for children between 5-12 years old.

Where: Noble Maritime Collection at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center 1000 Richmond Terrace (Building D) Staten Island

  • Art Activity for parents

  • Art Workshop for children

  • Ideas for making art at home

  • Tips on fundraising for arts programming

  • Strategies for getting support from local businesses and elected officials

  • Local arts opportunities for schools and families

  • FREE art books, paints and paper

  • FREE food and refreshments

Call Kirsten Rorke at 347-563-5281 with any questions