Senator Michael N. Gianaris visits Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voice model-school for ADS
Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices (SKHOV) hosted Democrat Senator Michael N. Gianaris from New York’s 12th State District, which includes the Queens neighborhoods of Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, and Woodhaven.
Senator Gianaris is familiar with the special needs children’s challenges, as he has some relatives diagnosed with ASD.
On visiting the model school, Senator Gianaris was greeted by staff and students and was able to see the facilities and hear about the expansion plans. Currently, the model-school has 60 students (ages varying from 3 – 13) and has plans to increase the age to 21 years old, therefore the need to expand the building to more than double its capacity – and accommodate an additional 80 new students and increase the staff. In order to achieve that goal, (SKOV) is currently on full-force mode to fundraise 9 million dollars.
Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices, is a non-denominational multi-disciplinary model-school that offers a variety of activities, physical therapy, and art programs, sports room, Library Center – Snoezelen (a high-tech soothing sensorial room) and a ADL room (Adaptive Daily Living) that simulates day-to-day real-world activities and includes a mini supermarket, laundry center, kitchen, bedroom and gym.
Dr. Joshua Weinstein, Shema Kolainu’s CEO, is proposing a National Apprenticeship Program for all US high-schools to add training programs and prepare high school students for the workforce upon graduation. Senator Gianaris was impressed by how Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices, a non-sectarian school, serves children and their families from all backgrounds and ethnicities.