Special Needs Enrichment Programs

special needs programs

Mission

To provide special needs enrichment programs that are appropriate for children, teens, and young adults with ADHD, speech/language delays, learning disabilities, autism, or other developmental disabilities. This is a nonsectarian program that provides scholarships and 1:1 assistance whenever possible. All programs support each person’s individual needs and are open to the general public.

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special-needs programs

Approach

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A combination of teamwork, encouragement, compassion, respect, and presumption of ability enables the success of our special-needs enrichment programs. With small groups in a warm, nurturing atmosphere, your child will be guided to develop physical, pragmatic, communication, and social skills. We cultivate self-esteem, encourage creativity, and help kids develop friendships.

Our enrichment staff includes a team of dedicated leaders who often work in special-needs programs within local school districts during the weekdays. Some of our programs are partially made available through a family support services grant from NY OPWDD. Scholarships are available for those with financial hardship; these require income verification and are based on a sliding scale.

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find out more

Special Needs Enrichment Programs

adult socialization group

Circle of Friends

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This program provides a social group for individuals 20 and older who identify as having special needs.

Participants must live outside of a residential facility and be qualified with OPWDD.

Interested? Email Mara Roberge at [email protected].

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teen only

Saturday Night Social (SNS)

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A teen-only social experience running one Saturday night a month. Program typically includes a community dinner and an evening social activity or social action project.

Details

Ages 12–21, Saturdays
6:30–8:00 PM

Program Dates

September 24, October 29, November 19, and December 10 January 21, February 11, March 18, April 22, and May 20

adolescents

SibConnection

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A support group for children and adolescents coping with issues related to having a sibling with a developmental disability. Participants can share, explore feelings, and learn in a safe and supportive environment.

Details

Wednesdays, 4:30–5:30 PM
Ages 6–12

Program Dates

September 21 and 28, October 12, 19, and 26, November 2, 9, 16, and 30, and December 7 January 1, 18, and 25, February 1, 8, and 15, March 1, 8, 15, and 22, April 19 and 26, May 3, 10, and 17
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teen

SibConnection

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A support group for teens coping with issues related to having a sibling with a developmental disability. Participants can share, explore feelings, and learn in a safe and supportive environment.

Details

Tuesdays, 4:00–5:00 PM
Ages 12–16

Program Dates

September 20, October 4 and 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, December 6 and 13 January 10, 17, 24, and 31, February 7, 14, and 28, March 7, 14, 21, and 28, April 11, 18, and 25, May 2 and 9

social skills development

Sunday Funday

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Offered for two sessions during the school year, plus a shorter summer six-week session, this all-inclusive drop-off, recreational, social-skills development program is carried out through art, music, gymnastics, active play, and supported social play. Grouped primarily by age, participants receive individualized attention from group leaders, specialty instructors, and devoted teen volunteers.

Sunday/Funday is a community socialization program that is open to all youth, ages 3–21, regardless of disability status.

Details

Ages 3-21, Sundays
9:00 AM–12:00 PM
$120 per day

Ask about our complimentary trial class and see if our program is a good fit for your child.

Program Dates

September 18 and 25, October 2, 16, 23, and 30, November 13 and 20, December 4 and 11 January 8, 22, and 29, February 5 and 12, March 5, 12, 19, and 26, April 16, 23, and 30, May 7 and 21
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special needs programs

Tai Chi: Caregiver and Child Class

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Offered for two sessions and taught by a certified Tai Chi instructor, this program offers the unique opportunity for participation by both the participant and their parent/caregiver or sibling. Participants and their partners will be introduced to the basic tenets of Tai Chi, which is proven to improve balance, flexibility, and muscle strength; alleviate stress, anxiety, and symptoms of asthma; and increase one’s energy level.

Details

Ages 8-21, Sundays
12:00–12:45 PM

Limit of six participants.

Program Dates

September 18 and 25, October 2, 16, 23, and 30, November 13 and 20, and December 4 and 11 January 8, 22, and 29, February 5 and 12, March 5, 12, 19, and 26, April 16, 23, and 30, May 7 and 21.

special needs programs

Teen Volunteering and Community Service

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Volunteers must commit to participating from September to June or for the full summer Sunday Funday six-week session. Times/days vary based on the program of interest. Sunday Funday volunteers must commit for a total of 26 Sundays, 8:30 AM–12:00 PM (see annual schedule). Saturday Night Social volunteers must commit for a total of 10 Saturdays, 6:00 PM–8:00 PM (see annual schedule).

We offer 12 and 13 year olds a unique community-service opportunity that can serve as a b’nei mitzvah project by doing volunteer work through our Special Needs Enrichment Services Department. In addition, high school students may commit as a volunteer to meet their community service requirements and enhance their college resumes. All volunteers are required to commit to the entire program year of their chosen program dates to ensure consistency for our participants.

Tikkun Olam

Please reach out to join in supporting our community and the Jewish value of tikkun olam (repair of the world). Register as a volunteer and let us know of your interests and availability. Background checks may be required depending on the department selected. Our community engagement director will reach out upon receipt of your registration.

Through a grant made possible by the Z. B. and J. E. Butler Foundation, selected teen volunteers will participate in CLASSP, a program coordinated with other New York agencies. High School CLASSP (Consortia for Learning and Service to Special Populations) is an internship and academic course that requires participation in a fieldwork experience and college-level coursework. During the fieldwork portion of the course, students complete a supervised internship working directly with children that have special needs, disabilities, and/or are considered to be in an “at risk” population. During the academic portion of the course, students will participate in eight virtual classes and one conference for a total of 15 hours in-class hours. They will actively participate in class activities, maintain a reflection journal, participate in online discussions with peers, complete required readings and learning tasks, and complete one larger assignment. Students must have a minimum of one year prior volunteer experience in JCCMW’s Sunday/Funday program and must complete a total of 100 hours of fieldwork and all coursework hours to be eligible for the recommended college credit.

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Volunteer Inquiry Process

  1. Potential volunteer completes the registration form.
  2. JCCMW community engagement director reaches out via email to provide the volunteer application form and the JCCMW’s volunteer manual, and to schedule a Zoom informational meeting to learn about applicant's interests, availability, and preferences.
  3. Submission of volunteer application form.
  4. Volunteer placement (departments may have additional required paperwork).

social action

Teen Social Action at JCCMW

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JCCMW provides Westchester teens with numerous volunteer programs that provide professional skill building while enhancing leadership qualities. Through community service and our volunteer programs, teens can live the Jewish value of tikkun olam (repairing the world). From helping in a specific program or department, or executing a social action project, there are countless ways to get involved and make a difference in our Westchester community.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

—Margaret Mead

Teamwork makes the dream work

Teens can serve as volunteers in special needs, the afterschool program, or other departments, and gain from the experience of supporting our child participants by mentoring, engaging in activities, and building relationships. Volunteers often describe the experience as “life changing” and many teens have found their experiences helpful in determining the direction they would like to take with their future professional careers.

JCCMW Disclaimer

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We reserve the right to change or cancel classes, instructors, schedules, policies, and/or prices at any time.