For the fourth consecutive year, the POB Chamber has carefully selected a local charity to “adopt” for one year. Chamber first vice president Andrew Lamkin announced that it will be SNAP, which stands for The Special Needs Autism Program. This charity was founded by two passionate parents of children with special needs, Paige Bravin and Barbi Schwartzberg. SNAP’s mission
is “to enhance and supplement school programs for children with autism and other disabilities.” The chamber’s role through August 2018 will be to help the 501(c) 3 non-profit charity raise awareness and funds for their cause at its various chamber meetings and events.
The focus of SNAP is to support programs that benefit the Plainview-Old Bethpage school district’s students with special needs in the much needed area of socialization and life skills. This includes augmenting the training provided to school district personnel who are responsible for the education of children with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. This grass roots organization, recommended as a charity choice by Plainview-Old Bethpage residents (most notably via the Plainview Moms Facebook site), was born from the deep desire for these young adults to succeed. Equipping them with the best tools possible is the strategy.
According to Barbi and Paige, who both have children with special needs in the district, “A group of concerned and committed parents came together with the vision of improving the educational programs for our children. In order to provide the necessary enhancements, we realized it would require extensive resources. Our goal is to provide our children with superior programs run by well trained professionals.”
Among the enhancements provided by SNAP are life skills rooms at both of the school district’s middle schools and at the high school where students learn how to prepare meals, do laundry and other valuable skills. SNAP’s newest addition, implemented in the 2016 -17 school year, is its Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES). The PAES lab is a comprehensive curriculum that provides exploration, training, and assessment through hands-on experience, in a simulated work environment, while teaching important career/vocational and life skills. Skills are taught in a systematic format that helps students become more independent. PAES determines students’ interest in specific work areas, competitiveness with peers, and assesses present barriers to future success, and then helps change them to positive work behaviors.
Chamber president Elan Wurtzel thanked the members of the chamber charity committee for their time and effort dedicated to the detailed selection process: Board member Shari Abel-Saunders chaired the committee, and was assisted by board members Andrea Goldman and Andrew Lamkin as well as member Donna Bloom.
For more information on SNAP, please visit their website: www.snapny.org or you can contact Barbi and Paige at 516.521.9083, OR EMAIL: INFO@SNAPNY.ORG
One of the POB middle school life skills rooms