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Jawonio Studio Arts Offers Post HS Transition

by Carol King

Jawonio Studio Arts Program offers arts to high school students as a modality for life learning skills.  The program was developed to assist participants with special needs to become active and contributing members of the Nyack community and society.

The Nyack Studio Arts Program is part of Jawonio’s Center for People with Disabilities and Special Needs where services and support are provided to advance the independence, well-being and equality of people with disabilities or special needs. Jawonio programs are designed to provide a framework to take advantage of opportunities for individuals with disabilities to live as valuable members of the community.

The arts program focuses on each participant’s interest in the creative arts.  By utilizing community artists and the wonderful resources in the Rockland County, Jawonio offers semester based courses to to develop habitation, community skills, socialization, and personal responsibility to become contributing members of the community.  Creative arts are used to improve the physical, psychological, cognitive and social functioning of people with disabilities in many mediums.

Instead of instructing at a desk and with a blackboard, the outside world is our school.  We teach the 3 R’s but use the community and the arts as the modality.  On the way to Drama Therapy class, we read street signs, learn about transportation and how to safely cross the street.  Once at class, we read, write, and learn appropriate socializing while building self esteem, improving speech and self expression.

In the community, we learn and practice basic safety: How to handle money, how to deal with strangers, how to handle emergencies.

Every activity is carefully selected to enhance learning in a more palatable but adult related way.  Our consumers are now high school graduates and need to be treated as such.  In order to take their rightful place in society, they need not only the skills and encouragement from our highly professional staff, but a nurturing environment where respect, trust and support are key.

Program Director Carol King developed the program with day to day activities supervised by Iran Buckler, the community supervisor.

Please feel free to stop by and us at 117 Main Street in Nyack.  For more information, call 845-353-2728.

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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