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Volume IX, Issue II, December 2013

Hawthorne In The Swim

By Jack Shaw, President, Hawthorne Foundation Board of Directors The Hawthorne Foundation Board would like to wish all of our families and employees a most glorious holiday season. In past newsletters I have highlighted all of the things for which we should be thankful. This year, I want to personally thank everyone who responded with such kind and encouraging remarks regarding our hopes to rebuild the Hawthorne pool. It is an ambitious project. We recently met with an engineering company to discuss the possibility of enlarging the pool and adding a pool house with lavatories and changing areas. The engineers are of the opinion that we may have to add shower facilities as well, probably not a bad idea as far a s we parents are concerned. We were told that we could not feasibly expect to start construction before the fall of 2014. As I noted in my previous note, it is our hope to eventually open our grounds (almost ten acres) and reconstructed pool to our school age families, day habilitation families, residential families, our employees' families and possibly some of our neighbors. We envision a safe, comfortable environment where our disabled kids can have fun, get some fresh air and exercise, and perhaps even begin to interact with their typically developing neighbors. For too many of our kids this type of facility is just not available, particularly on summer weekends. Working together, we have an opportunity to remedy this situation. Of course our first objective is to raise a pile of cold, hard cash. This project must be financed out of fundraised monies. As I stated, this is an ambitious undertaking. We are awaiting cost estimates but it is fair to assume that the ultimate price will prove to be much more than we have ever raised in a calendar year. In our discussions we have recognized the fact that the project might have to be completed in two or three phases. We have instructed the engineers to draw up plans that allow us to finish the pool in year one, the clubhouse in year two, and perhaps the landscaping and aesthetic work in year three; if necessary. We would love nothing more than to finish the entire job in time for the 2015 summer season but recognize that might not be possible. The timing of this project is dependent on our fundraising capabilities. Please realize that I mean it is dependent on all of us. We need everyone to pitch in and help. Perhaps you know of some charitable trusts or organizations that would support this type of project. Maybe you know of contractors that do this kind of work. Maybe there is an Uncle Moneybags somewhere in the family tree who could be persuaded to help. Finally, perhaps you are in a position to donate some hard earned dough. Continued on Page 2

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Hawthorne In The Swim continued from page 1

The Foundation has traditionally initiated its FirstGiving fundraising effort at this time of year. This year, we are dedicating all of our FirstGiving donations to the pool project. There will be notices sent out shortly detailing how to participate. Please consider joining us. I can promise you that this project will benefit our kids and the foundation for years to come. Thanks in advance and be sure to enjoy your families over the holidays.

Jack Shaw

For More on FirstGiving visit Hawthorne’s page at

Field Trips Focus On Regional Wildlife By Kevin Hall, MEd

Greenburgh Nature Center In late October, the younger school age students paid a visit to The Greenburgh Nature Center, where they explored the indigenous wildlife of the Lower Hudson Valley. The students got a close up look at several species of birds, along with the plants that make up their habitat. The Greenburgh Nature Center (GNC) is a thirty-three acre nature preserve with trails, a pond and gardens. More than 70,000 visitors come to the GNC each year. The property is a significant wildlife habitat refuge, both for indigenous species and for the hundreds of species of migratory birds that use it as a resting place on their spring and fall travels. The property includes thirtry acres of woodland, two significant wetland sites, and an old orchard succession site, which is used as a nesting area for Eastern box turtles. Maritime Aquarium On November 19th, the older school age students took a trip to the Maritime Aquarium, in Norwalk, Connecticut. It was a virtual kaleidoscope of the fish and other ocean life native to Long Island Sound and the North Atlantic coast. Many students even put their hands into a shallow pool and patted a few of the stingrays. The Maritime Aquarium comprises thirty-four exhibits featuring more than 1,200 marine animals of 259 species. The Long Island Sound journey begins along a freshwater river and the shallow waters of the salt marsh, then moves into deeper and deeper habitats out to the open ocean. These close encounters with animals, enhanced by friendly volunteer interpreters and informative display panels, educate visitors about the aquatic life of Long Island Sound and its watershed.

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Staff Spotlight By Kevin Hall, MEd This month, Hawthorne honors two new members to the Westchester staff. Senior teachers can help shape the substance of a class, and these two professionals are no exception. Kim Arruda, MA Kim Arruda has come home again. One of the newest Senior Teachers at the Westchester Campus got her introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis back in 2005, when she was hired as a teacher. Though destiny took her to other schools, she is back with boatloads of experience and a determination to build strong programs for our students. Ms. Arruda earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in Elementary Education (both from Manhattanville College), a post-Masters certificate in Special Education from Long Island University, and Board Certified Behavior Analyst coursework from Florida Institute of Technology. "I look at learning as a very global situation," she says. "Learning I not just two-plus-two, and I've always looked at learning that way. For someone to learn, there are a lot of variables that have to be in place. I look at learning a broader endeavor." Arruda further describes ABA as the platform on which she can explore these variables. "I would not be happy if I just had to teach to a test all day long." Ms. Arruda and her family lives in North Westchester with an eleven month old puppy, named Murphy. Ferawaty Lim, MA, M.Ed. The other new Senior Teacher on the Westchester Campus has come halfway around the world to make Hawthorne her home. Fera Lim hails from Indonesia. She came to the United States nearly seven years ago and achieved her undergraduate degree in Psychology at SUNY Plattsburgh. An interest in autism lead to pursuing her Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis at Columbia. Ms. Lim admits that the issues of educating people with developmental disabilities can be perplexing to even the most seasoned educator. Because of this, she has a continuing fascination with analyzing behaviors and looking for answers that will help autistic students learn. "I would love to come up with interventions that are effective with all students and do the research that develops solid strategies."

Student Spotlight

By Kevin Hall, MEd This month, our Student Spotlight shines on John Kaminsky, a bright young man in Class 1. When not at school, John is very busy on the soccer field, playing with his friends in a Sunday afternoon soccer league. Perhaps more notably, John is a budding singer. He is currently receiving instruction at Daniel's Music Foundation, in Manhattan. Most recently, he is singing The Captain and Tennille's 1975 hit "Love Will Keep Us Together." Daniel's Music Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides free musical instruction to all individuals with disabilities in the NYC area.

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Hawthorne Team Delivers Symposium At State Conference By Daren Cerrone, School Age Program Coordinator

Our seminar discussed the evolution of self-initiation training protocols since their initial applications in terms of development in the field which have required over-correction procedures to be dropped and request procedures to be added.

Direct Support Professionals Week By Renee Pili, EdM, Hawthorne Foundation Day Habilitation Program Coordinator In September, the Hawthorne Foundation Day Habilitation program celebrated our Direct Support Professionals. Our staff assists and supports our individuals we serve with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. It is our goal to assist each individual to become integrated into his/her community while providing them with the necessary skills to become contributing members of those communities. We strive for the least restrictive environment where they can develop a greater sense of self through hard work and dedication to succeed. Our Direct Support Professionals do a wonderful job at building close and trusted relationships with our individuals we serve. They provide a broad range of support by incorporating many daily affairs into the daily routines. More importantly, they provide essential support to stay connected to their families and communities. They hold an integral part in the enablement of individuals we serve to live productive and meaningful lives. Two Day Hab Direct Support Professionals - Alphimer Henry (Counselor) and Tanya Wilson (Specialist) - and myself attended NYSACRA's Mid-Hudson Direct Support Professionals Region Conference on October 29th, 2013. We had the pleasure of listening to an amazing keynote speaker, Dr. Al Condeluci. Dr. Condeluci examined the roots and background of community inclusion, as well as how people with disabilities have been treated and excluded. It resonated with me, the challenge of image juxtaposition still exists, and we need to find a way to break the barrier for our individuals and pave new opportunities for dignified and respected community inclusion. He also explored ways in which we can rekindle our passions for community inclusion and how we can find significant ways within the culture for meaningful relationships by understanding our culture and community.

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Measure - December 2013  

Monthly newsletter for Hawthorne Foundation Inc.