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LOCAL GROUP DONATES 5 iPADS TO QUEENS SCHOOL FOR AUTISM

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LOCAL GROUP DONATES 5 iPADS TO QUEENS SCHOOL FOR AUTISM

 

(College Point, NY) – On October 17th, Tom Peterson, President of the Knights of York, a philanthropic organization comprised of local business leaders, dropped off 5 new iPads to a school for children with autism in College Point, Queens.

 

The School, the New York Child Learning Institute (NYCLI), works with a population of students ranging from Pre-School through the age of 21. Focusing on language, social, and academic skills, 16% of the population eventually moves into more typical schools.

However, in a time when many organizations are scaling back, it isn’t always easy, “Our budget is tight, every dollar we get needs to go right into the classroom,” says Dr. Sue Vener, Director of NYCLI. “The Knights take it upon themselves to see that organizations like ours still have an opportunity to grow.”

 

Surprisingly, there are a wide range of iPad apps that benefit children with autism -- from learning how to arrange sentences to helping non-verbal students communicate with their teachers. “Some kids have difficulty with the written word. The iPad allows us to better utilize many types of visual aids,” says Vener.

 

Even when used for fun, the iPads are still beneficial. Playing multi-player games helps with peer to peer interaction. “When playing in public, they’re still learning,” Vener says. “The iPads are just more socially appropriate, they’re not stigmatizing.”

 

“These men could be out doing so many other things,” adds Audrey Sachs, Board President of AABR, Inc., the parent company of NYCLI. “Yet they come together to find ways to help those with special needs. It’s heartwarming.”

 

In addition to the iPads, the Knights have donated more than $100,000 to NYCLI over the years. “Our gratitude to Tom Peterson and the Knights of York,” said Tom McAlvanah, Executive Director of AABR. “They’ve come through for us once again.”

 

“We have been here a long time. It’s amazing to see the change in the students,” says Peterson. “They’ve grown so much.”

 

Before leaving, Peterson poses for a group picture. “This is like the coolest gift ever,” a student, John, informs him. “It’s like getting our picture taken with Santa,” another student, Chris, chimes in.

 

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