Schools across the country are increasingly recognizing the importance of exploring issues of diversity in education, with teachers looking for creative opportunities to help educate their students about our global society. New York City’s Lavelle School For the Blind is no different. From February 12 – 16th, the school is hosting a Multicultural Week, emphasizing the many cultures that comprise the school’s staff and student base.
Lavelle provides students who are visually impaired and have multiple disabilities with a nurturing educational environment that challenges them and focuses on their individual needs, ensuring each student reaches their full potential. Students and staff come from all over the world and reflect the glorious diversity of New York City. The staff empowers this diversity by teaching students to respect each other’s differences. This not only includes differences in race, gender, religion and national origin but also various disabilities.
Bodies of Water & Diversity:
Students currently enrolled in the preschool/early childhood program, life skills program, and R.E.A.C.H. program are participating in Multicultural Week. This year’s multicultural theme is “Bodies of Water.” Each class will choose a “body of water” to learn about, they will then create a class project that will be put on display during the two international feasts held inside the school’s auditorium.
Parents and staff will prepare a variety of multicultural dishes for the entire Lavelle School community to enjoy. Siblings are welcome to attend if they are not attending school.
The Preschool/Early Childhood Education Department’s International Feast is Thursday, February 15, 2018, from 11am-1pm.
The Life Skills & R.E.A.C.H. Department’s International Feast is Friday, February 16, 2018, from 12:30-2pm.
Preschool/Early Childhood Program:
Lavelle’s Preschool/Early Childhood program is a full-day program for students ages 3-7. The program focuses on reading readiness for print and braille, communication skills, practice with augmentative communication devices and computers. Students may also receive speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, orientation and mobility lessons, and counseling services.
The creative curriculum works to establish an environment that supports active learning. By providing specialized instruction and intensive therapy, Lavelle prepares preschool students for successful integration into the least restrictive kindergarten program possible.
Life Skills Program:
The Life Skills program instructs students ages 6-21 in the development of basic self-help skills, communication, sensory motor skills, socialization skills, and post-graduation transition. Many Life Skills students are nonverbal and learn to communicate using tangible cues and augmentative and alternative communication methods. The program also aims to instill positive behavior strategies for students who are challenged by sensory and communication deficits.
The R.E.A.C.H. (Readiness, Education, Academics, Careers, Habilitation) program places an emphasis on functional academics, work readiness and independent living skills. Students in R.E.A.C.H. are all visually impaired, have mild to moderate cognitive delays, and range from ages 6-21. In R.E.A.C.H., students utilize a variety of modes for learning, including braille, large print, audio, computers, speech output technology, and augmentative communication devices. Students also take classes in the areas of technology, language arts, science, social studies, math and, activities of daily living.
R.E.A.C.H. Curriculum utilizes Unique Learning System (ULS), online standards-based curriculum specifically designed for special learners. Transition activities, such as off-campus work and career exploration field trips, are carried out by a transition coordinator and job coaches. According to their Individual Education Program, students receive services in speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, and orientation and mobility.
For More Information:
For more information about the Lavelle School for the Blind or their “Multicultural Week” call (718) 882-1212 or reach out to Awilda Bravo via email at [email protected] You may also follow the Lavelle School on Twitter.
If you know of a school or organization holding an event that benefits the blind or visually impaired, shoot me an email at [email protected] We’re always happy to promote good work and educational opportunities within the community!