The Eden II Programs Capital Campaign recently reached a major milestone. Now near 80% of the $7.5 million of the campaign goal for the new school building has been pledged or received for the renovation of 15 Beach Street on the North Shore of Staten Island. As Eden II nears the finish line, the work continues. While larger commitments have been secured, the remaining $1.5 million needed will require intensive outreach. On top of this, the agency is now, unfortunately, seeking additional funds to quickly repair the new school building which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. “Our new school building at 15 Beach Street endured significant damage to the basement and elevator. Our hope is to quickly repair the damage in order to keep our relocation plan on schedule” says Dr. Joanne Gerenser, Executive Director. In addition to the damage at the new school building, other Eden II sites, including a group home incurred damage, bringing the damage total near $100,000.

In May 2011, Eden II purchased three spacious properties on Staten Island’s North Shore. The new 30,000 square foot, hallmark building was once the home of Staten Island Savings Bank. The agency was in the process of renovating and designing the new school building set for occupancy September 2013. The new school will launch an innovative approach to helping children and young adults with autism that moves away from a typical classroom setting. Part of the agency’s mission is to build independent life skills to provide a better quality of life and to maximize participants’ potential. The classrooms throughout the building will have both school and real-life settings that include: an apartment with a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom; a barber shop; a library; an office; a café; an art lab; and a teaching kitchen.

Eden II School was founded in 1976 on Staten Island with six children and one special education teacher. Over the past 35 years, Eden II’s highly successful model has lead to the expansion and development of a number of critically important programs and services for individuals with autism. Each year, approximately 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with some form of autism. Eden II is committed to serving these individuals throughout their entire life, providing the best quality of living possible.

“We are extremely grateful for all of the contributions to date to our capital campaign. In addition to the city elected officials, parents, staffs, community members and board members have all shown outstanding support of the project. Autism statistics continue to rise dramatically, and their funding will allow Eden II to best serve this population,” shares Terry Tarangelo, Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign and Eden II Board Member. Anyone interested in making a 100% tax deductible donation to Eden II can click on the ‘Donate Now’ button at the top of this page.