National Grid employees spent a busy day volunteering at the Eden II Programs Honorable James P. Molinaro Center for Autism, located in Stapleton. Mike Ruiz, Director of Community & Customer Management; Frank Lombardo, Director of Gas Maintenance & Construction for Staten Island, and Carol Decina, Manager, Community & Customer Management; along with 16 volunteers, worked on a number of activities with the Eden II participants; including organizing the library, assisting in gym class and helping out with theatre group. The volunteers are part of National Grid’s Power to Serve initiative. Through the initiative National Grid employees engage with and volunteer in local communities on various activities, focusing on community commitment, safety, STEM education, and the environment.
“I am very thankful that people from National Grid wanted to come and help our school. They organized the library and now it looks even more beautiful,” said Eden II participant Meghan Mattei.
Frank Lombardo served as Eden II’s ‘Principal for the Day,’ where he toured the building and introduced himself to each class before heading to theatre group to assist in the first dress rehearsal of Eden II’s upcoming play “Poe and the Princess.”
“I appreciated the opportunity to see first-hand the hard work and dedication of the Eden II administrators and team,” said Lombardo. “I enjoyed the classroom experience and activities with the Eden II participants.”
“National Grid works with many organizations to support the local communities,” said Carol Decina, Manager, Community & Customer Management. “We are happy to have this opportunity to help Eden II fulfill their vision for families and for the community.”
Volunteer Joe Casaletto shared, “It was great spending time with the students. In just a few hours I was able to see how much this unique building and program can positively impact their lives.”
National Grid has been a committed supporter of Eden II for many years. In 2011, National Grid awarded the agency with a $25,000 Green Cinderella grant for energy efficiency improvements in their new school building. After their 15 Beach Street location sustained significant damage from Hurricane Sandy, National Grid provided a Sandy Economic Development Grant to help them rebuild in the aftermath of the storm. In appreciation for their continued support, Eden II honored National Grid and Ken Daly, President of National Grid New York, with the ‘Corporate Leadership’ award at the 2015 ‘Art for Autism’ Gala.
“National Grid has a proud tradition of volunteering and giving back to the communities we serve,” said Mike Ruiz, Director of Community & Customer Management, National Grid. “Our employees are engaged with our communities every day, not only through work but also community service.”
Eden II Executive Director, Dr. Joanne Gerenser, noted, “We’re thankful to National Grid for everything they’ve done for this school building. They were essential in securing funding that helped create our vision of a center that can offer so many opportunities for these individuals with autism. This volunteer day is a terrific way for National Grid to get to know our participants and see what their good work has done.”
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Signs of autism typically tend to show between 2-3 years of age. Statistics for an autism diagnoses are currently 1 in 68 children in the United States, with boys being 5 times more likely to have an autism diagnoses than girls.
ABOUT EDEN II PROGRAMS
Established in 1976, Eden II Programs began with just six students and one special education teacher. Today, the organization serves over 500 individuals throughout the New York City area as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties. The mission of Eden II Programs is to support people with autism throughout their lives to achieve their full potential through service, science and passion. Eden II Programs provides a variety of services using the evidence-based principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) to treat the delays and challenges associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Eden II offers a full-day school program at its new state of the art autism center in Staten Island, a preschool, six adult residences, family support services, the Genesis School in Long Island, crisis services, adult day habilitation, SEIT and SETTS, and diagnostic and outreach centers on both Staten Island and Long Island. To learn more about Eden II Programs, please visit our website at eden2.org.
ABOUT NATIONAL GRID
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain. Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities’ longterm economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization). For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com, or our Connecting website. You can also follow us on Twitter, watch us on You Tube, like us on Facebook and find our photos on Instagram.