This is teacher appreciation week. I bet people are really getting an understanding of the hard work done by educators all year long. Here at Eden II, we truly appreciate the work done by our teachers, teaching assistants, behavior specialists, speech therapists and pathologists, our BCBAs, our coordinators, and our directors. It is no easy task developing remote learning activities for students who may be non-verbal, may have very short attention spans, or high rates of challenging behaviors. Within days of school shutting down, our staff were on top of things and had developed and initiated all sorts of virtual instruction, both for one to one instruction and classroom settings. Materials are prepared and sent home on an ongoing basis, new and innovative lessons are developed and creative ways to engage the participants are always being tried. It seems that this teacher appreciation week is even more special. Although we can’t reach out and give you all a well-deserved pat on the back and our thanks in person, I hope you all know how much we value and appreciate you all. Our families have been the most amazing partners throughout all of this. Without their support, this would be virtually impossible (no pun intended). I truly hope the day comes (sooner rather than later) that we can all be back in school and doing what we do best, providing the best education possible for our students.
On behalf of all of us here at Eden II Programs, along with our board of trustees, we thank our teachers and teaching staff for all they do. Stay strong, stay safe, and remember, we are all in this together.
Joanne Gerenser, Ph.D.
Thank You Nurses!
We are also celebrating our Nurses this week for National Nurses Day! To all of our hardworking and dedicated nurses in our programs: Cathy Neuburger, Linda Krakower, Molly Mazzella, Susan Gordon, Arleen Oakes, Susan Conte, June Carnemolla, Danielle Diez, Staci Faio, Erin Grossman, and Yewende Mimoku-we thank you! There are not enough words to describe how much we appreciate everything you do for our participants!
"Handstand Challenge" Benefits Eden II Staff
What started out as a request for a sewing machine from Staten Islander Adriana Grimaldi has blossomed into a successful fundraiser for Eden II's frontline staff. The premise is simple: challenge yourself to complete a handstand while putting a t-shirt on-if you can't complete it, donate at least $10 to Eden II and share with 5 friends (and consider donating even if you do complete it!)
Adriana's mother, Lauren Grimaldi, shared, "Adriana wanted a sewing machine, so I told her she had to give back to the community if she really wanted it. She jumped at the chance to do good and ran with it. It's been great! People have been so supportive. She gets really excited, she'll text me updates all the time. As Adriana raises more money, she increases her goal."
Adriana started out with a goal of $500. To date, she has raised nearly $2000!
Way to go, Adriana! We are so proud of you and thank you for going above and beyond in support of Eden II.
Seniors Donate Trip Funds for Residential Staff Meals
Realizing their senior trip would be delayed, the 2020 graduating seniors wanted to do something to give back to our staff. Together, they decided to donate the money they've raised throughout the year and donate it to the group homes to purchase meals for the staff.
Director of Educational Services, Jamie Arnold, noted, "We had a virtual class meeting, and the students talked about wanting to do good. They thought this was a nice way to put the funds to good use and acknowledge the staff working 24/7 in our group homes."
Above is a video of our students thanking our amazing staff.
Amazon Wishlist for Residential Homes
The participants in our residences are currently practicing social distancing, and with day programs also being closed, we are looking for ways to keep everyone entertained and engaged.
We have created an Amazon wishlist of items like puzzles and backyard sports sets. If you are interested in purchasing any items from this list, visit our page here. Due to safety concerns, we are unable to accept anything used at this time.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
"Dine In" and Support Your Local Restaurants!
Since 2016, Eden II has partnered with a number of amazing local restaurants to help raise funds for our programs and services, through our "Dine Out 4 Autism" initiative. We were unable to hold the event this year due to Covid-19, but we are asking you to help these businesses that need us now more than ever.
Please consider ordering take out or delivery from any of the locations listed in the link below. We are not asking for donations from any of these establishments, we simply want to show them they have our support in these tough times.
Send photos of your meals to email@example.com so we can share with these restaurants and show them we care!
Our residential staff are working around the clock to take care of our participants, and are doing an amazing job! We currently have supplies for all of our locations that need them, but with a surge in demand, we are being proactive and looking to increase our current supply. If you or someone you know have any of the following items available to donate, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a dropoff.
Powder free exam gloves
Medical isolation gowns
Chemical splash goggles
Hand sanitizer wipes
Surface sanitizer wipes
N95 face masks
Thank you to those who have generously donated PPE for our staff:
Amy Hume Bellisano on behalf of The Woodbridge Center
Brooklyn Home Foundation
Dr. Ryan Galligan
Audrey Hassuer & other Metuchen residents
Dr. Jane Howard
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis
Shelley Chi Mawhinney, Metuchen
Nassau/Suffolk Autism Society of America
Rab's Country Lanes
Rescuing Families, Inc.
Staten Island Elected Officials
Staten Island Glove & Safety
Oscar Valera, Metuchen
Amazon Smile is a free and easy way to help support Eden II. Simply select Eden II as the charity of your choice, and Amazon will donate a percentage of every purchase made back to Eden II when you shop through Amazon Smile. Click here to select Eden II.