by Jackie Robinson, Katz JCC ACHaD Program Support Specialist
Disability is natural. We must stop believing that disabilities keep a person from doing something. Because that’s not true… having a disability doesn’t stop me from doing anything.” – Benjamin Snow, Grade 8, in his essay, Attitudes About People with Disabilities
It’s pretty amazing how wise beyond their years some young people can be. Eighth grade Benjamin Snow decided his disability wouldn’t stop him from doing anything in life and I admire his thinking. Who am I? I’m Jackie Robinson, the new Program Support Specialist in the ACHaD Department. I graduated from The College of New Jersey, with my B.A. degree in Sociology. I am beyond thrilled to be working with the ACHaD Department. In the short time I have been here, I know that the best part of this job will be working with the Special Needs participants. The JCC already feels like family, and I am so excited to keep learning and growing with everyone here!
In August, we wrapped up one of my favorite events of the year, our PALS Summer Camp. PALS “Peers Using AAC (Augmentative Communication Device) for Language and Socialization” camp takes place over a week in August here at the JCC, and this year’s theme was Pawesome PALS. Our 11 incredible participants took part in a week of activities including swimming, arts and crafts, and different animal experiences each day! This was the 7th year PALS camp took place here and our participants and volunteers feel so at home. We are looking forward to this program continuing for years to come!
As part of my role here at the JCC, I’m excited to direct people to our new Facebook group, ACHaD Special Needs Programs and Services In this group, we can have discussions about relevant topics and share information about the Special Needs Community. In addition to our email lists, the Facebook group will also remain up to date on all our events and programs that will be happening throughout the year. When in doubt, you can always find ACHaD information on our new Facebook group or on the Katz JCC website.
The ACHaD Department is just itching to get programming started for the year. In addition to our favorite program staples, art and music, we have partnered with Spectrum Sports for a new program focused on staying active! Children aged 12-18 can come participate in various sports, collaborative games and group exercise! This class is for both active and passive athletes, so all children and teens can participate!
We are excited for new and returning programs as well as both new and familiar faces in those programs. Our participants really feel at home at the J and we know that having a disability does not stop our participants from doing anything they set their minds to!
For any questions or to find out how to get involved, feel free to reach out to me at (856) 424-4444 ext. 1114 or our ACHaD Director, Nina Staiman at ext. 1204.