Shema Kolainu welcomed Councilmember Mark Levine a leading voice in advocating for safer streets, reliable public transportation, cleaner parks, and more affordable housing and who chairs the NYC Council Jewish Caucus took the time to visit to learn more about the services offered at the school and see the work they do. As a strong supporter of equal opportunities and the Autism Initiative, Councilmember Levine was interested in personally learning more about Shema Kolainu and it’s about success as well as its challenges. Dr. Weinstein, CEO and founder of Shema Kolainu, explained the goals of the school and center and the daily activities to meet those goals and also gave an overview of the history of the school which serves over 1000 children citywide for in center and home-based services.
Councilmember Levine was particularly impressed by teacher to student ratio and Shema Kolainu’s commitment to providing each child with one-on-one therapy. While observing some of the classrooms, he was pleased led by the level of engagement that kids were showing with their teachers, Ipads, or the activity that they were doing at the moment. He remarked that, “oftentimes disabilities are paired with extraordinary ability,” when discussing the success seen over the years at Shema Kolainu and shared his vision of a more inclusive society. Mr. Levine was also able to interact with several school-age children and toured their unique rooms, such as our Daily Living Skills Center, used to help the children develop and hone practical skills such as making their beds and setting the table, and the Snoezelen room, which is a multisensory room used to help children overcome any sensory challenges they may experience throughout the day.
“As we continue our commitment to giving children their best chance to reach their highest potential, we appreciate Councilmember Levine’s support for the autism community as we strive to provide additional resources for our children and their families” said Dr. Josh Weinstein. Calling his visit to Shema Kolainu “inspirational” Councilmember Levine took leave with a renewed sense of the important mission of Shema Kolainu and like-minded organizations who truly care about NYC’s most vulnerable children.