April 2nd, Autism Awareness Day @ the Preschool
On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, the Clark Preschool “Lit It Up Blue” by wearing blue in celebration of the Clark School District’s Autism Awareness Day. Autism affects 1 in 68 children nationally with New Jersey having the highest rate, 1 in 41 children. Autism Awareness Day highlights the growing need, concern, and education about autism and issues within the Autism community.
Miss Gergich class and Mrs. Koepfler’s class from Valley Road School, as well as, Miss Martucci’s and Mrs. Berkowitz’s class from Franklin K. Henley School and both the VRS and FKH Mentor Link students joined the Preschool in numerous events throughout the morning to raise awareness for autism. Through awareness credible information, education, public policy initiatives lead the way to lifelong individualized services. Some of these events were bowling, basketball, soccer, a scooter and ice cream relay, a coloring craft, ball toss, obstacle course, parachute, and crafting a puzzle piece necklace. The morning concluded with the students “blowing bubbles.” The “blowing of bubbles” symbolized the spread of hope, awareness, and acceptance for those who have autism. The students who participated in the event seemed to have a smile on their face from start to finish. It was a great morning all around!
I would like to thank Mr. Bain, Elementary PE teacher and Danielle Dundas for their efforts in organizing and orchestrating this fun-filled event as well as the Preschool Special Services Staff for their assistance throughout the event. The students were active participants and happy to join in with the FUN! “It was pleasure watching the Mentor Link students as they interacted with the young children, and I think both groups not only enjoyed the experience, but learned a lot while doing it.” Special thanks to our distinguished guest, Superintendent Edward Grande, for helping make this event possible and for all his support throughout the school year.
On Friday, April 26, the Clark district staff will be raising funds to donate to Autism, New Jersey, a non-profit agency committed to ensuring safe and fun filling lives for individual with autism, their families, and the professionals who support them.
Supervisor Special Projects, School Nursing & 504 Plans/School Nurse
The Power of Music
November 20 – The Clark Preschool welcomed Jammin’ Jenn for her series of half-hour music therapy sessions to the tune of her vivacious voice and guitar. Such therapy helps develop non-musical skills by promoting specific cognitive, motor, perceptual, communicative, and behavioral goals. Ms. Jenn sang and played the guitar to popular children’s songs, including, but not limited to; The Wheels on the Bus, E-I-E-I-O, and Old MacDonald Had a Farm. The students were enlivened with the magic of music, singing along, clapping their hands, shaking noise makers, and playing with animal puppets.
Music as a medium is so powerful and is quite transformative in its effect. It positively alters mood and processing which, in turn, produces foundational grounds for progress in many areas. The main goal for a music therapy program like Jammin’ Jenn’s is to initiate change in the areas of attention, concentration, impulse control, social functioning, self-esteem, self-expression, motivation, movement, and cognition.
Beginning in January and through April, we are welcoming Jammin’ Jenn back to the Preschool every other week for her customary half-hour music therapy sessions with each classroom in replacement of the our bused field trips. For more information on the power of music as a therapy session, see jamminjenn.com.
Special thanks to the Clark BOE for providing this unique opportunity for the Clark Preschoolers!