The following parent testimonials have been recently provided by parents whose sons and daughters have attended or currently attend AHRC NYC schools.
Testimonials from Astoria Blue Feather Early Learning Center
I am the proud parent of a first year student at Astoria Blue Feather. From the first day I was there, I knew I had made the right choice for my son. The entire staff made my family and me feel so welcomed and everyone made it a priority to introduce themselves and give us such a warm welcome. The teachers are simply amazing and as someone who works in a NYC Charter School it is so wonderful to see such a dedicated and caring group of educators working together to make a difference in our children’s’ lives. I have an excellent relationship with my son’s teachers and they always encourage me to come by and participate in various classroom activities and events. In his first year, my son took part in a Sign Language Show, a Mother’s Day Show and a Father’s Day Presentation. His class gets yoga lessons every month and even went on a Field Trip to the Bronx Zoo as an extension to their in class study on zoo animals and insects. My son has made some remarkable changes since he started in September 2012 and everyday continues to blossom in ways I never imagined. I can’t stress how excited I am as he continues on two his second year and even more happy that my daughter will be starting her first year come September.
I am also the President of the School’s Policy Council and it thrills me to say that the parent involvement at ABF is phenomenal. Every month the meetings are packed with eager parents who want to learn about what is going on at the school and give their feedback as well. There are numerous workshops held for families as well ranging from ways to helps your child at home with writing, preparation for Kindergarten, potty training, to helping parents with their financial goals and even an annual Health Fair for the community. The opportunities offered through ABF are endless and this school truly is a gift to our community! I will forever be grateful to Astoria Blue Feather, the staff and teachers for everything they have done and continue to do every day.
–Parent of a student at Astoria Blue Feather Early Learning Center
Testimonials from Esther Ashkenas Central Park Early Learning Center
My son William will be attending Central Park Early Learning Center this coming September. My first impression of the school was how bright and positive the school felt and looked. There was a great deal of art work on the walls and the staff was obviously engaged and attentive with the children.
I received a nice welcome from the head teacher Deborah Bianco and the principal Beth Rosenthal. Deb and Beth spent time to show me the school and explain the program. I was very impressed when walking around the school with how happy all the students appeared to be. The children were on bikes and wagons and were laughing and having fun and I couldn’t help but feel the positive energy.
William immediately felt comfortable and reacted positive to Deb and started playing with the toys in the waiting room. The fish really caught his attention. It was amazing how Beth was able to be so attuned to William’s strengths and struggles with in a few minutes of observing him. I am so excited for William to begin in September. I know it will be a wonderful school experience.
–Parent of a student at Esther Ashkenas Central Park Early Learning Center
Testimonials from Francis of Paola Early Learning Center
I am the parent of a special needs child who attends Francis of Paola Early Learning Center. My son has had an incredibly difficult first three years of life. The school was so very patient and understanding with me and my son. We have received so much help from the staff at this school and with all of their support my son is so much better and able to participate more appropriately in school. Each month I see steady improvement. I highly recommend Francis of Paola to every parent whose child is in need of help. The teacher’s at this school give 100%!
–Parent of a student at Francis of Paola Early Learning Center
My daughter Tiffany started last September at Francis of Paola. At first, she was unable to talk, but then she started improving with the help of her teachers and Lori and the school nurse and the Principal. Her first words this year were “mama” and “daddy”. Her first sentence was, “My name is Tiffany, mama.” We were so proud we wanted to cry.
At first I was doubtful that the school could even help her but her progress has been amazing! If I had to do it all over again, I would do the same. Tiffany tippy-toes much less and she can sit down a bit longer and pay attention to us. She is now able to play at the park and not afraid to be near other children. I wish she did not have to graduate this summer and move on to kindergarten. There is so much enthusiasm, love, support and hope at this school. They care about Tiffany like a family member.
–Parent of a student at Francis of Paola Early Learning Center
Testimonials from Howard Haber Early Learning Center
As parents of a child attending Howard Haber Early Learning Center, we are experiencing a very bittersweet moment at this time. Our child will be graduating from Howard Haber and will move on to kindergarten. Although we are very happy that he is moving ahead; we are also very saddened of the fact that he will no longer attend this school.
Daniel was a 2 1/2 year old child diagnosed with PDD-NOS, who didn’t speak- and was very withdrawn. As frightened as we were about sending him to school at such a young age, we were willing to do anything to give him the best chance possible to improve. Sending him to Howard Haber was the best choice we have ever made.
Reflecting on so many positive experiences, as a mother, there is one that I would love to share. One afternoon, as I waiting for Daniel to take him home, he came over with a staff member and yelled “Mommy” when he saw me. He was 3 years old, and it was the first time he had ever called me that. As a father, just to be able to have a conversation with Daniel about how his day was is so gratifying. In a three year period, Daniel went from a very small class of six to an integrated class of twelve students. Today Daniel is a 5 years old child, who is extremely talkative, and very social. He is very inquisitive and he can’t stop talking about how much fun he has in school with his teachers and friends. With the help from the staff at Howard Haber, Daniel has the skills necessary to excel in kindergarten.
–Parents of a student who recently graduated from Howard Haber Early Learning Center
Wow! Years ago, as an Early Intervention Service Coordinator, before becoming a parent, I referred many families to Howard Haber and still do. Now as a mother, I have my two children Athena and Michael, attending Howard Haber. My daughter started in the Early Intervention program and now is graduating preschool. The program has been a blessing and hope for Athena. Athena came into the program with no speech, poor eye contact, and was shy and withdrawn. Today Athena is the total opposite and we feel she has accomplished so much thanks to the school’s help! Michael has had his first year at the school, and in this short time he has made great improvements. I know he will continue to make so many more in the coming year. Athena will not only be taking memories when she graduates, she will also be taking with her all she has learned to continue toward her goals for her future.
–Parent of students at Howard Haber Early Learning Center
Testimonials from Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary School
It has been a great year and Ryan has grown so much. Ryan is moving into a less restrictive class after his first year. This is definitely due to the wonderful and caring teachers and staff at Brooklyn Blue Feather. They have been so patient and supportive throughout the year. I am sure this is the best place for him right now. He will get all the support he needs to hopefully become the strong, independent person I know he has the potential to be. I look forward to another amazing year for Ryan at Brooklyn Blue Feather.
Thank you so much BBF! I am so appreciative of all the hard work and great care. It really makes me worry less because I know he is in good hands at BBF.
–Parent of student at Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary School
I wanted to thank you for the phenomenal job that your school has done for both of my children. Vincent and Jocelyn have made so much progress this year and we have your dedicated staff to thank for it. They can’t wait to come to school in the morning! They have learned and matured so much in the past year. They never would have made this much progress if they were in public school. Your school not only stresses academics, but the arts as well. I have no worries about the safety or care of my kids while they are in your building. Keep up the great work!
–Parent of student at Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary School
Testimonials from AHRC Middle High School
I am a parent of two boys – Nicholas and Michael, graduates from AHRC Middle/High School. Both of them have been attending AHRC school program from an early age. Nicholas was part of the original class that started it all. That class was soon joined by another couple of classes and Howard Haber program was born. And then some more kids came along, and Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary school sprouted in no time. And as the kids were growing up we parents started panicking ‘What is going to happen when the kids turn 12?’ And AHRC rose up to the occasion – AHRC Middle/High School had been born. All of this took a lot of fearless work and dedication from the AHRC Head Office warriors, Christina Muccioli and Madelin Rivera, and all their capable soldiers. From eight kids to 27 High School graduates this year, and another 100 kids attending the High School as of now; from my 4 year olds having no place to go, no program designed for autistic children at the time, to this.
Nicholas and Michael at 4 years old were severely disabled. Their learning ability was jeopardized by so many factors: no eye contact, no communication skills, no basic understanding of their surroundings– no way to learn. They are happy and functional adults these days, they know where they are. They can communicate their basic needs and then some. They can perform basic jobs and socialize in appropriate manner. They laugh and cry like we all do.
None of their achievements could’ve been accomplished without the expertise and compassion of people working with them every day, every hour, every minute. The school staff’s dedication and courage, patience and entrance have been forever present. Now Nicholas and Michael have reached the milestone – no schooling anymore. Off they go into the adult world as ready as they can ever be.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Thank you forever and ever.
-Parent of two recent AHRC Middle / High School graduates
My daughter Jessie is 20 years old and the upcoming school year will be her last year attending the AHRC Middle/High School in Brooklyn, New York. I cannot believe this time has come so fast. Jessie began AHRC at the age of 11 and you can imagine coming into a new school for any child is frightening. For a child with special needs it’s even scarier not knowing if they’ll fit in, be treated well, and be taught with a compassionate heart. Thank goodness an amazing TA by the name of Pascale was transitioning from her old school with her.
Jessie was welcomed immediately and I knew she felt comfortable very soon after. As a problem we’ve all been faced with schools with special needs children, doors can sometimes act in a revolving way with staff, teachers, T.A.’s, and therapists. I must say here at the Middle/High School, administration did try at all times to keep each room fully staffed. I have met and Jessie has had some amazing people working with her in the classrooms, even other staff such as the nurses have not only come to care for the kids when they weren’t feeling well but to just ‘come and care.’
During Jessie’s 9 years attending AHRC she has had some amazing people working with her. With the help of these people Jessie has grown immensely. This last year Jessie was involved in so much, always busy! Over the last couple of months she did a partnership program with Pace University learning more computer skills that were a great success!
The AHRC program offered her internships, fitness (exercising, nutrition teaching), community exposure, how to shop with money, eat in restaurants, and all- around vocational skills. It is very important to my family to not only take from the community but to give back and I think Jessie has done that. I have voiced numerous times over the years how important it was for Jessie to not only exist in the community but to be a part of it. AHRC listened and made that happen.
Jessie will be entering a new class starting the summer session and I’m confident this will be her best year ever. She will be ready to enter a good adult day program and bring all the wonderful experiences and skills she gained here at AHRC and go on to do great things in life. Jessie has made some beautiful relationships with friends and so many staff members that I will make sure stay a part of Jessie’s life. I would like to thank AHRC for helping me take my little 11 year old girl and create a beautiful, loving, smart amazing young lady that is.
-Parent of current AHRC Middle / High School student