Our daughter Emily is one of thousands of
children with special needs living on Long Island. Since her birth in 1996 she has required special assistance
in all areas of daily activities.
She began Early Intervention at the age of one and
continues to attend schools for developmentally disabled
1999 she began attending The Hagedorn Little Village School,
Jack Joel Center in Bellmore, NY.
This school has been a source of solace for us and
for hundreds of other families with children of similar
needs. We came
to think of the school as an extension of our family.
Little Village's goal is to enable each child to
achieve his or her highest potential educationally,
emotionally and socially.
This is accomplished by combining educational and
supportive services for families and an ongoing
educational/therapeutic program for the children. Little
Village's school-based program and ancillary services
provide support to over 500 families annually throughout
Long Island. The
philosophy of the organization is to provide the finest
educational and therapeutic services for infants and young
children who have developmental disabilities.
These may include cognitive delays, emotional
disturbances, autism, neurological, speech-language,
orthopedic impairments and/or multiple handicaps. Education
and therapeutic programs are designed to guide each child
toward achieving his/her highest potential socially,
educationally and emotionally.
the Bellmore School District notified the school that it
needed to relocate, many parents joined in the hunt and
ultimately the construction of the school at the former
Massapequa General Hospital site in Seaford, NY.
It is a work in progress with many families
continuing to make vital contributions to this fine school.
We too, looked for a special way to contribute to
this effort. The
Carman Foundation for Children was established in 2000 for
the sole purpose of raising the awareness in our community
that there are many families affected by a child or children
with disabilities. Each
of us in our own way, has found a way to make our child’s
stay there a little more special and look for ways to make
the experience for those who follow as special as ours has
been. In 2000
we organized a fundraiser that was fully embraced
by the school. The
Sleepy Hollow Charity 5K Run/Walk was launched.
Through the generosity of so many people, we continue
to host and enjoy a remarkable event.
Proceeds from this event are donated to the school to
provide support for disabled children and their families.
year we’ve added HorseAbility, a therapeutic riding and
hippotherapy program as a benefactor.
Located in Melville, NY this organization provides
horseback instruction and therapy to disabled children and
began riding in 2005 as her special “after-school sport”
as her disabilities barred her from traditional community
programs. From her very first ride on a large, gentle horse
named “Romeo”, a special connection was forged. Responsibility, instruction, stamina and most of all – joy
– all came together
relies heavily on donations to maintain their programs;
donations of horses, feed, volunteers and money.
Witnessing so many children mirror the joy Emily has
from riding, we decided to help this program by including
them in our 5K event. Won’t
you help, too?