Front row, from left: Yasin Reddick, Regan Pompeo of Basking Ridge, NJ, daughter of Hobart Group CEO Lisa Bair; and Jessica Evans. Back row, from left: Elena Hickman, Bedminster, NJ; Camille Caruso, Gladstone, NJ; Christine Monahan, Bedminster; Katie Dorsey, Lopatcong, NJ; and Greg Condit, Chatham, NJ.
Two Matheny residents, Yasin Reddick and Jessica Evans, volunteered at the Peapack-Gladstone First Aid Squad’s 21st annual Town-Wide Garage Sale, held on Saturday, April 27. Reddick and Evans helped out at the table sponsored by The Hobart Group, Gladstone-based promotional and marketing services agency.
The Garage Sale is a fundraiser for the squad, which provides emergency services to Peapack-Gladstone residents and has been very helpful to and supportive of Matheny.
Matheny student Aaron Turovlin and physical therapist Jessica Korab.
The front parking lot at Matheny was closed off and transformed into several basketball courts on Friday, April 26, as Matheny School students participated in adapted basketball games as part of a “March Madness”-type tournament to raise money for the American Heart Association.
The tournament was Matheny’s participation in the AHA’s Hoops for Heart program, designed to bring students together for a good cause. On the same day, throughout Matheny, employees were encouraged to wear red and donate $5 to help the AHA raise women’s awareness of cardiovascular disease and empower women to reduce their risks. Families and friends of Matheny students were asked to send checks to Matheny, made out to The American Heart Association.
From left, Sean Murphy, Matheny School principal; Sean Bielefeldt, Matheny director of recreation therapy; Daeon Troutman, Matheny student; Dawn Williams, Matheny teacher; Lori Bertoline, regional director, youth market, American Heart Assn.; Jim Hintenach, Matheny elementary supervisor, adapted physical education; and Kevin Long, Matheny student.
A speech-language pathologist helps a non-verbal student communicate by using a SMART Board.
The Matheny School will be holding an Open House on Tuesday, May 21, from 10 a.m.-noon, to showcase its wide range of programs for students with multiple disabilities.
Students served by the school attend either preschool, kindergarten-eighth grade or high school (grades 9-12+). Emergent technologies and communications systems, a “centers approach” incorporating hands-on activities and traditional academics such as biology and U.S. history are all part of Matheny’s comprehensive program. Occupational, physical and speech therapy are provided for all students along with adapted physical education, “21st Century” life skills, social services and psychology.
The Matheny School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. And, for assistive technology, it is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
School districts or families can obtain more information about the Open House and register by calling (908) 234-0011, ext. 774, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Untitled, by Chet Cheesman.
Paintings and digital art by artists in Matheny’s Arts Access Program will again be part of a special exhibit, “New Jersey Medical School – ARTS,” to be held from May through August in the Medical Science Building of UMDNJ in Newark. An opening reception will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, May 19.
This marks the third year that Arts Access will be part of the ARTS exhibit and the second year that three Arts Access satellite programs – the WAE Center of JSDD (Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled of Metrowest, Inc.) in West Orange, NJ; the Arc of Mercer County in Ewing, NJ; and Hattie Larlham in Twinsburg, Ohio – will be exhibiting as well.
Arts Access enables people with disabilities to create fine art, assisted by professional artist-facilitators. All artwork is for sale, and proceeds are split 50/50, with half the funds going directly to the artist and half going back to Matheny to cover cost of art materials, stretching and framing of the work. Twelve Arts Access artists will have work on display at the UMDNJ exhibit.
"Baby," by Annie Paloff.
Matheny student utilizes a walker, assisted by a physical therapist.
Related therapy services are vital to the core of the Matheny School program. Occupational, physical and speech therapies are integrated into the school program through authentic tasks and settings.
In physical therapy, students utilize adaptive tricycle riding, standing and alternate positioning programs developed by physical therapists. In speech, students are not limited to speech patterns and topics chosen by the curriculum teams. They enjoy phrases selected by either themselves or their parents. Occupational therapy looks to enhance all areas of functional life with a focus towards real world expectations.
For more information about the Matheny School, call (908) 234-0011, ext. 237.
Stretching a student’s hip flexors and quadriceps in a physical therapy sesson.
Matheny has dozens of highly skilled professionals with unparalleled depth and breadth of experience who are available to work with special needs students in public schools and provide services that the schools are often not able to provide on their own. These include:
- Specialized evaluations.
- Therapy services.
- Home-based services.
- Adaptive equipment and technologies.
School district administrators who would like more information, should contact Linda Newsome at 908 229-7342 or email email@example.com
Darlene Tammara receives her award from Kim Mulligan, left, co-host of WDHA’s morning show; at right is the other co-host, Jim Monahan.
Matheny teacher Darlene Tammara was one of 23 teachers honored by Greater Media radio stations WDHA 105.5FM and WMTR 1250AM of Cedar Knolls, NJ, at a special dinner held April 23 at Ravello Elegant Weddings & Banquets in East Hanover, NJ.
The honorees were welcomed by Dan Finn, Greater Media New Jersey senior vice president and regional general manager, and Nancy McKinley, manager of both stations. Then, on-air personalities hosted the remainder of the evening and made a special presentation to each teacher individually.
Four years ago, Tammara started Matheny’s Tea Time Café, a snack bar managed by Matheny students for Matheny employees. Now, in her transition class, she has her students count money from Tea Time sales, enter the results on a special math worksheet and make bank deposits. The students also work on clerical jobs for Matheny and fill packages for Operation Shoebox, an organization that sends care packages to U.S. troops deployed overseas.
Darlene Tammara with her son, A.J., left; husband Tony and daughter Alyssa.
Jean Lavelle, RN, Matheny’s transition nurse, center, confers with Lisa McKenna, RN, left, and Dr. Surbparkash Singh, staff physician.
Matheny’s transition nurse program is designed to assist our patients requiring services in other medical settings, both inpatient and outpatient. They understand the needs of our medically fragile patients and make daily visits to acute care settings to provide vital patient-specific information. The result: a smooth transition into and out of these settings, including all ambulatory care visits, too.
The goals of transition nursing are:
• Reduced hospital readmissions within 30 days.
• Increased patient, family and caregiver satisfaction.
• Accurate medication reconciliation.
• Improved communication across healthcare settings.
Karen Dakak helps student Nicholas Barros draw a shape on the iPad.
When the Mendham, NJ, Rotary Club donated two iPads to Matheny, the primary purpose was to enhance the communications ability of students who were restricted to their homes or hospital rooms due to illness. Videoconferencing technology permits children to attend class remotely, even when they are sick or avoiding contagion.
The iPads are especially valuable to Matheny students because they are less cumbersome to hold than laptop computers, can be used with inexpensive apps designed specifically for people with disabilities and offer touch screens that provide greater accessibility for those with little or no fine motor control.
When the iPads are not needed for ill students, however, they don’t sit dormant. They are used in the classroom for a variety of enriched learning experiences. One recent example was during a lesson on “perimeters.” The classroom teacher, Karen Dakak, was able to use rubber bands to help the students make different shapes on the iPad screen. “We could make as many shapes as we wanted,” she says, “and then find the perimeter of the shapes.”
This is but one example of how the Matheny School uses technology to help its students reach their highest level of academic achievement while also obtaining maximum independence.
Three different shapes on the iPad screen.
A painting by Chris Saglimbene, one of the artists profiled in Into the Light.
Into the Light, a documentary about Matheny’s Arts Access Program, has been accepted into the Montclair Film Festival and will be screened at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, at the Clairidge Cinema in Montclair, NJ. In the short film, director Paul Pawlowski profiles the lives and work of three artists as they prepare for Arts Access’ 15th anniversary five years ago. The film presents a brief history of Matheny and the creation and development of Arts Access, which enables people with disabilities to create fine art, assisted by professional artist-facilitators.
The three artists featured are Chris Saglimbene, a painter; Natalia Manning, a choreographer; and Jenny Durr, a writer. They are profiled and followed in and out of the studio. The film culminates with Full Circle, the annual celebration of Arts Access. This year, Arts Access will celebrate its 20th anniversary on November 2 and has received a Challenge America Fast-Track grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the 20th anniversary Full Circle celebration.
Tickets to the May 5th screening can be purchased by logging onto www.montclairfilmfest.org.