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Wheelchair-Accessible Nature Trail Completed at Academy Learning Center

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ESCNJ Board Members Mrs. Rosa Diaz, Superintendent of the Carteret Public Schools, and Mr. Jorge Diaz, Superintendent of the South Amboy Public Schools, took time to visit the ALC Nature Trail. Credits: Courtesy of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey
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ALC’s Mr. Nicholas Richardella (left), who served as a faculty advisor for the Nature Trail project, helps students appreciate different textures on the bark board display. Credits: Courtesy of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey
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A key feature of the ALC Nature Trail is its wheelchair accessibility. Credits: Courtesy of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey
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 MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - A wheelchair-accessible Nature Trail for Academy Learning Center (ALC) students has been completed courtesy of Greg Braun, a Monroe High School Junior.  Greg coordinated efforts of his Boy Scout Troop #3 members, ALC staff, and secured donations, to construct the project to demonstrate his leadership skills in his effort to become an Eagle Scout.

A video of ALC students exploring the Nature Trail can be viewed at https://www.teachertube.com/video/academy-learning-centers-nature-trail-464839.

Greg had read an article where an ALC student expressed his enjoyment of outdoor activities.  He contacted ALC Principal Dr. Erik Solberg, and within a year the Nature Trail was a reality, located on school property behind the facility.

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The ALC offers two separate programs for students ages 3-21 with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Multiple Disabilities.

The Nature Trail includes:  A wheelchair friendly path; signs with interesting nature facts; a bark board; birdhouses; a Bug Garden and benches.

“It’s like an outdoor classroom,” said Mr. Nicholas Richardella, who served as a faculty advisor with Ms. Janice Lee, additional ALC staff and PTO members, and ESCNJ’s  Mr. Lou DiMeglio and Mr. John Howard in building the Nature Trail.

The largest Educational Services Commission in the state, the ESCNJ provides special education services to school districts statewide, coordinates transportation services for over 10,000 students across the state, and manages a Co-op Pricing System with over 1,000 members.

 

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