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Bright Beginnings Learning Center To Receive Innovations in Special Education Award

BBLC's Kate Johnson at an ESCNJ Board meeting. The school's Coding & Robotics Club is one of seven schools statewide receiving an Innovations in Special Education Award from the NJSBA and ASAH. Credits: Courtesy of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey

The Bright Beginnings Learning Center’s (BBLC) “Coding and Robotics Club” is one of seven programs statewide selected to receive an “Innovations in Special Education Award” for “successful, creative efforts” enabling special needs students to achieve their potential.

The BBLC “Coding and Robotics Club” entry was one of 57 submissions to the  contest, sponsored by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), and the Association of Schools and Agencies for the Handicapped (ASAH).  

One of six schools within the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ), representatives will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Monday, May 8 at 11:30 a.m. at the Westin Forrestal Village, in Princeton. Among the dignitaries invited to attend the awards ceremony are Governor Chris Christie, members of the New Jersey State Legislature, the Commissioner of Education, and other state officials, according to NJSBA Executive Director Lawrence S. Feinsod, EdD.,  and ASAH Executive Director Gerard M. Thiers.

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“We are pleased with the recognition, and it underscores the support of our Board of Directors regarding our efforts to build the technology capacity of our special needs students,” said ESCNJ Superintendent Mark J. Finkelstein.

“The Coding and Robotics Club, as well as our robotics curriculum have been particularly engaging to our higher functioning special needs students. The skills they are learning will greatly benefit them in securing future employment,” he added.

The ESCNJ’s special needs coding and robotics curriculum was featured in presentations at the 2016 NJSBA Convention, and the New Jersey Association of School Administrators “Techspo ‘17” conference earlier this year.

The ESCNJ operates six schools offering comprehensive services for student’s ages 3-21 with autism, multiple disabilities, and at-risk behaviors, including two schools with on-site clinical support services. The ESCNJ also provides shared services statewide to special needs students. Established in 1977, the ESCNJ is the largest Educational Services Commission in New Jersey, and coordinates transportation services for nearly 14,000 students throughout the state. The ESCNJ also manages the state’s largest cooperative buying program with its Co-op Pricing System, which has over 1,100 members.

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