LIVINGSTON, NJ — Children’s picture book author Corey Rosen-Schwartz, who lives in Warren, NJ with her husband and two kids, visited Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey (CPNJ)’s Horizon School in Livingston on May 28, where she read to more than 65 children with multiple disabilities. Rosen-Schwartz personalized and signed a copy of her three children’s books, “Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears,” “The Three Ninja Pigs” and “Ninja Red Riding Hood” for each student, which the school’s Public Information Officer Carole Ammann said they were ecstatic to take home.
Rosen-Schwartz read the students three fractured fairy tales that previously won awards like the Amazon Editor’s Pick of the Month. According to Ammann, Rosen-Schwartz not only had the students’ full attention for the day, but also asked many of them to be active participants in each of the stories she presented.
“Our students are like any other elementary school children — they enjoy programs that are fun, stimulating and interactive,” Ammann said. “Ms. Rosen-Schwartz understands that our students do best with hands-on educational experiences and she has a wonderful talent for engaging students.”
CPNJ’s Interim President and CEO, Angelica Diaz-Martinez, who has two young children and was familiar was Rosen-Schwartz’s work, recommended the author to Horizon School Principal Tina Volpe, who facilitated the event. When Volpe reached out to Rosen-Schwartz and told her about the school’s mission, Rosen-Schwartz said she was eager to read to the students, tour the school and see the wonderful things they do.
“More than half of our students require a wheelchair or walker,” said Amman. “The majority of students are unable to communicate verbally, and many of our students have significant medical issues. Ms. Rosen-Schwartz was very impressed by our expertise in ensuring that every student is able to participate, regardless of the challenges he or she faces.”
Book review outlets like the Huffington Post and Kirkus Reviews have described Rosen-Schwartz’s picture books as standouts among fractured fairy tales, combining humor, rhyme and lovable story lines that are sure to entertain children for summers to come. School Library Journal said that children gravitate to Rosen-Schwartz’s rhyming text and exciting illustrations and generally find them to be fun read-aloud stories.
CPNJ is dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities and other special needs by supporting personal growth, independence and participation in the community — and the Horizon School in Livingston is one of the ways they do that. The Horizon School in Livingston stresses functional learning for children ages three-13 by increasing life skills and enhancing each child’s ability to gain as much independence as possible. According to the Horizon School’s mission statement, the curriculum emphasizes self-determination, independence and communication.
Since speech and mobility are a difficulty for the majority of the students at the Horizon School, therapies are incorporated into the classroom setting and assistive technology and augmentative communication devices foster greater interaction and choice making for students. However, Ammann said reading Rosen-Schwartz’s stories aloud was a fun, different and beneficial learning experience for the entire student body.