Press Releases

Innovations In Special Education Award Is A ‘Shining Moment’ for BBLC

Students Galuco DaSilva (L), and Jason Raymond accepted the Coding and Robotics Club “Innovations in Special Education Award.” Credits: Educational Services Commission Of New Jersey
NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney spoke with BBLC Supervisor Sandy Giardino while visiting its Coding and Robotics Club display at the “Innovations in Special Education Awards” ceremony. Credits: Educational Services Commission Of New Jersey
The BBLC's Coding and Robotics Club display drew the attention of attendees at the “Innovations in Special Education Awards” ceremony held at the Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village. Credits: Educational Services Commission Of New Jersey

 Being one of only seven schools in New Jersey to receive an “Innovations in Special Education Award” at a ceremony held at the Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village, was a special occasion  for Bright Beginnings Learning Center (BBLC) students, faculty and  parents.

“It was a great honor for BBLC’s Coding and Robotics Club,” said Case Manager Kate Johnson, one of the representatives attending the luncheon ceremony.

Operated by the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey, the BBLC offers specialized programs for students ages 3-21 with autism, and specialized programs for students 3-13 with multiple disabilities.    

Sign Up for E-News

The Innovations in Special Education Awards ceremony is scheduled to coincide with Special Education Week in New Jersey.  Awards are given to schools with programs that represent  “a successful, creative effort that enables special needs students to achieve their potential,” according to NJSBA Executive Director Lawrence S. Feinsod, E.D.,  and ASAH Executive Director Gerard M. Thiers, whose organizations are co-sponsors of the event.

A selection committee considered program entries from 57 schools statewide before selecting the seven award recipients.

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney was impressed as he toured the displays set up by the seven award recipients prior to the ceremony.

“It is a great achievement for students and their teachers,” Senator Sweeney said.

The Educational Services Commission of New Jersey Superintendent Mark J. Finkelstein said he was delighted with the “well deserved” recognition.

“The most important aspect of the Coding and Robotics Club is the impact it will ultimately have in helping higher functioning students gain exposure to coding in preparation for joining the work force upon graduation,” he said.

Mrs. Johnson, a founder of the BBLC Coding and Robotics Club, said the experience also provides students opportunities to work on their social skills, learn to collaborate with others on projects, and, now, having been selected as award winners, experience how it feels to be recognized for a major accomplishment.

In fact, while most schools had special education teachers and administrators walk to the front of the spacious ballroom to receive their award, the BBLC chose two students who have made major contributions to the Coding and Robotics Club, Galuco DaSilva and Jason Raymond, to the accept the award.

“Seeing Galuco and Jason walk in front of the crowd independently and accept the award was a shining moment for all of us,” said Mrs. Johnson.

It was also a thrill for Jason’s mother, Antonine Fileus, and Glauco’s parents, Genady and Glauco DaSilva, and his stepfather Charles Ross.

Bright Beginnings Learning Center Supervisor Sandy Giardino, and Teacher Naomi Glassman were also part of the BBLC contingent.   Ms. Glassman worked with BBLC students in programming a NAO Robot so it could serve as a reader during “Read Across America” week recently.

The BBLC is one of six school operated by the ESCNJ for student’s ages 3-21 with autism, multiple disabilities, and at-risk behaviors, in addition to providing shared services to special education students statewide. The largest Educational Services Commission in New Jersey, the ESCNJ coordinates transportation services for nearly 14,000 students across the state, and manages a 1,100 member Co-op Pricing System, the largest cooperative buying program in New Jersey.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


East Brunswick: I Don't Wanna Close Up, I'm a Toys-R-Us Kid

March 16, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick used to be the home of Meyer's toy store, an almost idyllic wonderland of all sorts of Barbies, parts for swimming pools, and clanging model trains until it closed in 2002.  Kay-Bee toy store was a popular stop at the Brunswick Square Mall until 2009, with a salesperson often displaying the newest gadget outside its door, causing eager kids ...


Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more
Piscataway, NJ – Manuela Cruz, 94, born July 17, 1923, passed away peacefully on March 8, ...
Read more

12th Annual Interfaith Conference – Women in Islam on March 25

March 23, 2018

 MONROE, NJ -  Muslims for Peace, Inc. proudly announces the presentation of the 12th Annual Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Interfaith Conference – Women in Islam: A Dialogue.

The Conference will be held on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at Rutgers’ Cook Campus Student Center, 54 Biel Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. This year’s Conference will be hosted by Anisa Diab and ...

Middlesex County Young Republicans Host "Road to Victory" Event at the Green Turtle

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Middlesex County Young Republican Chairman John Steiner would like to announce the Middlesex County Young Republicans "Road to Victory" Reception, which will take place on March 22 at the Green Turtle in North Brunswick from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.

This event will serve as the official launch for the 2018 campaign season for the Middlesex ...

Free Program for People with Diabetes Offered in Piscataway

Are you a person with Medicare living with diabetes or know someone who is? Take control of your health through a free and fun six-week workshop series.

Meet others going through similar experiences and learn about diabetes and its risks, preventing complications, healthy eating, exercise, medication management, dealing with stress and depression, action planning, and much more. Graduates from ...

Hillary Clinton coming to Rutgers, event moved to RAC to handle crowd

NEW BRUNSWICK – Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics will host former presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton on March 29.

Originally scheduled for the College Avenue Gym, the event, entitled “A Conversation with the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton,” has been moved to the Rutgers Athletic Center “due to the extraordinary level of ...

Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity Basketball News

The Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity basketball team concluded a very successful season by capturing two championships over the weekend.  The Storm continued the basketball program’s winning ways when the team captured the school’s fourth consecutive Diocese of Metuchen CYM Varsity White Division Championship on its home court on Saturday evening.  The team then secured the ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 11:00 AM

Piscataway Little League Fields, Piscataway

Annual Piscataway Easter Egg Hunt

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 12:00 PM

Middlesex County College - Center Cafe C, Edison

Mission 22 United in the War Against Veteran ...

Sat, March 24, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 25, 8:00 AM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

Palm Sunday

Religions And Spirituality

Sun, March 25, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Protestors Gather in Somerville to Proclaim “Enough is Enough”

March 24, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - More than a thousand protestors gathered yesterday afternoon and evening at either end of Main Street to demonstrate against gun violence and to demand heightened safety measures  in the nation’s schools.

The demonstrations were an outgrowth of the Valentine’s Day shooting last month at a high school in Parkland, Fla. that killed 17 students and ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...