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 BBBLC'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


Upcoming Events

Sat, March 17, 5:30 PM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

St. Patrick's Day Annual Dinner

Food & Drink

Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Maple Sugar Sunday


Sun, March 18, 3:00 PM

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield

Crescent Concerts Presents Annual Festival of ...

Arts & Entertainment

Rep. Watson Coleman Urges Support for Students Participating in Protests: Letter to Local School Officials Asks for Encouragement Rather Than Punishment

March 16, 2018

EWING, NJ – Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) sent letters to principals and other school administrators in New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District urging support and encouragement for students who engage in protests and demonstrations for gun violence prevention amid reports that some New Jersey schools had suspended or otherwise punished students for their ...

Statement from Linden 9th Ward Councilman Armando Medina Regarding June 2017 Democratic Primary

March 12, 2018

This June I will seek the Democratic nomination for 9th Ward Council in the City of Linden. It has been my privilege to represent the 9th Ward since 2013. 

The residents of the 9th Ward expect independent leadership that above all puts the taxpayer first. A few weeks ago, I announced I would run as part of a team headed by Mayor Armstead. Since then, I have heard from many residents and ...

Bayonne Police: Second Teen Arrested for Recent School Threats

March 14, 2018

BAYONNE, NJ - A second teen was charged for last week's social media school shooting threats.

According to Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, police arrested a local 13-year-old for false public alarm and making terroristic threats after detectives determined the student was responsible for a SnapChat involving a Bayonne private school.

Davis said police determined the teen made a ...

Celebrando el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer

March 16, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Estimados Plainfield,

Yo fui criado por dos mujeres poderosas e generosas, y me pasaron principios y valores que me han guiado durante mi vida entera. Mi mama persiguió la oportunidad y busco una manera de proveer para su familia. Ella dejo la isla de Barbados para poder trabajar en los hogares de los Estados Unidos, creando e allanando un camino para que sus hijos lo ...

Innovador Plainfield

Estimados Plainfield,


El crecimiento requiere evolución, la evolución implica cambio, y el cambio conduce a la innovación. Plainfield está evolucionando. Nos estamos adaptando para cumplir con los requisitos del renacimiento que está formando el futuro. No podemos esperar cambio positivo y sostenible si continuamos con el mismo ritmo de las ...

Distrito escolar de Plainfield anuncia ganadores de Feria de las Ciencias

PLAINFIELD, NJ - La Oficina de Tecnología, Ciencias e Instrucción de las Escuelas Públicas de Plainfield anunció a los ganadores de la Feria de Ciencias 2018, en una recepción celebrada el jueves 1 de marzo de 2018 en la Escuela Primaria Clinton.

Veintiocho de los 178 estudiantes en grados 4-12 recibieron los máximos honores después de presentar ...

Rapps Pharmacy: What You Need To Know About The Flu

There seems to be no end in sight for the current flu season which has touched every part of the country, and right here in New Jersey.  Rapps Pharmacy, an independent, full service, and locally owned Plainfield neighborhood pharmacy, offers these tips:  

As influenza virus activity increases and is likely to continue circulating for upcoming weeks, the Centers for Disease Control ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Lilli DeJong by Janet Benton

Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton (Doubleday, 2017)


“It's said that every woman's painful labor is God's punishment. Eve ate an apple, and God pours wrath on every mother. So the Bible tells it.” (p.320)

The story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, which is the Biblical explanation for the extreme pains of childbirth, casts women in the role of ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)


Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...