Pre-school’s out for summer!
Tots enrolled at Helen Keller Services for the Blind’s Children’s Learning Center collected their diplomas at a Downtown graduation ceremony on Friday, and attendees said watching the students with disabilities celebrate their commencement was a powerful experience.
“It’s always so moving to see the progress that these children have made, and all the great work that they do,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D–Boerum Hill).
The 19 pre-schoolers who attended the ceremony in the National Grid Auditorium at One MetroTech Center — the home of The Brooklyn Paper — all have emotional, physical, or neurological disabilities, and the school works to set them on a course for success despite the challenges they face, according to its president of 17 years.
“We do everything we can to make their lives as fruitful as they can be, and give them the tools to move forward,” said Joseph F. Bruno.
Graduates’ friends and family filled the auditorium for the event — which included a dance performance, a slideshow of the students, and a diploma presentation — joining school officials who, according to the mom of one wheelchair–bound scholar, dedicated themselves to helping the kids succeed.
“They’re a special team of teachers, assistants, and therapists — almost like an extended family, and always available,” said Erin Gentile, mother of graduate Callaway Gentile. “Callaway has done so well, and now he’s about go into Kindergarten!”