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BergenPAC Program To Introduce Special Needs Students To The Arts

The Felician School For Exceptional Children will team with bergenPAC's “Special Stars” program this fall.
The Felician School For Exceptional Children will team with bergenPAC's “Special Stars” program this fall. Photo Credit: Courtesy The Felician School For Exceptional Children

Students at The Felician School for Exceptional Children in Lodi will receive an exceptional opportunity to learn about the arts due to a recent grant.

The $5,000 from The Provident Bank Foundation will allow bergenPAC's “Special Stars” program to provide an interactive curriculum in the arts, dance, theater and music to the school this fall.

"Special Stars" provides education in a variety of artistic pursuits as an outlet for students who otherwise have trouble expressing themselves.

“Our aim is to provide arts education to those who require programs to be modified to fit the needs of all students,” said Dominic Roncace, bergenPAC CEO, in a press release. “We already have a number of outreach programs that encompass students of a variety of diverse backgrounds. The success of 'Special Stars' is paramount in our goal of providing a completely inclusive education and with the pledged support of The Provident Bank Foundation, this dream will become a reality.”

The Provident Bank Foundation supports bergenPAC’s arts education and outreach initiatives in the community.

“The Provident Bank Foundation understands that providing arts education programming to fit the needs of all students is one of many key elements to a well-rounded educational experience,” said Jane Kurek, the foundation's executive director, in a press release.

During previous programs at the school, several successes were reported, according to a press release.

Angelo, a 20-year-old student with special needs who struggles in social situations, thrived after being encouraged to explore and participate with other students, the release said. He demonstrated increased focus and a drastic improvement in communication while simultaneously interacting with students more efficiently in a structured situation, the release said.

Bryan, a 17-year-old student, reportedly was moved by performers and instructors. He demonstrated a very noticeable improvement in his approach to challenges presented before him, the press release said. He also performed a short musical piece on the guitar, the release said.

“His participation developed on an emotional level, from quiet and intense to exploding with sheer joy," said Barbara Giaquinto, music therapist at the school.

For a complete schedule and offerings of the "Special Stars" program at The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC, please go here or call 201-482-8194.

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