The Rosenthal JCC of Northern Westchester has hired a new staffer to head its enhanced programs and services for people with special needs.
Robin Gersten, who has 25 years of clinical and administrative experience, will be in charge of the new programs, reports the agency that is based in Pleasantville and which has a center in Yorktown. The programs will support people with special needs and their families.
Most recently, Gerstein was a team leader at the Children’s School for Early Development providing social work services to developmentally delayed preschoolers and their families in community based programs. Formerly, she was a Foster Care Specialist at Bloomfield Youth Services in Connecticut, where she is credited with building a clinical support system and out-of-school engagement program for children and their foster parents in the school system.
New programs being launched include:
• Sibshop™, a therapeutic support group for siblings of children with special needs, on Thursday afternoons beginning May 3, 2012
• Rise Above, a theater program for children in 1st – 5th grades with special needs that is the brainchild of two local tweens studying for their b’nai mitzvah that will be launching in the fall
• Trailblazers at the RJCC, an after-school social skills program for elementary school children with special needs that will be launching in the fall
• Special Needs Intern Training Institute, an internship program for high school students who want to earn college credit and learn to work with children who have special needs, which will be beginning in the fall.
Earlier this year, the Rosenthal JCC received a grant from the J.E. and Z.B. Butler Foundation through UJA-Federation of New York to hire a coordinator who would comprehensively coordinate and deliver both existing programs and services while building new initiatives and streamlining collaboration with community partners.