Senator Jack M. Martins visited the Henry Viscardi School in Albertson and, after taking a tour of the school, was surprised at a welcome assembly during which the students presented Senator Martins with a thank you card with their names and messages on it. One message stated, “Thank you for all your help. My future means a lot to me.”
During the state budget negotiations, there was a proposal that was part of the Governor’s Executive Budget to shift costs for 4201 schools, which include the Henry Viscardi School, onto local school districts, thereby practically eliminating funding for those schools. However, Senator Martins was able to work with his colleagues to restore the funding to 4201 schools.
“When you look at the great work the Henry Viscardi School does, you have to ensure that it continues to be able to serve those students who are disabled and need the services. I met a young man who was just accepted to Hofstra and a young lady that who was just accepted to Mercy. The students at the Henry Viscardi School aren’t letting any disability stop them. I will continue to fight for them so that they get the education they deserve,” said Senator Martins.
The Henry Viscardi School at Abilities!, located in Albertson, was started by Dr. Henry Viscardi, who believed that children with disabilities could rise to great heights and fulfill their dreams. The result is a New York State Regents accredited school that serves pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. The school incorporates activities including sports, music, art and technology into its strong academic curriculum.
Students Kevin and Martel led Senator Martins on a tour of the school along with executive director Patrice Kuntzler, Abilities! President and CEO John Kemp.
At the school assembly, school representatives also presented Senator Martins with a plaque, a school hat and a school t-shirt with the name of the basketball team on it. Senator Martins was touched and honored by the reception. “Thank you so much for your warm welcome. I am looking forward to coming back to cheer you on during a basketball game,” he said.
Senator Martins then presented student Catherine with a Senate Resolution honoring the students for their tremendously successful food drive for Island Harvest.