Birch Students and Parents Celebrate First Day of School

Over a thousand students walked through the doors of our schools this month, marking an end to the summer and a start to a new and exciting school year.

“The first day of school is just great, the way Birch introduces school to the kids is great,” said Vanessa, a Birch parent. “My children wanted to see what learning was about and were excited about the whole process of going to school.”

For Vanessa, her back to school season is twice as exciting this year. Her two children, Peyton and Harper, both attend Birch’s Pelham Bay Early Childhood Center, with Harper starting at Birch for the first time this September. At the school, Birch provides special education preschool programs to children ages three to five years old who have developmental delays or disabilities.

“It was a good opportunity to have them both at Birch,” said Vanessa. “The progress for my son is good, there were a lot of things he needed, and for my daughter, I think Birch is going to really help her progress more.”

While her children continue to develop in Birch’s education program, Vanessa is thankful that she can educate herself as well. Vanessa has been assisted by Birch staff every step of the way with parent training initiatives and support from the education staff at her children’s school including family training sessions and support groups.

“Birch understands children with developmental delays and they help me to understand,” said Vanessa. “Birch helps me to be a part of these things which helps me at home.”

Although this is only the start of a new school year, Vanessa is confident Harper and Peyton will have a more fulfilling future thanks to their education at Birch.

“They will be more independent,” she said. “I was worried about how they would make it in the world with the different needs they have, but Birch assured me, even after leaving school and beyond, I am more positive that they can make it in the world.”

Also attending the first day of school activities was Dominique, a new parent Birch who watched as her son entered an educational environment for the very first time at the Pelham Bay Early Childhood Center.

“I’m very excited and he seemed happy,” said Dominique.

Dominique was searching for the best school for her four-year-old son, Sonny, when she was recommended Birch Family Services. With a non-verbal child on the autism spectrum, it was extremely important to find a school that both Dominique and Sonny would be comfortable with.

“As soon as I came in, I knew this was the right school for him,” said Dominique. “I chose this school for a reason, and I really like it.”

Dominique watched as Sonny walked into his classroom on the first day of school and interacted with new classmates and teachers.

“With children on the autism spectrum, everyone is different, there’s no one size fits all, but so far it seems like he likes it.”

As students across all our schools settle into their new routines, Birch staff are ready to make their new school year an extraordinary educational experience.

You still have time to support students with autism and developmental disabilities! By donating or purchasing an item on our schools and Children’s Residential Program wishlists, you can help secure the resources and supplies needed to help our classrooms thrive this school year. Donated items provide an enriching educational experience for children across our nine locations in NYC.

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