Birch Family Services Unveils New Playground at Pelham Bay Early Childhood Center 

Students at our Pelham Bay Early Childhood Center will be sliding into the upcoming school year with a new playground . Last week, Birch celebrated the completion of the school’s new playground with students, faculty, staff, and local elected officials. 

“We are thrilled to be celebrating our new playground at Pelham Bay Early Childhood Center, a space that will enhance the lives of children with autism and provide them with opportunities to learn and grow,” said Matt Sturiale, president and CEO of Birch Family Services. 

Our Pelham Bay Early Childhood Center offers special education and therapeutic interventions for young children, focusing on developing their skills through various programs. Not only is the new playground fun for students, but it was also specifically designed to nurture fine motor skills, socialization and language development.   

“This is really key for kids with autism and special needs so they can exert energy and be ready to learn in the classroom,” said parent Andy Lopez, “It’s an essential tool for teachers to use and helps me as a parent.”   

Andy’s son Aaron has attended the Pelham Bay Early Childhood Center for two years and is showing improvements at home and in the classroom.  

Andy presented a token of appreciation to Assembly Member Michael Benedetto who helped make the playground possible. A longtime advocate for people with autism and developmental disabilities, Assembly Member Benedetto secured a grant to fund the playground. 

“I’ve lived my entire life in the Northeast Bronx and there has been a dramatic improvement in special education services from when I was in school because of incredible organizations like Birch Family Services,” said Benedetto. “I am proud to have provided this grant to create a specialized playground that will not only provide a safe and accessible environment for these children, but also promote social interaction and growth through play and exploration.” 

Several other elected officials representing the Pelham Bay Early Childhood Center, including Senator Nathalia Fernandez and Councilwoman Marjorie Velazquez joined the celebration and addressed Birch students and parents.   

Watch coverage on the unveiling event by News 12 Bronx here!