Skills and Achievement students from East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School and Rhame Avenue School enjoyed the surf and sand when the participated in Surfer’s Healing, a program designed to offer a therapeutic experience to children with autism.
One-by-one, approximately 20 district students paddled out into the ocean at Lido West Beach with volunteers of the program, who provided tips on how to surf and assistance on navigating the surfboard, all while giving the students praise and encouragement throughout their experience.
At the event, students were accompanied by family members and several East Rockaway School District teachers, including Rachele Banducci, Kathleen Crowley, Erin Kennedy and Kristina Imandt. According to Imandt, Surfer’s Healing offers students a calming and peaceful experience, an opportunity to socialize with others and a chance to learn something new.
“The students are so excited when they finish,” Imandt said. “Some of them who have participated in the program before, have gone on to take lessons.”
Rhame Avenue student Brandon Hidalgo stood up on a surfboard with help from a Surfer’s Healing volunteer.
Photos courtesy of East Rockaway School District