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Inclusion/Special Needs at the J

Welcoming. Community. Respect.
Inclusion at the JCC means welcoming all, regardless of age, faith, ethnicity, need or ability. This belief helps make us a strong and supportive community and upholds the Jewish values of welcoming guests, kindness, respect, and communal responsibility. Individual differences are to be celebrated and can only further enrich the JCC community.

We are encouraging those with special needs to participate in various programs, whether that is within our traditional classes or in our specialized programs. If you wish to join any class or program please contact Dinushka De Silva at 203.487.0946 to discuss the details of what the class or program offers and if it is a good fit for you or your child’s needs and abilities. Don’t forget to look on our board for the latest events, programs, lectures, and much more!


Teamwork & Social Skills Building


Serving 2-year-olds with special needs
JumpStart is a therapeutic early childhood classroom experience for 2-year-olds with special needs. The only program of its kind in the Fairfield County area, the JumpStart classroom follows the pattern of a typical
nursery school classroom, offering invaluable social and educational experiences. For more information, contact JumpStart Director, Jane Faherty at 203.487.0980 or


Hand in Hand (Yad B’Yad) at O-la-mi
Grades 3 – 8
Hand in Hand (Yad B’Yad) is a division of O-la-mi, offering a unique summer experience for rising 3rd-8th graders with a variety of needs including, but not limited to, communication and learning differences, ADD/ADHD, social anxiety, sensory motor integration challenges, and those on the spectrum. The mission of this program is to improve children’s ability to develop positive relationships and make social connections in their community and with their peers, as well as to create a fun, inclusionary summer experience! For more information or questions, please contact Dinushka De Silva, Inclusion Coordinator, at 203.487.0946 or Hand to Hand is partially underwritten by First County Bank and the Kuriansky Foundation. Click here to download the Hand in Hand 2016 registration form. 

Two 3-week sessions:
June 27 – July 15, July 18 – August 5
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Click here to learn more about the National Inclusion Project.



Music, Movement and Yoga (To return in Fall 2016)
This practice is fun and interactive! Through meditation, movement and chants, instructors provide techniques to work on improving concentration, mindfulness, self-control, and relieving anxiety, as well as improving hand-eye coordination and thoughtful breath. Class sizes are small in order to modify and accommodate individual needs. Both parent and child will learn to align the mind and body!


R&R (Recreate & Relate) (To return in Fall 2016)
R&R is an active social program that meets during the academic year. We meet at the JCC to participate in activities together such as cooking, seeing theater performances, varied sports events, pool parties, volunteering, and much more, which are not only fun but also enhance team-building skills. The social groups provide youths with a structured and safe environment to develop their social skills and build relationships. The program is open to all abilities and can benefit those with a variety of needs, including, but not exclusive to, ADD/ADHD, social anxiety, communication and learning differences, cognitive delays, and those on the spectrum. The goal of R&R is learning to work together! 


ArtWorks: Arts for Healing (To return in Fall 2016)
ArtWorks is art therapy in a small-group setting. Its purpose is to help children express themselves through art projects. Art therapy is a process used to improve communication skills (expressive and receptive), social interaction, enhance motor function, stimulate emotional development, and foster self-expression. Art sessions are offered to those who like to express themselves through a variety of art activities. Materials including paint, clay, collage, drawing pens, markers, pastels, and charcoal give group members a wide variety of choices for personal expression. The group leader is a professional artist who brings original and unique ideas to encourage individual creative expression. 



Other Special Needs Offerings at The J


Angelfish Therapy
We help children with a variety of special needs, sensory issues, and motor coordination difficulties reach their full potential through fun and challenging aquatic therapy sessions, swim lessons, and even land-based therapy. For more information, contact Aileen Tisser at 203.969.6431 or



Spring Inclusion Events:


The Impact of Technology on a Child’s Development with Dr. Chris Bogart
Tuesday, May 10 • 7 – 9 p.m.


Special Screening of Wampler's Ascent and The Finishers

Sunday, May 15

4 p.m. Screening of Wampler’s Ascent
5:30 p.m. Speakers from Special Olympics, Challenger Baseball and Swim Angelfish 
7 p.m. Screening of The Finishers

Ticket Price: $10 Adult; $5 Student
Click here to register,  or contact Dinushka De Silva, Inclusion Coordinator, at 203.487.0946 or

Presented by The Stamford JCC and Abilis, in partnership with ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival

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Next Upcoming Event...


5K/10K Run/Walk Family Fun Day

8:30 a.m. Sign-in • 9 a.m. Start • Rain or Shine Open to the community. USATF certified course! Professionally timed race! • $36 adults, $18 students and children (up to age 18) • Children 5 and under free Sponsorship