On October 19, New York State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick visited Rockland BOCES to present $75,000 in grant funds he secured for the construction of an indoor Multi-Sensory Environment Playground for students attending our Jesse J. Kaplan School.

For the project, Rockland BOCES engaged Snoezelen®, an internationally recognized model and program, to design and build the playground. Meaningful sounds, lighting, videos and products will be themed to the needs of students’ broad learning and developmental goals, and the blend of sights, sounds, textures, aromas and motion will be able to be modified to meet their sensory needs.

The indoor Multi-Sensory Environment Playground will be accessible to all Jesse J. Kaplan students, summer school students (special needs students from Kaplan and school districts in Rockland County and surrounding counties that do not have summer programs), as well as Camp Venture participants and other community-based programs.

Rockland BOCES Chief Operating Officer Dr. Amy Albers said, “We are grateful to Senator Reichlin-Melnick for securing state funding for this indoor Multi-Sensory Environment Playground. The Senator understands the importance of supporting the educational needs of all students. This playground will help students with Autism, Sensory Integration Disorder and other challenges build skills for social functioning and independence and improve academic and social outcomes.”

The Jesse J. Kaplan School is a center-based educational setting that offers a stimulating learning environment for children and youth ages 5-21 with autism, cognitive disabilities, medical fragility and multiple disabilities through specialized programming tailored to meet the unique needs of each student in partnership with their families and the community.

Administrators receive check from Senator