By JENNIFER MILLER, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, THE CHILDREN’S INSTITUTE
May 26, 2015 at 6:50 PM
FilmAcademy360 was recently presented with an Innovation in Special Education Award for its original way of engaging special needs students and preparing them for social and vocational success.
Competing against 51 other public and private school programs, FilmAcademy360 was among ten programs chosen by the NJ School Boards Association (NJSBA) as an example of a successful, creative effort that enables special needs students to achieve their potential. The annual Innovation in Special Education Award, recognizing exemplary programs for special education students in both the public and private schools, is sponsored by NJSBA and ASAH, an organization that represents private special education schools. The award was presented at a luncheon on May 11th in conjunction with Special Education Week in New Jersey 2015. This is the third Innovation in Special Education Award received by the school, which was formerly called The Children’s Institute.
As part of the the school’s “person-centered” philosophy and curriculum for individuals on the autism spectrum, FilmAcademy360 students learn by doing. Each student completes a short film project, TV spoof sketch, commentary, current events report or other video project. As they advance, students can start to work “in house” on professional productions, giving them the opportunity to learn highly marketable vocational skills. The film school gives voice to students’ original content from a unique perspective through web publishing, film festivals and local broadcasts. On Thursday, June 18th, from 7-9 PM, short student films will be shown as part of Academy360’s Unique Minds Film Festival at the Morris Museum.
We teach high-value technical career skills, job readiness through teamwork and task completion and social skills through our Acting for the Camera for Social Skills program. Students have fun and feel accomplished when they complete their own project,” commented Program Director, David DiIanni. He continued, “Our students have won awards for their work, been hired by professional production companies and produced videos and films that have increased their self-esteem through recognition by their school and local communities.”
FilmAcademy360 also offers evening, weekend and summer courses for middle and high school students, as well as young adults, who can benefit from teaching techniques and staff support designed for individuals with social and learning challenges. These classes are open to anyone in the surrounding communities and although they are perfect for individuals with special needs, anyone can benefit from them and everyone is welcome. For more information about this award-winning program, contact David DiIanni at Film Academy360.