The School for Language and Communication Development held its eleventh annual "Chefs for Children" event Wednesday, featuring food and wine tasting at the Jericho Terrace in Mineola.
The event featured fare from several area restaurants and vendors. Glen Cove businesses at the event included , , and .
Ellenmoris Tiegerman is founder and executive director of the 26-year-old school, which she said started with 36 students and has grown to serve more than 450 in several location, one of which is on Glen Cove Avenue.
Tiegerman said she expected that the event raised $60,000.
"This has been a successful event through the years," she said. "The success is in the results. Tonight, I reunited with a mother who had their child attend the SLCD from kindergarten through the third grade. Her son is now at Nassau Community College, and she gave me a copy of a college essay written by him."
Tiegerman said that this example is a standard the school strives to reach with each student. Students attend a longer school day - six hours of class instead of five, and a longer school year - 210 school days instead of 180. The school places an emphasis on teaching children to interact with each other.
"The kids we serve have severe communicational challenges," she said. "Most are autistic. Some enter with no words, and many students have similar difficulty interacting with each other. We help the kids which regular public schools don't have the resources to serve."
One method the school uses is "," an interactive field trip that doesn't leave the building.
Karen Katzman is principal of the Glen Cove site. She said while the school follows a general education curriculum, events like Town Day immerse students in their lessons in a fun way.
"The Town Day event is an example of our focus on language immersion. The next Town Day, to be held this summer, will be a school-scale replica of New York City. So we'll have the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Broadway, Rockefeller Center. The kids have a blast, and they learn a lot."
The school receives funding from the state and other government sources as well as fundraising, which keeps the school affordable. Tiegerman said that the majority of students have social service backgrounds.