Our Staff And Facility
K.I.S.S. Center Director
Joanna is a New York State Certified teacher with over 15 years experience teaching individuals with autism and related disorders. She received her MS.Ed. in Special Education with a specialization in autism from Long Island University's C.A.S.E. program (Competency in Autism for Special Educators). Joanna has worked in many settings; day camps, private and public schools, providing consultation services for families and school districts, early intervention and early childhood settings. She has received advanced training in Applied Behavior Analysis and has conducted many workshops and trainings on ABA as well as other topics related to autism and special needs. Her clinical interests center on challenging behaviors, effective teaching strategies, adaptive living skills and most importantly the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in social and recreational programs.
K.I.S.S. Program Coordinator
Brittany has worked with children and adults with special needs for over eight years. She has strongly focused on working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum and managing challenging behaviors. Brittany worked for five years at the Sid Jacobson JCC in East Hills as a group leader in the special services department. Brittany has also volunteered at Camp ANCHOR for several years, and has worked with many agencies providing behavioral support for children with special needs. Brittany has completed all the necessary coursework for a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Upon completion of her BA, Brittany will be able to sit for the BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst) exam.
The KISS Center utilizes the Early Childhood wing of the JCC for most programs, as well as the teen lounge and fitness and recreation center. There are five outside play areas which include a nature classroom, sand boxes, climbing equipment, slides, playhouses, and a firm surface. The facility includes a kitchen area where children and teens can have many educational experiences, our dance room for movement classes and 3 gymnasium areas used for sports programs and structured play. Our Olympic sized pool is used for specialty and vacation programs to promote fitness and socialization skills.
Our dedicated teaching staff is comprised of NYS certified teachers and teacher’s assistants with many years experience teaching children and teens with disabilities. Teen workers and volunteers add a special component to our programs and receive specialized training throughout the year. Peer models are utilized in most programs and provide our participants with positive social interactions.