Bronx Organization for Learning Differences (BOLD), a special education preschool program for children ages three to five, held their second annual Fall Harvest Festival on October 31, 2014.
This event was created in response to the concerns of some parents who do not want their children to participate in customary Halloween “trick or treat” celebrations due to religious reasons or are reluctant to have their children engage in too much fantasy by wearing traditional Halloween costumes.
Instead, each class chose a Fall-related item for their costume such as leaves, pumpkins, and corn. Teachers and teacher assistants made the costumes so that all the students from each class were dressed similarly.
The school’s gym/play area was decorated to look like a barn, including a homemade scarecrow. Although it was not called “trick or treat,” each class paraded through the school to show off their costumes and received a snack from all the BOLD offices.
The BOLD Fall Harvest Festival was attended by State Assemblymember Robert J. Rodriguez (68th District-Bronx), State Assemblyman Michael R. Benedetto (82nd District-Bronx), and Lucy Recio, Deputy Director for Education and Youth Services of Bronx Borough President Reuben Diaz, Jr.
“As a lifelong Bronx resident and former teacher of mentally and physically challenged children, I applaud the efforts of BOLD to create a fun event that developmentally delayed preschoolers in the Pelham Bay area—and their parents—can enjoy,” says Assemblyman Benedetto. “The costumes and decorations were very creative and you could see how much the children enjoyed the day. The Fall Harvest Festival is a wonderful alterative to customary Halloween events and I hope BOLD continues this celebration for many years to come.”
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Based in Pelham Bay, Bronx Organization for Learning Differences (BOLD) is a full-day special education preschool program for children from ages three to five, who have developmental delays in cognition, motor skills, speech and language development, sensory integration, adaptive skills, and social development. Children are referred to BOLD by their local school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) after an evaluation and creation of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). BOLD’s educational philosophy is child-centered, play-based, family-focused, culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate, and interdisciplinary in nature. The small class size of one teacher and two teacher assistants to a class of as few as 8 children to a maximum of 12 in each class enables children who need the most help to receive maximum exposure to the daily class routine. The goal of the BOLD Program is to help children remediate delayed areas of development and reach their full academic and social/emotional potential.