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St. Pius Provides Space

Individuals with Down syndrome, autism and other developmental disabilities now have a new safe haven in Plainview.

In order to accommodate their continual growth, Long Island-based ACDS, in moving into a space at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church on Washington Avenue in Plainview. The new facility will house the agency’s adult day habilitation and 5-plus program, which provides recreation and respite activities for children ages five and up.

ACDS moved into their new facilities on May 19, after some minor touch-ups and a fresh coat of paint by the agency’s staff. The 8,000-square-foot space is in a separate wing of the St. Pius X facility, and entirely on the ground floor level for enhanced wheelchair accessibility.

The space is comprised of eight large classrooms where 5-plus and day-hab participants can socialize, develop skills and participate in leisure activities such as dancing, art, and music.

“We had been renting space at another church in Hicksville, but they found a new tenant, so we had to leave,” says ACDS executive director Michael Smith, adding that ACDS is already headquartered on Fern Place in Plainview.”

“Fortunately, St. Pius had an occupant who had recently moved, and we jumped at the opportunity to lease the space. The fact that it’s in Plainview and close to our headquarters enables us to increase our presence in the local community. Plus it’s conveniently located to the major roads and highways in the area.”

Smith had been exploring several leasing options when he met with the Rockville Center Archdiocese and learned of the opportunity at St. Pius.

“I spoke with the Bishop, and he was very supportive of ACDS and our mission,” said Smith. “It was a win-win situation as we now have the space we need to relocate our 5Plus and Day Hab programs, and St. Pius has locked up a tenant for the next five years.”

While certain sports activities will be held elsewhere, the new space enables ACDS to consolidate most of their 5-plus and day-hab programs at one location.

“In 2011, the Day Hab Program had only five clients,” said Smith, “and now there are over 50. And the 5Plus Program has over 250 individuals in more than 500 program slots. When I joined ACDS in 2004, the Plainview school was half empty. Now it’s at full capacity. The fact that we can now consolidate the 5Plus and Day Hab programs under one roof frees up more space at the Plainview school to accommodate its continued expansion.”

As ACDS continues to grow, the agency plans to relocate about 15 headquarter staff — including finance, human resources, development and compliance — to new leased space at an elementary school on Jamaica Avenue in Plainview.

When that happens, Smith will be the only administrator other than the principal and other personnel left at the agency’s original headquarters.

“In the past decade, we have seen a steady increase in the demand for services to help the developmentally disabled,” said Smith. “ACDS has been very aggressive in expanding our services to meet those needs and have continued to grow, despite the economic downturn since 2008.

With state funding curtailed in recent years, we simply had to be more innovative to get the funding and support we need in order to provide the programs and activities for the individuals we serve.”

“They say that if you stand still, you get stale,” Smith continued. “And we don’t intend on standing still.”

News

When it comes to food, New York is known for three things; pizza, deli sandwiches and bagels. Some of the best bagels are right here on Long Island. Plainview to be exact.

“When I was in eighth grade, I took a job at the local bagel store next to the high school,” said Steve Cohen, owner of Town Bagel in Plainview. “I still have that same job today, 36 years later.”

It’s hard to imagine that it’s Thanksgiving already. Is it me, or did we just celebrate? Halloween wasn’t even upon us and the stores were stocked with Thanksgiving and Christmas items. We say to ourselves, “each year, it comes earlier and earlier.” While some prepare to cook and figure out where to seat relatives to avoid arguments, others plan to dine out. To many of us, Thanksgiving means shopping on Black Friday. But for the few and far between who look forward to catching the latest film from the array released exclusively for the holiday weekend, the time has come to relish relaxation. Sit back and enjoy the weekend at the movies, while the deliciousness of turkey and stuffing is probably still digesting in your tummy.

The following movies opened on Nov. 26:

The Penguins of Madagascar (PG–92 mins)

The Penguins of Madagascar finally have their own movie. If you’re familiar with the previous Madagascar films, featuring the zoo animals and their adventures, then you already know the funny and lovable spy penguins. Packed with animated fun for the whole family, Skipper, Kowalksi, Rico and Private begin a journey as undercover agents to help stop the notorious villain, Dr. Octavious. New and returning voices include Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Tom McGrath, Christopher Knight, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and many more.


Calendar

Owl Prowl

Saturday, Nov. 29

Holiday Tea

Monday, Dec. 1

Art in the Afternoon

Wednesday, Dec. 3



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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