July 29, 2013
Beautiful Me, an educational program offered by the Hance Family Foundation in Floral Park honoring three children who lost their lives in a tragic accident, is a self-esteem program designed to educate females by promoting appreciation for their genuine qualities, accurate self-awareness and the satisfaction of helping others. This year the program was brought to the Henry Viscardi School at The Viscardi Center, where it has positively impacted and enriched the lives of students.
Children and the School are already benefiting: students are using what they learned this summer and can draw on key concepts in the future. Given the excellent results, the Henry Viscardi School plans to continue its participation during the next school term beginning in September. Students in grades 3-8 participated and recently shared the program’s value:
Emma, an 8th-grader, noted, “Having the Beautiful Me program come to the Henry Viscardi School allowed me to realize that I am not that different from any other middle school girl. Beautiful Me is an amazing program and it allowed me to realize how important my body is to me!”
Nidhi, a 4th-grader, said the program “…let’s all girls know that they are beautiful,” and that it “allowed me to socialize with all the girls in my class as well as the other elementary grades.”
Henry Viscardi School’s Vice President of Program Development, Patricia M. Kuntzler, a staunch supporter of Beautiful Me, introduced the curriculum and had all teachers trained, believing the lessons were important enough to incorporate into the classroom. Health and physical education teacher Jessica Biondo explained: “The girls loved getting together with classmates, discussing problem-solving strategies and learning the importance of taking care of their bodies. After each of the three sessions, the girls had smiles on their faces and higher self esteem. I plan to have more students participate next school year.”
Volunteer teacher Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz, a graduate of the Henry Viscardi School living with a disability, said, “The introduction of Beautiful Me to girls with disabilities is important. These girls need to know that they, too, are beautiful inside and out.”
The mission of Beautiful Me is to extend the lessons Emma, Alyson, and Katie Hance taught through their examples…that being comfortable with who you are makes you a better sister, daughter and friend. The three sisters were killed in a car crash four years ago. Their parents created the Hance Family Foundation to bring something positive from this tragic event. Beautiful Me is the Foundation’s greatest achievement. For more information about Beautiful Me, contact Meredith Naughton at 516-712-8397.
About The Viscardi Center: Founded by Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who served as disability advisor to eight U.S. presidents and became one of the world’s leading advocates, The Viscardi Center educates, employs and empowers children and adults with disabilities. It provides Pre-K through High School education, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, career counseling and placement, assistive technology and workforce diversification assistance to children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and businesses. A global leader, it employs 300+ professionals, including experts in education, human resources and technology.