It was a small ceremony, but there was a full house at the Woodward Children’s Center gymnasium on June 27. Graduates filled the front row, while their family members sat behind them cheering and celebrating the Class of 2018 graduates.
The ceremony welcomed Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy and Nassau County, County Executive Laura Curran along with other distinguished guests and contributors to the school. During the ceremony, Curran handed out the high school diplomas. Both Kennedy and Curran offered the students words of encouragement and wished the graduates much success as they ventured off to college or technical careers.
Woodward Children’s Center is a small school with fewer than 100 students and has been serving families with emotionally disturbed and autistic school-aged children for 60 years. The school, located at 201 West Merrick Rd. in Freeport was established in 1957 as the Berman School, a school for emotionally disturbed children. Gertrude Berman started the school as means to help emotionally disturbed students. The Class of 2018 also receives a state high school diploma like any other graduating high school senior.
The type of classes students take during their time at Woodward, help students tap into their personal interests, while still keeping an emphasis on schoolwork and state requirements. Woodward also offers occupational therapy for students in need of physical skills to carry out daily life and has an occupational therapist onsite to provide support. Further, students who have speech and language disorders are provided with individual or group speech-language therapy.