Spectrum Theater Program • North Tonawanda Times

September 12 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Empower Announces Free Theater Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

TOWN OF NIAGARA, N.Y., September 12, 2016 – Empower, the not-for-profit organization formerly known as Niagara Cerebral Palsy, will a free ten week series of theater workshops for children with autism spectrum disorder. Classes will be held at Empower Children’s Academy on Tuesday evenings, October 4 through November 29, 2016, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A free final performance showcasing students’ work will take place on Saturday, December 3, 2016.

Families of children ages seven to fifteen with autism spectrum disorder are encouraged to register, and may bring a sibling or friend. Brianna Lanoye, theater instructor, will lead students in individual exercises to develop confidence and problem-solving skills. During group exercises, students will improve their social skills. To register, please contact Elizabeth Cardamone.

According to Empower CEO, Jeff Paterson: “Research shows that theater improves social skills in children with autism spectrum disorder, and this certainly was evident in students who took part in the first session. From the first class to the final performance, students were more relaxed with one another and better able to maintain eye contact. They had a blast performing a play called Dimensions, created entirely from their imaginations.”

This program is funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and is administered by the Arts Services Initiative of Western New York.

With 300 employees and a $14 million budget, Empower is one of Western New York’s 50 largest nonprofitorganizations. The administrative offices, preschool, community clinic and service coordination program are located on Lockport Road in the Town of Niagara. The job training and day programs division is based in Niagara Falls, while residential facilities are located throughout Niagara County. Licensed by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the New York State Education Department, Empower is an affiliate of the Cerebral Palsy Association of New York State.

For additional information, contact:Elizabeth Cardamone, Director of Communication and DevelopmentOffice: (716) 297-0798, ext. 173, Cell: (773) 430-9499E-mail: ecardamone@empower-wny.org

Source: Spectrum Theater Program • North Tonawanda Times

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