Reporter Kyle Jones came to campus to find out how Chapel Haven Schleifer Center has been faring through the pandemic. She interviewed President Michael Storz, REACH Special Education Teacher Erik Rambush and first-year reach student Matthew Schwartz.
Here’s the story: Students Continue Learning Independence During Covid
“I love this place a lot,” Matthew said when asked how he liked Chapel Haven. “The people are amazing, the teachers. These people became my second family, I love it.” Matthew comes from Mount Kisco, NY and just started at Chapel Haven in 2020.
Erik was asked how he felt after receiving the Covid-19 vaccination as a member of the direct-care staff under the State’s 1a phase rollout. “It was a big relief,” he said. Students are excited that they may be next in Phase 1b. “Having their eyes on returning to the degree of something normal, getting out in the community, just participating in society means so much,” Erik said.
Storz said the staff have worked very hard to keep a safe and productive vibe going throughout the pandemic. “Our amazing staff had to drastically change the curriculum in order to provide an experience for our adults, to learn how to still grocery shop, to learn how to go to the bank,” Storz said.
“I am confident in the system that when Phase 1b rolls out and our individuals are able to receive the vaccination that they will be able to get it,” Storz said.
Chapel Haven Schleifer Center has worked very hard to keep programming going during Covid-19. Social distancing measures, temperature taking, mask wearing and a restriction on visitors to any residential building have all paid off in keeping staff and students healthy and safe. Chapel Haven has kept its doors open and services intact throughout the virus. This month, the State gave the go-ahead for100 of the direct care staff to receive the Covid-19 vaccinations. Chapel Haven expects the State to soon authorize vaccinations for its adults.
Asked about a trip to Disney World that got cancelled last year because of the pandemic, Matthew said he’s hopeful now. “Hopefully 2021 will be a better, wonderful and magical year.” Amen!