Thomas Reynolds Center Celebrates Tenth Anniversary
Highlights of the Center’s Program include Teacher Preparation through a Nationally-Accredited Education Department
June 14, 2013
Contact: Mike Andrei
Daemen College is marking the tenth anniversary of the Thomas Reynolds Center for Special Education and After-School Programs with a special event in the Haberman Gacioch Center for Visual & Performing Arts.
The 10 Year Anniversary Celebration for the Reynolds Center will be held 5-7 p.m., June 21, in the Haberman Gacioch Center on the Daemen campus.
The celebration will honor the Center’s namesake and benefactor, former Western New York Representative and current Daemen College Trustee Thomas M. Reynolds. In addition to former Representative Reynolds, elected officials attending the event will include Representative Chris Collins; former Representative Kathy Hochul, New York State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer; and Assembly Member Ray Walter.
The Reynolds Center’s unique curriculum provides instruction for students at-risk for academic failure and students with learning disabilities in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics, and student empowerment, with the goal of teaching students working skills toward becoming independent.
“The Reynolds Center is an unqualified success, having provided instruction improving the quality of life for more than 1300 special needs students over the last 10 years,” said Daemen President Gary A. Olson.
“In accomplishing this, the Center also provides vital hands-on experience for teacher candidates working with students with disabilities.”
The Reynolds Center has maintained a 10 year partnership with Amherst Central School District (Smallwood Elementary and Windermere Boulevard), and a five year partnership with Aloma D. Johnson Fruit Belt Community Charter School.
Additional highlights of the Center’s program include partial tuition scholarship; use of iPads, Apple TVs, and Smartboards throughout instruction; and providing opportunities for students in both urban and suburban settings.
For teacher candidates benefits provided by the Center include professional development, opportunities to participate in research, as well as developing relationships with partner school personnel.
Seven research studies have charted statistically significant improvement for the Center in reading, writing, math, and instructional technology: six studies documenting gains across programs and one marking significant individual gains.
The Reynolds Center has also received an invitation to apply for a prestigious Tower Planning Study Grant, an opportunity granted to select organizations working in the area of learning disabilities.
The Reynolds Center is a partner with the Center for Autism Support and Education (CASE), a collaboration among community organizations specializing in providing services to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). CASE offers guidance, support, and resources for families, service providers, and individuals with ASD. CASE also provides a variety of specialized workshops to help families and professionals better understand ASD and the behaviors and characteristics associated with the disorder.
The Center also collaborates with Parent Network of Western New York.
The contributions of former Daemen Associate Professor of Education Dr. Patrick Hartwick to the Daemen Education Department and the Reynolds Center will also be honored.
As Dean of the School of Education at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, Hartwick had traveled to Haiti with a group of students to deliver assistance to the people of that country when he lost his life in a devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January, 2010.
His tenure at Daemen, which began in 1993 and ended in 2005, was marked by considerable progress in the Education Department and heightened respect for the program in the community. A commemorative plaque will be presented to members of Hartwick's family during the Reynolds Center event.