Senator Larkin Grants $30,000 to Abilities First School in New Windsor

New Windsor, NY, August 6, 2018 - Abilities First announces a $30,000 grant has been awarded by Senator William Larkin for smart board technology in classrooms at the Abilities First School, currently under construction at 59 Windsor Highway in New Windsor, NY. The new Abilities First School, which opened its doors in a temporary location in September 2017 is presently completing construction on a state-of-the-art facility, to open in September 2018, and will serve up to 40 students with disabilities, age 5-21, from throughout the Hudson Valley.

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Melissa McCoy Obtains International Fundraising Certification

Hudson Valley, New York, USA – June 25, 2018 - Abilities First, a regional nonprofit organization, is pleased to announce that Chief Advancement Officer Melissa McCoy is included in CFRE International’s recent announcement of professionals credentialed as Certified Fund Raising Executives (CFREs). McCoy joins just 6,100 fundraising professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation.  

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Abilities First Announces New Henry G. Page, Jr. Award & 2018 Community Partnership Breakfast

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (June 4, 2018) — Inspired by the personal and professional commitment of the late Henry G. Page, Jr. to individuals with disabilities, Abilities First has renamed the annual Business of the Year Award to the Henry G. Page, Jr. Business Partnership Award. Henry G. Page, Jr., business owner and life-long member of the region passed away in February 2018 at the age of eighty-one. Mr. Page was a pioneer in business and in life, and that included the kindness, acceptance and support of opportunity to adults seeking employment or vocational experience, as well as to the youngest of individuals, to whom he extended a compassionate interest in. The award is presented annually to recognize a business for their outstanding dedication, interest and support in providing job opportunities and being a friend to our neighbors with disabilities.

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Dina Menzie Joins Abilities First’s Executive Team Named new Chief Program Officer

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (March 20, 2018) – Dina Menzie has joined Abilities First, a Hudson Valley-based nonprofit providing services for over 1,400 individuals people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, as its Chief Program Officer. Dina will be responsible for day-to-day operational oversight of all residential, service coordination, community habilitation, day habilitation, employment, and educational services and programs.

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Abilities First and Poughkeepsie Galleria Host a Showcase for Individuals with Special Needs and Disabilities and Their Families

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (February 27, 2018) – More than 40 vendors providing support for individuals with disabilities and special needs will be in attendance at ABILITIES FIRST: A Showcase of Resources for Enrichment & Inclusion. The Showcase will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Poughkeepsie Galleria in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. From 9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., there will be an opportunity for children with special needs and their families to attend the Showcase before the mall opens in a sensory sensitive environment.  Admission to the showcase is free and open to the public. Abilities First is spearheading the event to bring together resources to enrich the lives of children and adults with any disability whether it be developmental, intellectual, physical, or other. The 2017 Abilities First participant of the Year, Jessica Doering, will serve as the Grand Marshall of the event.

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Illusionist Chris Dare Performs First Stage Show In The Hudson Valley To Benefit Abilities First

Poughkeepsie, NY (January 25, 2018) – Illusionist Chris Dare performed his first Hudson Valley stage show “Dare to Believe” on Thursday, January 25, 2018 benefiting Abilities First, a not-for-profit organization serving the needs of over 1,400 children and adults with developmental disabilities, from pre-school through adulthood throughout the Hudson Valley. The sold out show drew over 200 attendees to the Newburgh Brewing Company in Newburgh, NY.

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Thomas R. Davis Joins Abilities First Board Of Directors

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (January 12, 2018) - Thomas R. Davis, Managing Partner at

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School for Students with Disabilities Opens in Cornwall

Cornwall, N.Y. (September 1, 2017) – The Abilities First School will open its doors in Orange County on September 6, 2017 and will welcome twenty-two students, age 5-21. The school, which will provide programs and services for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will be the school’s first location in Orange County.

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Abilities First to Honor Dr. Marc Straus, Ari Straus, Kevin Page, and Karen Page at the 2017 Signature Event

Poughkeepsie, NY (August 22, 2017) – Abilities First has announced the 2017 annual award recipients to be honored at their nightclub-themed Signature Event on Friday, October 27, 2017 at the newly renovated Shadows on the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, NY from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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2017 Abilities First Golf Classic Winners Announced

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (July 5, 2017) – The 2017 Abilities First Golf Classic was held June 26, 2017 at The Powelton Club in Newburgh, N.Y. Over 117 people attended the annual fundraising event and helped to raise approximately $52,000 in support of the Abilities First mission to provide people with disabilities and their families support to attain independence, self- determination, integration and acceptance by others through education, exploration and experience.

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Abilities First Receives $3.2M Gift to Expand School Resources for Students with Disabilities in Orange County

New Windsor, N.Y. (June 22, 2017) – Resources for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities will expand in Orange County thanks to the generous property donation of the former Devitt’s Medical Arts Building to Abilities First. The property will be renovated into a state-of-the-art educational facility to serve 40 students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, ages 5 – 21. Abilities First will open a temporary location in Cornwall in the fall of 2017 during renovations.

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Abilities First School Annual Prom a Success Thanks to Poughkeepsie Elks Lodge #275

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (May 24, 2017) – The Abilities First School hosted its fourth annual prom for its students with intellectual and developmental disabilities on Friday, May 19, 2017. While a rite of passage for many high school upperclassman, what makes this prom different from others is the strong support from family and community involvement. Students, ages 15 – 21, along with their families and fellow alumni were invited to attend the annual school event.

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Abilities First Announces $30,000 Match Challenge to Build Adaptive Playground

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (May 11, 2017) – Shaneka R. Paulin, an Abilities First participant since 1980, shared her inspiring story with Community Breakfast attendees on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Poughkeepsie, NY. Paulin was first diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 8 months old and despite many challenges and obstacles, has gone on to earning a degree from Marist College and becoming a Paralegal at Rosicki, Rosicki, and Associates, PC.

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Abilities First Hosts 2nd Annual Community Breakfast & Annual Awards

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (May 1, 2017) – The 2nd Annual Abilities First Community Breakfast will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m., at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Poughkeepsie, NY. Abilities First invites the public to the complimentary event to celebrate the organization’s mission “Enriching the Lives of Children & Adults in our Communities.” Abilities First serves over 1,200 children and adults with developmental disabilities through educational, vocational, residential, and habilitation services throughout the Hudson Valley.

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Abilities First and Poughkeepsie Galleria Host a Showcase for Individuals with Special Needs and Disabilities and Their Families

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (February 27, 2017) – More than 40 vendors providing support for individuals with disabilities and special needs will be in attendance at ABILITIES FIRST: A Showcase of Resources for Enrichment & Inclusion. The Showcase will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Poughkeepsie Galleria in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. From 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., there will be an opportunity for children with special needs and their families to attend the Showcase before the mall opens in a sensory sensitive environment. Admission to the showcase is free and open to the public. Abilities First is spearheading the event to bring together resources to enrich the lives of children and adults with any disability whether it be developmental, intellectual, physical, or other.

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Abilities First Awarded $2,000 Grant from the Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation

LaGrange, NY (December 1, 2016) – Abilities First received $2,000 from the Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation to support the “Future Steps Playground” Campaign, the creation of an outdoor playground at the Abilities First School. The playground will include an adaptive swing, climbing environments, interactive stations and shaded structures, green spaces and play space. Abilities First students range between 5-21 years of age have intellectual or developmental disabilities and come from 22 school districts throughout Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Columbia, Greene and Putnam counties.

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Off the Record After Hours Party to Benefit Abilities First

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (October 21, 2016) – Abilities First has teamed up with Poughkeepsie Journal Media to transform Shadows on the Hudson into the late-night spot in the Hudson Valley this Halloween weekend. The OFF THE RECORD After Hours Party for Abilities First, an exclusive late night event for young professionals will take place on October 28, 2016 from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. in Poughkeepsie N.Y.

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Abilities First Establishes First Integrated Preschool Program in New York State

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (September 26, 2016) – Earlier this month, Abilities First, with the assistance of State Assemblymember Didi Barrett, received approval from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to create an innovative integrated preschool program in Hyde Park, N.Y., the first of its kind in New York State. Slated to open in the 2016-2017 school year, Abilities First will offer the opportunity for students with developmental delays and disabilities ages 3 – 4 to learn side-by-side with other children in an inclusive environment.

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KeyBank and Renée Bulla to be Honored at the 2016 Abilities First Signature Event

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (August 10, 2016) - Abilities First has announced the 2016 Annual Award recipients to be honored at their “nightclub” themed Signature event on Friday, October 28, 2016 at Shadows on the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

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Abilities First School Playground Campaign Receives Recreation Equipment Donation from Wappingers Ladies Auxiliary

LaGrange, N.Y. (June 21, 2016) – The Wappingers Ladies Auxiliary – Hearts that Help recently made a donation in support of the Abilities First School’s Future Steps Playground Campaign. The Abilities First School which opened in December in LaGrange, N.Y. was without basketball hoops until the group’s generous gift was made.

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Walkway Over the Hudson Inspires Abilities First Art Show

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (June 20, 2016) – Abilities First announces the opening of the NEW BEGINNINGS art show at the Abilities First Art Garage at 99 Inwood Avenue, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. on Monday, June 20. The show features art by participants of Abilities First programs which was inspired by the recent gallery renovation and presentations by regionally known photographer and Walkway on the Hudson enthusiast Fred Schaeffer.

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Abilities First Announces 2016 Golf Classic Winners

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (June 10, 2016) – The 2016 Abilities First Golf Classic was held June 2, 2016 at The Powelton Club in Newburgh, N.Y. Over 140 people attended this fundraising event for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the Mid-Hudson Valley and helped to raise approximately $47,000 in support of the Abilities First mission.

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Abilities First School Celebrates Annual Prom for Students with Special Needs

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (June 9, 2016) – With the generous support of the Hudson Valley community, the Abilities First School hosted its third annual prom for its students with intellectual and developmental disabilities on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at the Poughkeepsie Elks Lodge #275. Students, ages 15 – 21, along with their families enjoyed a celebratory evening of dinner and dancing to mark the end of the school year. Alumni of the Abilities First School also returned for the special event, including the student whose idea to have the School’s first prom in 2014.

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Abilities First Announces 2016-2017 Board of Directors

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (April 13, 2016) - Abilities First, Inc. announces the continued growth of its board leadership with the addition of three new board members as well as its 2016-2017 executive board and board members.

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Dutchess County, Williams Lumber & Home Centers and Thomas Chieffo Honored at Abilities First Breakfast

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (April 12, 2016) – On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, over 250 community members attended the 2016 Abilities First Community Breakfast at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel in Poughkeepsie, NY to celebrate and share the organization’s mission “Enriching the Lives of Children & Adults in our Communities” and this year’s theme “Building Partnerships to Enhance Workforce Diversity.”

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KeyBank Foundation Grants $120,000 to New Abilities First School

LaGrange, NY (March 4, 2016) – Abilities First’s Chief Advancement Officer, Melissa McCoy, announces a $120,000 grant has been awarded by KeyBank Foundation, whose funding priorities focus is to help communities thrive through improved education and workforce development, to establish The Abilities First & KeyBank Foundation – Workforce Readiness Program at the new Abilities First School in LaGrange. The new Abilities First school and state-of-the-art facility opened in LaGrange in December 2015 and serves over 100 students from throughout the Hudson Valley.

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Abilities First Receives AED Grant Through Cardiovascular Fund of Dutchess County

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (December 17, 2015) – Abilities First, a not-for-profit organization serving the needs of those with developmental disabilities from pre-school through adulthood, was awarded $2,021.00 from the Cardiovascular Fund of Dutchess County of the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, to provide an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for the Abilities First Seniors’ Neighborhood Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

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Abilities First Establishes Workforce Readiness Program for Students with Developmental Disabilities Through Major Gift from the KeyBank Foundation

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (December 10, 2015) – Abilities First has announced the development of a Workforce Readiness Program for its students with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Many students, ages 14 – 21, will have the opportunity to learn basic job skills due to a three-year major gift from the KeyBank Foundation as part of the Abilities First School - Future Steps Education Campaign.

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New Abilities First School Opens its Doors

Ribbon Cutting Held in LaGrange, NY for State of the Art School for Students with Developmental Disabilities LaGrange, N.Y. (December 2, 2015) – The new Abilities First School opened its doors to the community on Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Abilities First, along with the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, held a ribbon cutting and donor recognition event at the School’s new home at 24 Firemens Way, Poughkeepsie, NY. The School has 83 students and 9 classrooms equipped with instructional technology, adaptive physical education space, a fully outfitted sensory gym and clinical space for therapies. Students attended classes at the new location for the first time on Monday, November 30.

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Over 30 Business and Organizations to Come Together to Provide Resources to Those with Special Needs at ABILITIES Event

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (November 18, 2015) – The ABILITIES event will be held this Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Dutchess Community College - Falcon Hall in Poughkeepsie, NY. The event will bring together “Resources to Adapt, Support and Enrich Life” for children and adults with any disability whether it be developmental, intellectual, physical, mental or other. Admission to the expo is free and open to the public. There is abundant accessible parking available, with easy access to Falcon Hall (Gymnasium).

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ABILITIES Event to Bring Resources to Those with Special Needs

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (November 2, 2015) – The ABILITIES event will be held on Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Dutchess Community College - Falcon Hall in Poughkeepsie, NY. The event will bring together “Resources to Adapt, Support and Enrich Life” for children and adults with any disability whether it be developmental, intellectual, physical, mental or other. Admission to the expo is free and open to the public.

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Molinaro to Expand Think DIFFERENTLY Initiatives in 2016 Budget Proposal

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (October 22, 2015) - Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro outlined plans to expand the County’s “Think DIFFERENTLY” initiative, including the addition of a “Special Needs Advocate” position, in his 2016 Executive Budget at a tour yesterday of Abilities First’s new state-of-art school for those with developmental disabilities in the Town of LaGrange. The County Executive was joined by Abilities First CEO Jeffrey Fox, as well as representatives from Dutchess County departments and other community agencies that serve those with disabilities for a early look at the school, which is slated to open on November 30th.

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Abilities First Signature Event to Benefit Children and Adults With Developmental Disabilities

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (August 20, 2015) – The Abilities First’s Signature event has been rescheduled to October 16, 2015 from 6:30 – 11 p.m., at Shadows on the Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY. The Hudson Valley will come together for this annual event to help raise funds for the organization and celebrate and honor the community’s support for the 1,200 children and adults with developmental disabilities that Abilities First serves.

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Abilities First to Host Monticello Motor Club Challenge Fundraiser

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (August 17, 2015) – Abilities First will host the Monticello Motor Club Challenge, an adrenaline-fueled fundraiser on Monday, September 21, 2015 at North America's premier automotive country club and private race track, Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, N.Y. Proceeds will benefit the programs and services of Abilities First, a not-for-profit organization that serves the needs of the community, as well as those with developmental disabilities.

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Abilities First Announces 2015 Golf Classic Winners

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (July 28, 2015) - Abilities First’s Annual Golf Classic was held July 27, 2015 at Trump National Golf Club – Hudson Valley in Hopewell Junction, N.Y. Over 130 golfers and 30 volunteers attended this fundraising event for people with developmental disabilities in the Mid-Hudson Valley and helped to raise approximately $40,000. The event’s major sponsors included Wendy’s, Rose & Kiernan and Marvin and Company, P.C. CPAs, DRA Imaging, First Student, MVP Health Care and iHeartRadio.

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Abilities First Announces Major Gift From M&T Bank

LaGrange, N.Y. (July 2, 2015) – Abilities First, Inc. CEO, Dr. Jeffery Fox announces that M&T Bank has made a $30,000 leadership gift in support of the Abilities First - Future Steps Education Campaign. The Future Steps Education Campaign supports the needs of a new school which is currently under renovations at an existing facility in LaGrange, NY.

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Abilities First Celebrates Second Annual Prom

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (June 8, 2015) – Abilities First School held its Prom on Friday, June 5, 2015 at the Poughkeepsie Elks Lodge #275 for its students with disabilities. Over 20 of the School’s upperclassman attended the formal. Each student received superlative awards like Most Likely to be President, Best Dancer, Most Likely to Work for the FBI, Best Celebrity Impersonator, Best Classroom Helper and more.

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David & Lynn Melby and Rose & Kiernan, Inc. to be Honored at the Abilities First Signature Event

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (July 6, 2015) - Abilities First has announced the 2015 Annual Award recipients to be honored at their “nightclub” themed Signature event on Friday, September 11, 2015. David & Lynn Melby will be recognized as the 2015 Outstanding Volunteers for their years of leadership and support to Abilities First. Equally supportive of their time and direct support to the mission of Abilities First, Rose & Kiernan, Inc. will be honored as the 2015 Outstanding Community Leader.

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Abilities First Announces New Board of Directors

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (June 3, 2015) - Abilities First, Inc. announces the continued growth of its community leadership with the addition of new board members and its 2015-2016 officers. “As Abilities First continues to grow and expand to meet the evolving needs of the community, it is vital that we continue to maintain the distinguished leadership which our organization has been privileged to benefit from since its inception. We are pleased to welcome Halliday Clark, Dr. C. Ryan Kinlaw, Joseph Hines and Kim Williams to our Board of Directors, as well as thank our new officers for their leadership” said Abilities First Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Jeffery Fox.

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Renovations Begins on New Abilities First School

LaGrange, N.Y. (May 22, 2015) – The future of educational services for students with disabilities is about to evolve. Abilities First, Inc. announces construction-renovation has begun on a new state-of-the art school for students with developmental disabilities. When complete, the new school will include 9 classrooms with instructional technology, adaptive physical education space, a fully outfitted sensory gym, clinical space for therapies, and a fully accessible playground. Occupancy will take place sometime during the 2015- 2016 school year.

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Abilities First Hosts Free Estate Planning and Guardianship Seminar for Families of Persons with Disabilities

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (May 12, 2015) - Abilities First, Inc., a not-for-profit organization providing a wide range of services to people with disabilities, is presenting a new educational series that will cover topics relevant to families of persons with disabilities, allowing them to take an active role in managing the personal affairs of their loved one. The first seminar in the series will feature an introduction to Estate Planning and Guardianship and is free and open to the public.

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Abilities First Unveils New Tagline

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (May 6, 2015) - Abilities First, Inc., a not-for-profit that serves over 1,500 children and adults throughout the Hudson Valley region, unveiled a new tagline, “Enriching the Lives of Children & Adults in Our Communities.”

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Open House for Universal Pre-K to be held in Hyde Park

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (February 4, 2015) - Abilities First will host a Universal Pre-K Open House on Wednesday, February 18th, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., at its UPK location at 4327 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. Faculty and staff will be available to discuss the full-day program, the teaching curriculum and provide a tour of the facility. The Open House is open to the public and provides information for current enrollment, as well as for those interested in the 2015-16 school year.

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