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 EducationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. Campaign. The Future Steps EducationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. Campaign supports the needs of a new school which is currently under renovations at an existing facility in LaGrange, NY.

“We are extremely grateful that M&T Bank has chosen to honor our students with this gift. It will allow us to construct a state-of-the-art sensory gym, where children with special needs will grow essential skills needed to succeed in life. We owe these opportunities to our students and would not have been able to provide them at this level without this support from M&T Bank”, said Dr. Fox.

“We understand how important it is to provide the right access and resources for all of the members of our community to succeed and are happy to support Abilities First in this project to install a new gym that will help children needing sensory integrationThe practice of including people with special needs in all aspects of typical community life. Abilities First believes that if integration occurs naturally in a setting (e.g., classroom, place of work, residential neighborhood, etc.), the ratio of people with disabilities to those without should approximate what is found in the total population. That is, less than or equal to 20% people with disabilities.... More therapy,” said Michael T. Keegan, President of M&T Bank’s Albany and Hudson Valley Region.

The $1.2M construction project is funded by the New York State EducationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. Department (NYSED) and the New York State Division of Budget (NYSDOB). When complete, the new school will include 9 classrooms with instructional technology, physical educationThe process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. We believe all children and adults can benefit from quality education. space, clinical space for therapies, and a fully accessible playground. Occupancy will take place during the 2015-2016 school year.

The Abilities First School has operated in Poughkeepsie for the past 35 years. Abilities First, a not-for- profit organization, provides services to over 1,500 developmentally disabled individuals, aged pre- school through adulthood, including students from 21 school districts throughout Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Putnam, and Columbia counties.

Fundraising efforts continue for classrooms and the adaptive playground through contributions to the Future Steps Education Campaign at www.futurestepseducation.org. For further information on how you can support the organization’s Future Steps Education Campaign, please contact Melissa McCoy at 845.485.9803 x223 or email melissamccoy@abilitiesfirstny.org.

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