Dr. Henry Viscardi Jr. was born with shortened limbs. Not one to let his challenges define him, though, he worked to achieve his doctorate and went on to serve as the disability adviser to eight US presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. Believing in children's ability to achieve greatness despite any obstacle, he founded The Viscardi Center in 1952. For the last half-century, the center has worked to educate and empower people with disabilities by providing education from prekindergarten to high school, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, and career counseling through a network of organizations.
A member of this network, the Henry Viscardi School was founded in 1962 and today teaches 180 children who have severe physical disabilities such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. These students learn in small groups of up to nine and study all of the state-mandated subjects, including science and math. The school maintains a host of medical supports, including communication devices, and the help of nurses and social workers, to ensure the children's safety, and it offers extended educational training in the form of postgraduate skills and summer instruction.
Situated on 63 acres of Mitchel Field—a former military base—Nassau Coliseum is dedicated to those who lost their lives while serving their country. When its doors opened four decades ago, this entertainment hub became a portal, transporting crowds to hours of sound and spectacle. Since then, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus has performed every year, racking up the record for most performances, followed closely by the Grateful Dead, which has permeated the air with its brand of jam 35 times, leaving audiences exhilarated and hankering for peanut butter and bread.
During the Big Apple Beatdown, an all-day roller-derby tournament hosted by the New York Shock Exchange, spectators arrive to the rink with chairs under their arms to watch six notable MRDA teams battle for the National Champion title. Bouts begin at 10 a.m. with the Dallas Deception taking on the Magic City Misfits in a storm of skates, helmets, and trampled 10-gallon hats. Other teams battling for supremacy include the St. Louis GateKeepers, Puget Sound Derby Outcasts, and Pioneer Valley Dirty Dozen. A special women’s game will also be held featuring the Long Island Roller Rebels taking on the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. The championship bout commences at 7:30 p.m., and the day ends with a presentation of medals at 9:15 p.m., where one team is deemed the victor. Matches occur on two separate tracks, allowing smooth transitions between bouts and enough time for padded pros to finish a game of Connect the Bruises.
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True to its name, Crossroads marks the intersection of two seemingly dissimilar hangouts: it houses an elegant dining room clad in black linens and yellow wall sconces where pastas, steaks, and seafood are served, as well as a sports bar stocked with pub grub. As Crossroads' famous marinated skirt steak and seafood fra diavolo top plates in the dining room, the bar's 15 TVs—each one baked fresh that day in time for the game—join a jukebox in wooing eyes and ears. Special events include visits from a local medium who tries to connect clients with the afterlife, get-togethers to cheer on the Rangers and Jets, and holiday meals.
No matter the class, Twisters Gymnastics Center's instructors always make sure to pack their lessons with a hearty dose of encouragement. They inspire students of all ages and skill levels in a 6,200-square-foot gymnasium outfitted with an array of tumbling and gymnastics equipment, from balance beams and pommel horses to colorful tumbling obstacles and a foam pit. Their introductory Mommy & Me and Mini-Gym classes help kiddies build strength and develop muscle control, and their more advanced sessions, including competitive gymnastics, nurture students' desires to test their skills against others. Each child's safety is equally important as their physical development; every instructor is certified in basic first aid and CPR, is USGF-safety certified, and is proficient in scaring away grizzly bears with nothing but a glare.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby-engaging classes in which parents and wee ones work together to build the tot's creativity and encourage development through play. Weekly classes are available for the freshly born sapling to the 5-years-young wise wanderer. This deal is valid for rhythm-building music classes, imagination-expanding art classes, mobility-enhancing sports classes, Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn, plus all family classes. The month membership (usually $112, plus a $35 enrollment fee) allows you to take one class per week, with make-ups available during enrollment if you miss a class. This deal also includes unlimited attendance at Gymboree's open gym sessions (contact location for schedule), and you will receive a $25 discount on Gymboree clothing with a $50 purchase.