Reminder: NECC new institute ribbon cutting – October 17 (with former Gov. Dukakis)

by Beth Melo on October 14, 2016

Post image for Reminder: NECC new institute ribbon cutting – October 17 (with former Gov. Dukakis)

Above: NECC’s expanded Southborough campus includes this new institute on Route 9. (contributed image)

As I posted this summer, The New England Center for Children announced completion of a $10.9 million capital campaign and a planned ribbon cutting ceremony for the new John and Diane Kim Autism Institute.

I’ve since learned that the ceremony will include remarks by Former MA Gov. Michael S. Dukakis.

Southborough residents and community members are invited to join the open house and ceremony this fall. It takes place this Monday, October 17 at 3:00 pm at 33 Turnpike Road.

Here is the original press release on the new institute:

Capital Campaign Raises $10.9 Million for Autism Research, Training and Education

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in education and research for children with autism, announced today the establishment of the John and Diane Kim Autism Institute and the successful completion of a $10.9 million capital campaign. Created with a $2.5 million lead gift from John and Diane Kim, the Autism Institute expands the campus with a new building to house research, professional training, and technology to educate and transform the lives of children with autism. A community open house and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held Oct. 17, 3:00 pm, at 33 Turnpike Road, Southborough, MA.

The capital campaign, co-chaired by former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and New York Life President John Kim, successfully raised $10.9 million. The new John and Diane Kim Autism Institute is a three-story, 33,000 square-foot building connected to NECC’s Michael S. Dukakis Aquatic Center. In addition to the Autism Institute, the capital campaign funds will be used for major renovations of the existing main building to create a state-of-the-art Student Activities Center which will include an art room, music room, computer lab, student library and school store.

“Our hope with the John and Diane Kim Autism Institute is to expand the reach of the innovative programs at the New England Center for Children,” said John Kim. “Further research, teacher training and development of technology at the Institute will help thousands of children with autism and their families around the world.”

“The John and Diane Kim Autism Institute is a new chapter for The New England Center for Children,” said Vincent Strully, Jr., Founder and CEO of The New England Center for Children. “The Autism Institute will accelerate our programs and technology worldwide. We are ever grateful to our community of donors and the Kim family for our successful capital campaign.”

One in 68 children worldwide have autism, up 119% from 2000. More than 3.5 million Americans live with autism. The New England Center for Children serves children from 14 months to 22 years, across the autism spectrum. The community of teachers, parents and researchers zero in on each child with extraordinary focus and sophistication to foster his or her independence, maximize skills, and in many early intervention cases lift the child out of the autism diagnosis. All teaching is based on the proven scientific principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which identifies how children learn and what motivates their behavior.

The John and Diane Kim Autism Institute will expand development of NECC’s interactive educational software system, called the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia, or ACE®, Software System. The ACE Software System is a cloud-based teaching system that includes more than 1,900 customizable lesson plans, the ability to go paperless by teaching and collecting data from a mobile device, multiple assessments, and automated graphing features. The ACE Software System gathers NECC’s 40 years of teaching, techniques and research into a practical, step-by-step program to ensure highest quality standards and effectiveness. The ACE Software System is in use in 24 states and nine foreign countries.

Hand-in-hand with technology is the important role of research. The John and Diane Kim Autism Institute will conduct and publish research to further the understanding and treatment of autism and related disabilities. NECC staff have published close to 200 studies in peer-reviewed academic journals and presented over 1,000 papers at professional conferences around the world.

Critical to NECC’s success is the staff, more than 1,000 highly committed and compassionate professionals. These include more than 100 Board Certified Behavior Analysts, 200 master’s level educators, and nearly 20 Ph.Ds. In the area of professional training, The John and Diane Kim Autism Institute will bolster NECC’s on-site master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in applied behavioral analysis and special education. Since 1987, more than 1,200 employees have completed a master degree onsite at NECC with partner colleges Western New England University and Simmons College.

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