The school year is finally coming to a close! June is the first summer month of the year, which marks the beginning of summer break for many students. During the school year, students are hard at work learning new subjects like math, art, and writing. However, course overload can easily lead to burnout, which is why summer break offers many benefits for students to relax and enjoy the warmth of summer. Especially for children with disabilities, being involved in a classroom atmosphere for a long period of time may be overwhelming. A break from that allows for a period of reflection and optimizes their brains for a new school year in the fall. 


It is also the time for students to spend more time with their families. The warmth and affection children receive from their parents are very important in their brain development. According to a study from the University of California, Los Angeles, having a loving parental figure can alter the neural circuits in a child’s brain. These alterations are linked with a healthier mind, body, and lifestyle. On the other hand, a lack of parental affection or even abuse from parental figures can lead to mental and physical issues in childhood development that have lasting lifetime effects. Aside from relaxation, summer break gives students the chance to develop social skills. Social experiences can be meeting with friends, going to the park, or doing a summer program. These outings will give children the opportunity to practice interacting with others and understanding social cues. 


Unfortunately, outside of school, the students at EMl don’t really have many activities planned for the summer months. The IAFL volunteers have been hard at work organizing summer programs for the students at EML. We are launching activities such as learning how to play the piano and an experiential STEM program. Lucky for us, Heidi Garner, Chief Marketing Officer of Piano Marvel is providing the software and instructors free of charge. Our students will receive a premium annual subscription. For the STEM program, it was Nemesis ( FRC2590) of Robbinsville High School’s award-winning Robotics team that provided the kits for the students to build small robots. Through these summer programs, the EML students will be engaged in learning in a fun and safe environment.


IAFL is still collecting 61-key digital keyboards. Keyboards from 2nd-hand stores are a great option. They do need to be midi enabled. Also required are cables to connect the midi connections from the keyboard to the computer or device being used. If you have any midi-enabled keyboards & cables to donate to our mission, please reach out to us at




Written by Kat Dinh

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