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New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie continues summer statewide tour in Schenectady

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie continued his annual statewide tour Friday, joining Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara at the Crossroads Center for Children in Princetown.
Dave Lucas
/
WAMC
New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie continued his annual statewide tour Friday, joining Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara at the Crossroads Center for Children in Princetown.

New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie continued his statewide tour today with a stop in Schenectady County.

Heastie joined 111th district state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara in Princetown for a tour of the Crossroads Center for Children. They walked through the construction site at the facility. Heastie, a fellow Democrat from the Bronx, announced the state will chip in $1.2 million dollars in funding to aid the school.

“I just think all kids, all children, deserve to have a great educational opportunity, and particularly our students with special needs, for families to have to have their children travel over many counties," said Heastie. "It's just a service that we need to expand services for children with autism. So just happy to, you know, try to do a little part, little more for this great organization that wants to take care of, you know, our young people.

Santabarbara says Crossroads serves about 120 students from more than 20 school districts in eight counties.

 "When you think about who this facility serves and how important it is to helping kids with disabilities achieve their goals, putting them on a path to success, there's really no price tag you could put on that,” Santabarbara said. 

Executive Director Kelly Young says funding will add to the initiative to help expand the school’s mission to provide children with and without learning disabilities the opportunity to grow and thrive together.

“We have some funding. We started a capital campaign a while ago. We've raised about a half a million in for sure, locked in as of today. We do have some requests out that we're hopeful for, but this has certainly helped a lot to bring us to our goal,” said Young.

Santabarbara has a personal connection to the Crossroads Center for Children, which opened in 1998. His autistic son, Michael, attended the school as a young student.

“Without this facility, I it would have been very challenging, very difficult, for him to take those next steps that led him to receive his diploma yesterday, along with all the other graduates of the class of 2024, but it has such a such an impact on our community," Santabarbara said. "Families depend on this facility. Transportation is still an issue, but you'll find that families will drive their children to this facility and back, if that's what it takes to make sure that they receive the services that they offer. Here is this school is just that unique.”

Michael graduated from Schalmont High School.

Heastie is continuing his annual statewide tour now that the legislative session is over.

 

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Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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