All interviews were taped and documented.  They are available through the Reference Department of the Teaneck Public Library.  The Library is not responsible for the accuracy of the statements nor does it necessarily endorse the opinions expressed.

NARRATOR: Marilyn Arons
INTERVIEWER: June Kapell
DATE OF INTERVIEW:    June 5, 1985
TRANSCRIBER: Jackie Kinney (11/1985)

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(I) Was there anything in the ad to indicate that it was aimed at Teaneck people primarily?

(N) No, not that I remember. Essentially, you see, we, I was really still that school teacher who wanted to retire. I really was, though we had been through all of this with Shore and I now had two children, and life was quite difficult and Melody's needs were intent in those days and I was learning an area of education that had changed because of PL 94-142 and I couldn't get any information from anybody and I wasn't sure just really where I was going and what energies I wanted to commit to anything. So those fifteen people or so, let's see, can I remember who they were - Betty Schectman, Jim Neujahr who is now gone, Bernice Goldberg, Sandra and Lou Gardner, Phoebe (she ran for the board a couple of years ago).  I've forgotten, isn't that terrible. Anyway, there were I would say about 15 and Margaret Angeli, Marie Shukaitis, a group, and we decided that we were going to publish a newsletter. The question, as they say in the journalism business - who, what, where, when, why and how? So we needed a format of this. We needed some ideas. And essentially as my memory serves, Jim Neujahr who at that time; was working with Lillian Weber at City, came from an exquisite background in education. I think he is still there. He and I hammered out the much of the model of the newsletter but I essentially together with my husband developed the model of the organization of which the newsletter is a piece. And the format of the newsletter was as follows: it was to select a major research topic or legislative topic such as school budgets, such as thorough and efficient legislation, such as gifted education; a topic. And then present it from a federal perspective, a state perspective and a local perspective. Now at that time, you see, we were primarily all Teaneck people and we were interested in, but we were also all educators, so we came to this as parents, we came to it as people with various degrees in various aspects of education.

So not only did we have each other but each one of us had our sphere of professional contacts that we pooled. And so we published the first newsletter and it was, it dealt essentially with, there was a cartoon, the lady who did, was our artist at the time, Cathy Pastryk, she was our first artist and Cathy had a wonderful sketch of an elephant with blind people touching the various parts of the elephant and that was our first issue. Well, this is what happened and that first issue, we sent all across the country. We sent it to Teaneck because as I told you we pooled lists because of our various contacts. But what happened was absolutely a fairy story.  What happened was amongst those who had received it and read it was Carl Marburger, former commissioner of education for the state of New Jersey. Amongst those who received it was Kaye Battista who was Teacher of the Year in 1971 who at that time lived in Leonia and I think now resides in Arizona. And various other people who were connected at the time with what was called the National Conference on Parent Involvement. Well Marburger who has a newsletter for his group which is called the National Citizens Committee for Education ran a feature on the newsletter and that feature was syndicated in essence nationally. So that this little Teaneck product had been picked up by N.C.E.E. and they gave it a rave review. It was an absolutely mind-blowing acceptance of this project, which was viewed as quite revolutionary. Within a couple of months, I got a phone call inviting me to San Antonio, Texas to the Third National Conference on Parent Involvement and they wanted me to present a workshop on how this newsletter got started. Well, I was floored. You are here in this kitchen, well it was at this table and we had been sitting around and all of a sudden, out of this kitchen and this table, I am suddenly now on my way to San Antonio, Texas and I went, together with my kids, I never went anyplace without my husband and my kids, and they stayed in the hotel and went sightseeing in San Antonio and I gave the workshop. Now because of where it was located, everything had to be translated into Spanish because we had a lot of Hispanic people who had enrolled for this National Conference on Parent Involvement. Well my first workshop was completely sold out. There was no more room. And I was one of the first presenters on the first day. So it was rescheduled for the second day. Sold out again. They then rescheduled it for the big ballroom where there was room for 1,000 people. This just couldn't be happening. I felt that I was in a fog. The pace was too fast. You couldn't process it. So I went in there and ultimately what happened was that I presented, and every time I would do a paragraph or a section then it would have to be translated because it wasn't simultaneous translation like they have it at the U.N. but you have to wait and then the whole thing would have to come out in Spanish. Well they passed a hat and (inaudible) at the conference so I came home I left as a Teaneck group, and I came home after three days in San Antonio, Texas as the executive director of what was now instantly a national organization with subscribers in all fifty states, various provinces of Canada, an island someplace in the South Pacific, God only knows. It was just an absolutely unbelievable experience. So we came back here and here it was like a prophet is (inaudible) and we were voted of all the groups that had come, and literally every major organization in the United States was there, involving parents with different approaches and different models, this model, this brand new baby, the Teaneck Parent Information Center, in its infancy was voted the Number 1 model for replication across the United States and there were commissioners of education there, there were teachers' unions there, there were boards of educations representatives there, there was everybody there. And out of all of it, we came out Number 1. So you come back to Teaneck after an experience like this and your feel are a little off the ground and you can't get anybody to respond. So the question then arises, well what's the trouble? Why is it that everybody outside Jersey is interested in what you are doing and outside Teaneck is interested in what you are doing and inside Teaneck you can't get anybody to budge. Nobody wants to really get involved. And all they would do was to call up and criticize, why don't you? You know, why don't you try this? And yet they were not willing, and this I know is a typical story, we have all experienced this when you involved in activism of any sort, so from 1977 then until 1980, we published ten issues a month, twelve pages per issue, and had an average circulation of around 1,000 to 1,200 and of that, I would say about half went to Jersey and the other half was outside covering all fifty states. And those little places in Canada and that island whose name I can't remember. And then in 1980, in 79 a very important thing happened. The thing. The critical thing happened in 79. A friend who was a trustee in the organization and I shant name the family because I don't think it is relevant, they are not a Teaneck family, came to me and they had a very impaired multiply handicapped child. Father was an attorney. And he said, Marilyn, we have a real problem with our district. They were from Westwood. They said, we need a due process hearing and I think you can do it. Now for someone who doesn't understand what due process means, due process is a law suit. Due process is a situation where either the parent or the district can sue each other for various areas of dispute either what the nature of the child's actual handicap is, an example, either the child has a learning disability or the child was emotionally disturbed. Another kind of dispute would be this child is in an inappropriate placement so the parent wants one place and the district says another place is appropriate. There is literally an infinite number of varieties of disputes that are possible. Well I had done various kinds of pseudo legal work with absolutely no legal experience at all. None. Never took a law course, that was in 79. So they were really adamant and they felt there was no place else to go so I did it and I won. And it was a roughly a quarter of a million dollar settlement. And you might say the rest is history because since then I have done roughly 600 and only lost four. And I turned out, I guess just through virtue of some sort of natural vent in law, to have what is said the best reputation in the United States in terms of an understanding of special education law as it relates to both medical phenomenon as it translates into educational jargon and then as both converge into legal issues and how one finds and cites both statutes and case law. So that point in time, in 79, drastically changed me and drastically changed the organization because once you are involved in the ability to get access to records which are normally not accessible, then you start to see through virtue of examination of those records and I have now literally examined thousands of records because I am, without being self-serving, considered to be the expert nationally in this area. I have examined thousands of records and the shock and the horror of the incompetence, and it is nothing less than that, reaffirm my initial shock and horror at Bernard Shore. But from my point of view, he has become a benchmark because I can now see that that is the norm. That is the norm in New Jersey and the tragedy is, it is the norm in the United states. So that we said within this organization, what can we do? What can we do to offer something to help this terrible dilemma of parents who have children with special needs? Now you see, the term special needs is grossly misunderstood. Lay people perceive that to mean children who are impaired in some way. What these lay people do not understand is that gifted children are also designated as special needs children. So that in 1981, we had a board of trustees and executive board meetings, discussed the problem at length and made the following decision: that whereas 77 to 81, we had dealt literally and I think June you received those newsletters and you know that what I am saying is indeed fact, that we covered every area of education in depth. No matter how sensitive it was, we tackled it, from sex education to virtually every area. I cannot think of one we did not tackle at one point or another. In 81, the vote was first with the executive board of trustees and then general membership that we change the charter. We change the corporate status. And that change of corporate status allowed us to do the following things that we did not do heretofore: number one, we were just going to specialize in areas of special education; number two, we were going to formally acknowledge our role as advocates in the legal process; and number three, we were going to begin our own school. That was in 81. Since 81, and as a result of that vote in 81, various members made various commitments. A few of us, as a result of those commitments, chose to go back to graduate school to specialize in certain areas relating to our school. I was the one elected and I can candidly say it was more forced than elected since I had the most teaching experience and had kind of been the voice box of people who were shy to deal in confrontations, it is funny, I used to stutter as a child and was incredibly shy and when I look at what I do now as juxtaposed to that shy, stuttering little girl from Michigan, I am amazed, but what I did in 81 was to apply to the neuro-science education program at Columbia University Teachers College and a Teaneck resident, and I can honestly say that he and his wife I consider to be my best friends, Joe and Toni Goldfarb, I love them and respect them both more than words can say and Joe was kind enough to write a letter of recommendation and Joe's field was neuro-science so he and Dr. Mary Farrell, Mary also at the time was, had written in Ed-Pac and wrote a letter of recommendation. She has now since moved to Pennsylvania but she is the director of teaching at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mary and Joe wrote letters of recommendation and subsequently I was accepted into that program at Teachers and I am still in that program. I am now finishing it and ultimately will end up with a doctorate in learning disabilities and a master of education in neuro-science and education so what we intend to do with that and where our activities now converge and I know this is your interest in Teaneck is that we have attempted as part of that revision of our charter to get that school started. We literally have hundreds of children that we have served and who remain in contact with us because of our work in due process. Their families have no place to put these children. Schools who understand the relationship between brain and behavior are virtually non-existent and the whole area of neuro-science and of neuro-psychology is a very new one and it is only recently become respected and I am not sure that it is in all quarters because if you don't understand what it is, you, it becomes almost chronology, but it requires an extensive background in neuro-anatomy and in virtually all of the hard sciences and I have to tell you that my family has been extraordinary because I come to this as a musician and a theater person who has never had a science course in her life and suddenly to be thrust into physics, chemistry, neuro-anatomy, neuro-transmitters, neuro-chemistry has been nothing less than a revolutionary change in my life, in a different way of thinking and so forth. 

So we tried to get our school started in Teaneck. Why did we want that school in Teaneck and why we still want it in Teaneck. I think that might be the important thing to share. Politically I have never been involved in more that a cursory way in Teaneck because I am not interested in the gamesmanship of politics. I find it, as I did Mr. Shore, boring. But what I don't find boring in Teaneck are the people aside from their political persona. I think Teaneck is extraordinary in its heterogeneous, and I know this is the PR that goes with it, availability of the most remarkable cross-section of people that probably exists anywhere in the world. And it is because of the quality of the people who have self-selected to live here that I'd like that school here. A very large portion of the curriculum which is formalized and if you are interested I can share it with you, uses what is called a mentorship and the mentorship concept is one in which you have a one-on-one relationship with an adult who is an expert in his or her field with a child who has an interest in that field. And I could think of no better place in which those mentors were available who would be willing to give the time, who have the professional excellence and expertise in as wide a cross-section than in this community. So that that really from my point of view was one of the key reasons that I had wanted that school here. We have not been successful. We attempted to get the Emerson School for reasons which I think are not terribly relevant because I've been quite negative in the certain things I have had to say about Teaneck and I don't want to be unduly so because there are a great many aspects of this community that I absolutely love. If I didn't, I would move. But in terms of the people here, I am still hoping and we are still attempting to find a place either in or nearby Teaneck so that we can have access to the wonderful people who live here.

(I) Well what are these parents doing with their children. They are in public and/or private schools?

(l\1) Yeah, they are. There is no simple answer to that question. Every family has their own answer to that question. If you are the parent of a gifted child, well the bottom line answer to that is, if they have the money, they will pull them out of public education and unilaterally place them in the private education.

(I) Are there sufficient private schools to take these children? 

(N) No there are not. That's the problem you see. Locally the Bede School in Englewood is considered, I am not saying this is PR but I will say my son goes there, but the reason my son goes there is because I do believe I am about to say that it is essentially the best, that an Elizabeth Morrow School, for very bright children that exists in this area. But you see the problem is with Bede, with Teaneck, with private schools

(END OF TAPE 1 - SIDE 2 - BEGIN TAPE 2)

(I) Now we were on to the problem with

(N) It is two-fold in terms of the schools. The first is funding and the second is in-service training. New Jersey has what is called approved private schools for the state of New Jersey and this is constantly updated. The tape can't see it but I am pointing to that book, the yellow book. And in order to be an approved private school in the state of New Jersey, you have to fill out what is called a self-study evaluation. It is a monumental thing. And a lot of, in order to be approved and therefore to get public funding from the state and from local districts for children to be placed in a private school. So if you want to be available for placements officially by the state, you have to avail yourself and go through the bureaucratic nonsense of having them constantly bothering you for anything from the amount of cubic feet per child to whatever and I've always found it fascinating that in looking at that self-study guide and in having been in virtually half of the 611 school districts, I have never found a public school who could possibly comply with the most minimum requirements that private schools are asked to comply with when they fill out the self-study criteria. So that's point one, it deals with the funding. Now if they chose not to apply, if private schools chose not to apply for approval by the state, that then cuts off a huge segment of kids and families because then placement is predicated solely on the ability by the family to pay. That's the issue of funding. The issue of in-service is number two.

I have been involved in public education, and I am 46 years old, I have been involved, teaching somebody something since I was 14. My first student was my chorus teacher who came up to me in Holly, Michigan and said, Marilyn, how do you play the piano like that? Will you teach me? And that was when I was 14 and I have been teaching somebody something literally at 14 and my chorus teacher said, oh, that's how you do it and then she referred other kids to me and I started my own piano practice at the age of 14 until I graduated at 18 from high school. I went to college and I instantly was hired by the town I went to school in to teach music and drama in the high school while I was there.

(I) Where was this?

(N) This was in Alma, Michigan. I was born and raised in Holly and then I went to school in Alma and then I went to graduate school. I have been in so many graduate schools, it is ridiculous over the years but I've been to Cornell and City and T.C. and I literally don't remember all the place I've been.

(I) Well, what do

(N) I am about to make a point. The point is that I have been in education a long time and really never meant to be a teacher. I was going to be an opera singer and an actress in New York and I came here through a Ford Grant because I was going to, I was commissioned to write the (inaudible) for the opening of Lincoln Center. So that's what got me to New York. And that's a whole other story but my point being, I didn't mean to go into teaching; I was going to be a professional theater person; and through fate, that's an easier word for, I tend to cut another long story, there are a lot of long stories here, I really found out that the theater I liked was the theater of the classroom and I absolutely adored kids. I found them to be the most exciting, stimulating, magical entities that existed. There was just nothing that turned me on like kids and that still is the case. So I have that framework of training to look at. And was in an accelerated program at Alma so that I finished four years in less than three, took extra graduate courses. Always in liberal arts though, in the theater and in music, in writing, and now I am 46 years old and am in a neuro-science program and I am in that program with kids who are considerably younger than myself. I still feel like I am 20 but obviously with the white hair coming in on the sides of my temples, I am no longer 20. and I am in classes at T.C. with young people from New Jersey and I have to tell you the truth, I am absolutely appalled at what they don't know. These are kids, and from my point of view they are kids, in their middle 20s, who are on child study teams and diagnosing children, making pronouncements about their future, with the absolute worst training I've ever seen in my life. They don't have hands-on experience with children, they have these knee-jerk responses to diagnostic data and it scares the hell out of me. So what I mean by number two in terms of in-service is that unless you have gone back to school in the last five years as a professional, you have no idea that the whole approach to teaching, to assessing kids whether they are gifted, regular or handicapped, to curriculum development, to individualized instructions, it is a revolution. It is as though Einstein has just discovered the theory of relativity. I mean it is that revolutionary. So that it is so revolutionary in terms of what we know about the brain, what we know about how we can really help children, we can start to a little bit take some guesswork out of this, we can start to become professionals, we can start to teach teachers how to be clinicians, but what do you have to do to do this? You've got to make them go back to school and take the very courses that are going to do what they did to me which is turn me into a nervous wreck for three years because I didn't understand the language and I didn't understand the science and I didn't understand the anything but I said to myself, I have got to do this because I won't understand unless I do it and I just did. I just was adamant about it internally with myself and I am really glad I stuck to it because I am at least through the first data so that I have some sort of ability now to understand what I am reading and interpret what I am doing and even starting to do some of my own studies. With professionals who are my age, middle to late 40s, who are 50s who are nearing retirement, for them to be using the same skills they learned twenty years ago and have in-serviced themselves in pottery, in burnout and in bullshit courses, and I say bullshit because I mean bullshit. It is one of my favorite terms when talking about in-service, it is heinous and I think it is criminal in terms of the commitment to the future of children and to the future of civilization. So with public schools, they cannot mandate the kinds of in-service the teachers take by contract. Private schools can't afford to pay the salaries that public schools pay so that in terms of getting the quality of the teaching in either spectrum, either public or private, so that we can start to really understand what is learning, what is that, how do you facilitate the maximum achievement of a child? Unless you are very fortunate and can find someone who understands this intuitively. Because it is something, you see it in good teachers, they don't understand what they are doing but they are doing it. All right? What I am saying is in terms of my goal for myself, the goal for the school, the goal for the organization, the goal for education nationally is that we have got to take ourselves by the scruff of our neck and to say, I will not take the easy way out. I will get through this thing. I will learn what I have to in order to be the best professional I can be and it is that commitment that you don't see and that's of concern to me.

(I) And to a lot of people. Let's jump away from education for a moment now. You alluded to your background in the theater, dramatics. I would like to refresh my memory. I stopped in once, this was many years ago on P.T.A. business and in the middle of nothing, just throughout the fact that I was looking for some props and costumes

(N) Ah, I forget about that.

(I) Well this was in part of my memory too. Do you remember, I needed Victorian shoes and you had shoes belonging to Anna Held.

(N) That's right. I still have them. They were red and black patent leather shoes with very extreme points.

(I) Do you still have other treasures and memorabilia?

(N) Well I have more now than I did then. I have a whole attic full. I have, I have run out of space. Sure. I am a chronic collector. If the tape were a camera, even though it is raining on the day of this interview, what you cannot see it I am presently producing South Pacific to be performed this coming Sunday, since we are talking about transcripts of this thing, today is the 5th but the date I am talking about is June 9, 1985. I have 41 children that I teach privately weekly and they have produced South Pacific and the set is in my backyard. I think Teaneck would be the only town I would get away with that kind of thing. And we have volcanoes, we have a stage. They have built a stage in my backyard.

(I) You teach them drama? Theatrics?

(N) I teach them a little bit of everything. I tutor, I teach drama, I teach voice, I teach piano, I teach everything. You name it. One thing or another, it goes on here.

(I) Well I am sorry that the camera can't see your. . it also can't see an interesting plum tree in your front yard. Can you tell us about that?

(N) Yes. One of our friends has a farm in Vermont and June, as you know, one of my hobbies is gardening and

(I) How do you find the time to keep your flowers which are lovely?

(N) You just find the time. My, I do an awful lot of writing. I think I must turn out on the average of 80 pages a week. And my writing time is my gardening time. I garden and it just kind of goes in my head and then when I am finished, I come in and do the writing. And I don't have to go through drafts. It is just done once I come in from gardening. The plum trees. So our friend brought two little sticks that he had dug up from his garden in Vermont and I was in a workshop sent there by the Mott Foundation in Salt Lake City, Utah. When the plum trees were dropped off in a pail, I was in Salt Lake City, Utah having been sent there by the Mott Foundation to participate in what they called a "think tank" on the future of American education. So I came back from Salt Lake late on a Saturday night with my husband greeting me with the fact that I had to plant and find room for these two little sticks that were characterized as plum trees. And within the same time frame, I had an aunt and uncle I hadn't seen in twenty years drive in my backyard with a trailer. So here I was fresh from an international convention, exhausted, relatives I hadn't seen in twenty years and these two little sticks in a pail that I somehow was supposed to not let die and it was searing heat, July, and so I walked around, now my yard has raspberries, two peach trees, an apple tree, gooseberries, a grape arbor, it is filled with stuff. Where was I going to get space for two plum trees because there was no space. I had roses, the place is chuck full of stuff as you know. So I looked. Now what do I know about town ordinances? I don't care about town ordinances. I would have no reason to know that the strip of land in front of my house does not belong to me. I assume if I mow it, I take care of it, it is mine. What do I know? So I look around, I am told these things, I look in my fruit book and The Care and Nurturing of Fruit Tree, it is out there someplace, and it says a plum tree has to have full sun. Well the only place in which I have land with full sun is that strip on the outside of my house. So it is now 6:30 on a Sunday morning, I am fresh back from Salt Lake City, Utah, I have to get this thing done before the sun comes up or the little things are going to die. So I am out in my, the good Jewish word, my shmata, and my slippers and with a shovel and I am shoveling a hole in the front of my house and plant on each side of the strip I guess there might be a 30 to 40 foot, I am terrible with measurements, distance between these two tiny little saplings and plant them and figure, isn' t this lovely. I found a space for my two plum trees. They are there for the remainder of that summer. They thrive, do well, but they are still very small little things. And the next summer, I get this letter from Werner Schmid telling me in essence they're going to throw out my plum trees and put them in my front yard. I have no right to plant unauthorized trees in the town's property and in that letter is cited a town ordinance, numbers of a town ordinance. Well, in this interview, you have learned that over the last few years, I have become fairly facile with legal issues at least in terms of trying to find out the citations people might use and within a twenty four hour period of that letter, a Teaneck town department truck pulls up at eight o'clock one morning as I am on my way to a due process hearing before an administrative law judge in Newark and this gentlemen who does not tell me who he is marches himself up on my front steps and threatens me to take out my plum trees, informs me he is representing the community and I say, stop right there. And I put my finger right in the middle of his collar and march him right back down the front steps and I said, don't you ever come to my house again with that tone of voice. I said, I appeared before judges and I work with attorneys every day and I said, this is not the way you do business. Don't you ever come back here again. Well, he ran and he fled to the car and then my dander was up. It is one thing to send me a letter but it is another thing to send a shakedown person to intimidate me and I do not intimidate easily as you know, to tell me to get rid of my two little trees. So I take a day off, I go down to the Municipal Building, I speak with Roz Endick and go up to the town department and I show them this letter and I say, I would like to see that ordinance. It says that you have a list of approved trees. Where is the list? Well there is no list. And furthermore, the ordinance cited had nothing to do with my fruit trees. So I have a file on this about this thick in the basement. So to make a long story short, Roz Endick calls me and in essence; said, oh, we will work out something. Don't worry. You can keep your fruit trees. So following that, I got another letter. Mrs. Endick ultimately denied that she said that and this was an absolute they are coming out by X date and if you don't take them out voluntarily, they are being dug out. One of my student's father is an attorney. I called him up and we made an appointment to go see him and he advised me that he had contacted people and that I really didn't stand much of a chance. I should take out my fruit trees. And I said, over my dead body. I used a little vulgarity, I didn't say that. And he suggested that since I felt vehemently about it, that since there was a town council meeting I think that night, I should go. Another friend who was an avid gardener who shall go unnamed said, Marilyn, don't be visceral. Be nice. Take pictures of that beautiful garden of yours so that they know you really are a gardener and explain the problem. She felt sure, knowing the town council as she did, that they would be responsive. So since I treasure this friend's advice and I was given the information by the father of my student that there indeed was there meeting, I went and I had the pictures just as my friend suggested plus Ray and I had Xeroxed packets of all the correspondence, and by now, we had a file this big because I write letters at the drop of a hat. So we passed out the packets of Schmid's letters and my letters and all this stuff and the ordinance and the fact that this was not the right ordinance and somebody had screwed up someplace and then passed around my pictures so the outshot of it was that the president of the council suggested that if I donated these trees to the town that I could keep them and another fellow on the town council, I can't remember who it was, the one that has been there the longest, Menkes I believe, Brad said well you know if Mrs. Arons donates it to the town, then we can tear them up and Mr. Brooks said, something to the effect, no, we won't do that. Don't worry Mrs. Arons. And he kindly admonished Mr. Menkes as I recall and with a twinkle in his eye, so it was resolved that I got a chance to keep my plum trees because they were donated to Teaneck. I then had the responsibility of caring for, what their primary concern was, "the dropped fruit". They were concerned about it being a health hazard on the sidewalk. So I assured them that I would care for that.

(I) Has there been any fruit?

(N) Not any.

(I) The trees are thriving. 

(N) Thriving.

(I) What other areas in town have you been active in?

(N) There is an additional element that I would like to share with you and with this project because it does involve the Teaneck Public Library. In my legal work and in my professional training, the greatest on-met need for a learning disabled kid is in the area of books for children who can't read or read poorly. And the general descriptor for that kind of problem is called dyslexia. New Jersey as a whole does not recognize dyslexia and I have been roughly in 50 different litigations involving the use of that word so I can say very safely that that is indeed the fact. As a matter of fact, it is interesting that the Mahwah school district's position is that dyslexia was an invention of Teachers College. That was stated on a stenographic record. So while other states certainly understand what that problem means, New Jersey you should know absolutely will not talk about it, won't use the word, school districts will not use the word.

(I) There has been a school established down in Little Silver, I think, somewhere down in south Jersey for some years now.

(N) Well, to the best of my knowledge, the Louis Clinic at Princeton is specialized in this area. The lady who founded it will not allow the state near her with a ten foot pole. And the. . but in terms of schools who specialize in addressing dyslexic kids, to the best of my knowledge there is none in New JERSEY. Zero. Why am I using this as information as a segway into the Teaneck Public Library? It is for the following reason. That we are unique in Teaneck to have two people who use the word dyslexia and that is Drs. Cowan and Bukovic and I think we are inordinately fortunate to have two such brilliant, I have used that term a couple of times and I am now glad to be able to apply it to people who are in an administrative capacity as well as a curricular capacity, because I think both John and Joe really understand the needs of dyslexic children, both emotionally and academically and socially. Through the efforts of a Teaneck group to commemorate a Teaneck family who died in a plane crash, money was allocated, was collected for the development of a project at the Teaneck Public Library and through the efforts of Hilda Lipkin, I think Marilyn Sirulnick, and John Cowan, the decision was made, now I may be incorrect in certain of my facts here, but it is the product that I am interested in and what resulted from this collaboration was a decision to put together a book on tape. A collection of books on tape. And that of course is the method which has the best track record in terms of helping certain kinds of dyslexic children. I think Teaneck is the only library in New Jersey, other than Recordings for the Blind, which is a publicly funded group which will tape record textbooks for children with various disabilities as well as those who are blind, but for a library to have this kind of insight and dedication, particularly when one views it in the political climate of the state, is heroic and I can only congratulate as sincerely as I can Hilda and those involved with that project because it is absolutely unique.

(1) I want to thank you very much for this most interesting interview on behalf of the Teaneck Public Library.

(N) Thank you.

(END OF TAPE)

 

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