Constant Friendships, Learning, and Growing!

Relationships Matter at Cooke

At Cooke, our students are each other’s biggest supporters, and everyone works together to create a culture where each person feels cared for and included. This gives students the confidence to express themselves; they know they are in a place where they are accepted and respected. Even in times of uncertainty, our students can be sure that Cooke will be their constant, and that their friends will be by their side!

Justin and Andrew

Justin and Andrew met at Cooke when they were 12 years old, and they have been best friends ever since. These two young men have formed a supportive friendship that has enabled them to take on challenges, giving them unforgettable shared experiences.

When Justin turned 21, Andrew accompanied him, his Dad and cousin on a trip to Las Vegas. This trip was a dream come true for Justin, and he was especially excited to share the experience with his best friend!

Since graduating from Cooke, Andrew and Justin have shared a number of monumental life accomplishments. One major milestone was signing up with SDMNY (Supported Decision-Making New York), and choosing to support each other in making life decisions. This program enables people with developmental disabilities to choose trusted friends and family members to help guide their decisions throughout life.

Andrew has completed the program, and Justin recently signed on to participate. Justin was very excited to begin the program, and Andrew mentioned how proud he was that Justin chose him to be his supporter. Andrew’s mother, Larissa, is another important member of Justin’s support team.

These young men are well on their way to living lives of purpose and independence. They will make life choices with the unwavering support and counsel of their families, as well as the bonds of friendship. A friendship that began at Cooke, and we hope will last a lifetime!

Earth Day at Cooke: The World Around Us

As Earth Day approaches (on April 22), our students are learning about foods, plants, animals and nature, all of which make our world a beautiful place! This year’s theme is Restore Our Earth. Students have been learning ways in which everyone, big and small, can do their part to protect our earth and help prevent further destruction from climate change.

Autism Awareness Month

On Friday, April 16 at 7pm—in recognition of Autism Awareness month—Bedford Playhouse will be presenting the movie “Best Summer Ever”, featuring Cooke alumnus and actor, Jake Waltuck! There will also be a Q&A session following the movie. So grab your popcorn and snuggle into your favorite spot on the couch for movie night!!! Click here to register.

Cooke Head of School Dr. Francis Tabone will be joining a panel of experts to discuss Autism and Adulthood on April 17, 2021, at 3:00pm. Dana Pelerin, Cooke’s Upper School Vocational Services Chair will be moderating the panel. This community event, hosted by the Bedford Playhouse, is being held in recognition of Autism Awareness Month. We invite you to join the discussion.

Click here to register for the panel discussion.

Visit Bedford Playhouse at:, for their full roster of Autism programming—running throughout this week!

A Night In With Cooke!

Join us on May 20, 2021 at 7:30pm for “A Night IN with Cooke.” This free virtual benefit will honor long time Cooke parent Carrie Malcolm, and celebrate the heroes behind the scenesour dedicated teachers—who have guided and educated our students through crisis and uncertainty. When no one could fully grasp what was happening in the world, the Cooke community remained a consistent and positive constant in our students’ lives!

This is an entirely virtual event, accessible to all who wish to attend—without the boundaries of geography or economic status. Everyone in the Cooke community (including family members throughout the world) are encouraged to participate. With your continued support, Cooke students can thrive! 

Click here to learn more about this event. Register TODAY to join us for this FREE Cooke community event! 

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