October 2005

Simches Gift Offers Pathways Students Computers and Time at the Hoops

Simches Gifts to PathWay Academy

Simches Gift to Pathways Academy
(click to enlarge)

Thanks to generous gifts from the Joanne B. Simches Charitable Foundation and Nancy Simches, students at Pathways Academy now have new computers, new desks, a basketball half-court and new TV/DVD/VCRs to enhance their learning and physical development. Soon, they also will be getting a second basketball half-court, outdoor wooden furniture and outdoor play structures.

Pathways Academy, a year-round school offering comprehensive therapeutic and educational services to children with Asperger's syndrome (a high functioning form of autism) and related disorders, is one of just a few day schools of its kind in the country. Pathways was founded in 1998 to address the pervasive need for positive educational experiences for children whose disabilities prevent them from succeeding in a traditional school system.

The Joanne B. Simches Charitable Foundation was established in 1992 by Nancy and Richard Simches in loving memory of their youngest daughter. According to Nancy Simches, "We dedicate the Foundation to perpetuating Joanne's legacy of care and concern for disadvantaged and disabled children and young adults."

In 2003, the Foundation donated funds to provide scholarships to students at Camp New Connections, the summer program at Pathways Academy. The following year, the Foundation helped purchase new electronic equipment and construct the first basketball half-court. In 2005, Nancy Simches then contributed additional funds for the second half-court and supplemental outdoor equipment.

Nancy and her late husband, Richard, supported McLean for many years and Nancy continues their strong support. To them the Pathways program "touches the lives of children with the same degree of compassion and support that Joanne displayed during her lifetime," Nancy says. She hopes that her family's funding "will facilitate the students' growth, development and welfare, not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well."

The Simches family believes that "when giving to McLean, you get back far greater riches. The opportunity to be part of the advancement of science, from both the research and clinical perspectives, is tremendous and personally gratifying."