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Unique Places: Cantalician Center For Learning

3:53 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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Cantalician Center For Learning

CHEEKTOWAGA, NY - At the corner of Dick Road and George Urban Boulevard is the Cantalician Center for Learning, an educational facility that specializes in working with students with developmental disabilities, with school age programs serving students ages 5-21.

"Traditionally , Cantalician serves students with developmental disabilities which could be any range of psychological, emotional, academic, as well as physical disabilities," said Principal Theodore Lesh. "We primarily serve students with multiple disabilities, so we try to hit on all aspects, and each of these students has unique needs and qualifications that we work on daily," Lesh said.

Founded in 1950's by the Felician Sisters with just a dozen students, it now serves more than 200 from 30 area school districts. This past fall, Cantalician moved into the former St. Barnabas School in Cheektowaga, newly renovated to serve their needs.

"The facility is fantastic. It's clean, it's open, the resources here are phenomenal, and so we're loving it," said Lesh.

Cantalician is a word derived from the Felician sisters who founded the place, and St. Felix of Cantalese...a 16th century monk who himself was uneducated, and could not even read...but who devoted himself to children.

"To teach here you have to have exceptional patience, you need to have exceptional creativity, and you need to have a very, very positive spirit," said Lesh. "Because every day we come in and try and encourage and motivate as best as we can and take our kids forward."

The official motto of the school is, "Exceptional People, No Exceptions".

An unofficial one might be,"There is no can't, in Cantalician".

"There's a lot of 'can'...but no 'can't'...that's right," Lesh said.

Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 on Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Norm Fisher from Eden. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2

WGRZ-TV, wgrz.com

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