SOURCE: Humanitarian Stanley Tomchin

Humanitarian Stanley Tomchin

December 08, 2014 15:15 ET

The IDEAL School Is Grateful for Stanley Tomchin's Financial Assistance

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwired - Dec 8, 2014) - A trio of New York City moms who each have a child with the Down syndrome faced a problem when it was time to put their kids in school. They discovered that private schools are great for small class sizes and public schools are great for their inclusiveness, but neither option met both requirements. In 2006, Audra Zuckerman, Julia Harquail, and Michelle Smith decided it was time to take matters into their own hands and launched The IDEAL School of Manhattan. Since its inception, the school has received praise from dozens of national media outlets for its innovative approach to education. "Good Morning America", CNN, The New York Times and the NY Daily News have all focused on the way the school combines special-needs students with unimpaired kids in the classroom to create a unique learning environment. Intrigued by the school's concept, famed Las Vegas philanthropist, Stanley Tomchin, made a substantial donation through the Tomchin Family Charitable Foundation to support the New York-based innovative institution.

"The IDEAL School is founded on three important principles: diversity, acceptance and excellence," explains Tomchin. "Those are wonderful ideals for any institution, and I'm excited to be able to support what they are doing." When Zuckerman, Harquail, and Smith started the school, they promised that children with special needs would make up 25 percent of its student body. The school has been able to fulfill its commitment to diversity and at the same time maintain high academic standards. According to New York State testing scores, students at IDEAL are outperforming students in public schools in math and reading and have at the same time been able to eliminate the disparity in subject mastery between race and ethnicity that is so evident throughout the New York public school system. "IDEAL is proving that all kids can succeed in school, no matter what their background is, and that's inspiring to me -- that really gives me hope for the next generation," Tomchin relates.

Stanley Tomchin founded the Tomchin Family Charitable Foundation in 2005 to help worthy philanthropic organizations in his hometown of Las Vegas and around the world. The IDEAL School was identified by the Foundation's team, who were especially impressed by the independent spirit of the institution. In an interview with NY Daily News, co-founder Michelle Smith tells how the idea for their project was born: "Manhattan is a diverse place, but diversity needed to include ability, not just gender and race. It struck us that this diverse city -- supposedly the most diverse city in the world -- had few inclusive options. We decided we would look into starting a school, and we thought it was the right thing to do." The school launched with 20 children and has since grown to 104 students. Students in each grade are taught together in small class size of only 18 and at least two teachers per classroom. Since it operates as a private institution, the school heavily depends on fundraising efforts and donations, so Tomchin decided to step up and help.

Now a resident of Las Vegas, Stanley Tomchin grew up on Long Island, New York, where he began his gaming career as a young chess genius before advancing to bridge and backgammon. His natural mathematical abilities led him into an international circuit of games, worldwide fame, and impressive winnings. Widely considered one of the most successful games player in the world, he ended his career at the height of its success and has channeled his energy towards philanthropic efforts ever since. Just like his sister, Joy Tomchin, who herself has been a well-known activist for decades, he supports international organizations such as Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd, as well as a number of local charities and projects with a special focus on children in need and their families.

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