Schwartz School students to host telethon

Jan 16, 2019

Two students at Meeting Street The Schwartz Center are getting ready for their television debut: Athan Ghannam, 8, of Dartmouth, and Madisyn Mills, 10, of New Bedford.

Athan attends the Schwartz School, and Madisyn does physical therapy at Meeting Street twice a week, and they will be co-hosting the organization’s annual telethon on Saturday, Jan. 26, and radio-thon on Friday, Jan. 25.

The students at the Schwartz School spend time on academics and on various therapies, like speech, occupational, and art therapy, and physical therapy in a pool.

Athan particularly enjoys music and singing, and is known around the school for his great smile and sense of humor. He also has two younger twin brothers.

He was born with Cerebral Palsy and cortical visual impairment due to a wrapped umbilical cord, which cut off oxygen to his brain.

The Schwartz School is a year-round private school serving students between the ages of 3 to 22 years old with severe and profound disabilities. Right now, there are 36 students.

“My goal and my mission for our kids is to provide them with the same, if not a better, education than their peers are getting at surrounding schools,” Katelyn Champine said, noting that students at the Schwartz School go on field trips, have a prom and graduation, and get a yearbook.

Meeting Street The Schwartz School is also home to Southcoast Rehabilitation Services, which provides outpatient physical, occupational, and speech and language therapies.

Madisyn, who was born with cerebral palsy, does occupational therapy at Meeting Street twice a week.

A fifth-grader at Carney Academy, Madisyn is cheerful and funny.

She loves reading, coloring, and riding her bike, and particularly recommends “The Dork Diaries.” Madisyn is also a big music fan.

“Ed Sheeran is my favorite,” she said, also recommending Bruno Mars, Shawn Mendes, and Maroon 5.

At Meeting Street, she does a variety of activities like going in the pool and swinging on a special swing, with which she had a recent triumph.

The swing hangs over some mats, and is shaped sort of like a Hershey kiss, requiring kids to hold on tight with their arms and legs for as long as they can. Madisyn recently set a new personal record of five minutes.

The telethon and radiothon are the organization’s largest fundraisers of the year. The telethon, celebrating Meeting Street’s 72nd year, will be broadcast live on WPRI 12 and streaming on from 7 to 11 p.m. on Jan. 26. The program will give viewers a look inside Meeting Street and special segments with students, supporters, staff, and families.

On Friday, Jan. 25, the Schwartz School will hold the 3rd annual Radiothon at Sunrise Bakery from 5 to 10 a.m.

For more information about this year’s telethon and or make a donation, please visit, or contact or (401) 533-9230.