Chapel on the Hill Church Hosts

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Guest Speaker Joanne Bastante-Howard at Its Monthly Ladies Fellowship Meeting


May 12, 2015—Cedar Grove, New Jersey-Chapel on the Hill Church, located at 560 Ridge Road in Cedar Grove (opposite the reservoir), hosted Child Advocate/Publisher Joanne Bastante-Howard as its guest speaker at their monthly Ladies Fellowship meeting on Tuesday, May 12, at 7:15 p.m.

The topic of her speech was, A mother’s response to God’s calling in home life, ministry and service to others. “I chose this topic because I have always loved children and the Lord. I was told I would never be able to have children of my own. When the Lord sent me an amazing child at 41 years of age, He also placed his vision on my heart to serve others with disabilities. There have been many challenges and lessons I have learned along the way (about how important it is to ‘let go and let God’ lead),” stated Joanne.

Joanne attends Calvary Chapel of Montclair, is a resident of Woodland Park, New Jersey, a mother of a child with Down syndrome and a graduate of Rutgers University. She has a genuine love for children and has been raising awareness for children with disabilities for over seven years in New Jersey, Ohio and Florida.

Joanne is a child advocate and the founder of America’s Special Kidz (A.S.K.). Prior to launching America’s Special Kidz—a non-profit organization that provides print, online, financial, safety and recreational resources—Ms. Howard had a successful 25-year career in marketing and research. After her son was born, she desired to put her creative and researching expertise to work to help protect our most valuable asset—our children.

Ms. Howard has worked closely with educators, physicians, therapists and business professionals to develop creative resources and effective tools to improve education and the quality of life of children with Down syndrome. She has also developed toys, activities and advocacy proposals to help children with a wide range of low-muscle tone, cognitive and speech conditions.

Parents of children with a wide range of disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, and rare diseases, have turned to Joanne to help them raise funds to pay their exorbitant out-of-pocket medical expenses and to develop educational tools.

In 2014 she realized Passaic County did not have recreational programs for young children with special needs. Ms. Howard spearheaded the first Woodland Park Special Olympics Developmental Soccer Program for children ages 6 to 12. She is currently planning Special Olympics Spring Track and Fall Soccer Developmental Programs.

Ms. Howard’s mission is to “Create a Bright Future for ALL Kids.” She strives to connect families with the national and local businesses that support the advancement of individuals with disabilities. She works passionately to help parents meet their child’s critical needs by “helping to create a healthy and bright future for ALL children, including those with disabilities and serious medical conditions.”
The evening’s event concluded with a time of fellowship and refreshments. For additional information contact the church directly at 973-239-6064 or visit

America’s Special Kidz (A.S.K.)

A.S.K. is a NJ 501c3 corporation based in Woodland Park that provides critical research as well as online, print and financial resources to families with children that have disabilities, special needs and serious medical conditions.

For more information on A.S.K., write or

call 973-521-0433. Visit A.S.K. online at