Magical Healing: Magic is the gift, you are the magic

Tabernacle School District offers Magical Healing program for the second year.

By Melissa Riker

The Sun

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“Magic is the gift. You are the magic.”

That is a quote commonly used by Paul Cohen and Will Fern, leaders of the Magical Healing program.

This nonprofit program aims to train school-aged children in magic and then contribute it back into the community by performing their tricks for seniors, struggling families and underprivileged children.

For the second year, the Tabernacle School District will select eight students to undergo a six-week training program, where they will be supplied with magic props and video tutorials to practice on their own after the 90–120 minute weekly class sessions.

The program equips students with a variety of skills, including increased self-esteem, self-confidence, speaking skills, performing skills, social skills, teamwork skills and hand-eye coordination.

“We offer a way for kids who not only need to get out into the world with their voice and personality, but also to give seniors something special to see — they light up when the kids walk in the room,” Fern said.

The idea of Magical Healing developed about seven years ago, when Cohen was spending time in the hospital with his mother as she was battling cancer.

Cohen said one day he bought a beginner magic kit to perform tricks for his mother and other patients in the hospital. After seeing the look in their eyes, Cohen could tell the magic brought them to a hopeful and uplifting state.

“It was so moving to discover that my simple illusions could transport someone from a place of worry to a place of wonder,” Cohen said. “It was in that moment of inspiration that Magical Healing was born.”

Seventh-grade student Zackary Moore was selected by the district to participate in the program last year.

“I was really interested in magic before, but I could never get it right before Magical Healing,” Moore said.

In the past year, Moore said he feels the program enhanced his comedy skills, and he has since performed at Medford Leas and in front of a crowd of about 200 people at Darress Theater in Boonton.

“It was a really cool atmosphere, and he stood up there in front of all these people. I was proud of him,” his father, Rob, said. “I’m glad he was able to be a part of the program.”

Cohen and Fern said they have witnessed many children transform from shy to outgoing, and their program has made a difference in them they can carry throughout their lives.

“To see kids break through barriers of communication and come out of their shells and relate to the world in a different way, it’s really fulfilling to watch,” Fern said.

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