World Autism Day at Cedar Hill School
Students participate in a full day of activities to learn about autism and better understand how it affects others.
This Monday, the Cedar Hill Elementary School held a celebratation involving the entire school, all 630 students in kindergarten through grade 5, for World Autism Awareness Day.
The school was decorated and both students and staff came in wearing blue to celebrate the worldwide Light It Up Blue campaign. The children were going to watch a video in the morning to understand the significance of blue, said Lisa McNey, co-president of Parents of Exceptional Children in Bernards Township.
The third grade students once again be tied blue ribbons on a tree in a school courtyard that was planted a few years ago in honor of Autism Awareness month.
The students would be writing words of kindness on each ribbon and tying them on the tree. Classes will be participating in this event, with a speech by Joseph Mollica, school principal, at 10 a.m and 1:20 pm.
All of the students in the school will create a silk screened banner on Monday with the guidance of the art teacher, Kimberly Ace, and parent volunteers.
Each child will screen print an owl (the school mascot) in green — and among, every 88 green owls, a golden owl will be painted to signify the 1 in 88 children diagnosed with autism.
Every child contributed to the banner, said Eva Deffenbaugh, a volunteer parent.
"This should be a wonderful representation for the children of just how prevalent autism is and give them a hands-on experience creating this memory," McNey said. The banner will then be hung in the school, she said.
The entire school also is scheduled to participate in an interactive lesson at a bulletin board created by some of our teachers from our autistic program.
The teacher have created a life-size board with captions to teach the students how best to interact with students with autism. The excerpts are taken from a book written by a 14-year-old boy with autism. "This should be a very impactful learning for the students," McNey said.
Activities to promote awareness of autism and autism spectrum were held around the world on Tuesday. In New York City, Far Hills student Liam Niederauer, who has autism, rang the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange. He was accompanied by Jack Hoffman of Basking Ridge, who is a fellow student at the Newmark School for special needs students.