Number of Participants: 300
Hours Donated: 1
Value of Time Served: $2,535
Event Type: Children & Youth
Date: May 6, 2021
Elementary schools in the Massapequa School District celebrated everyone’s unique qualities for Autism Awareness Month in April while also educating students about the disorder that affects an estimated 1 in 54 children nationwide.
On April 30 at McKenna Elementary School, administrators, teachers and staff wore shirts with an image of a puzzle piece and a heart along with the message, “Love Needs No Words.” The puzzle piece is the symbol used to represent the mystery and complexity of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Throughout April, first graders in Melanie Kane’s class discussed how everyone is special because of their differences. Students identified the traits that make them unique and learned the importance of accepting others for who they are. They ended the month with an autism awareness coloring activity to serve as a visual reminder of those important messages.
Fairfield Elementary School took part in the international Light It Up Blue campaign for autism awareness, with students and staff encouraged to wear blue on World Autism Day. The school also raised money for the Nassau Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America. Families and staff members could contribute decorated puzzles pieces, which were hung throughout Fairfield’s hallways, and make a small donation.
The school received raffle baskets donated by teachers and local businesses, which also served as a fundraiser for the organization, which works to assist families in finding support groups and social, recreational and educational opportunities for children with autism. Second grade teacher Jennifer Lidonnici coordinated the fundraising efforts at Fairfield and doubled the donation by personally matching money raised from the puzzle pieces and raffles.
Students from Ms. Lidonnici’s class gave facts about autism during the daily morning announcements and members of the SADD club made informational posters.
1: Fairfield Elementary School second grade teacher Jennifer Lidonnici and her students showed puzzle pieces that were decorated for the school’s fundraiser for the Nassau Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America.
2: First graders at McKenna Elementary School completed Autism Awareness Month coloring activities as a visual reminder to accept others for their differences.
Photos courtesy of the Massapequa School District