Ridge Park Elementary celebrates differences during Autism Awareness Month

Colonial School District  |  Posted on

First graders model bracelets they made as part of an activity celebrating differences.

Ridge Park Elementary School is making a difference during Autism Awareness Month through a series of activities including an all-school Autism Walk, reading stories about accepting differences, coloring Autism Awareness ribbons to decorate the front lobby and making bracelets out of colored beads. Rather than focusing simply on awareness, the conversations during Autism Awareness Month highlight acceptance, which is a topic that the school touches on throughout the year — and that the students have opportunities to practice daily. Ridge Park is home to the kindergarten through third grade autistic support classrooms, and the students in the autistic support program participate with their peers in specialists (music, art, technology, gym and guidance), recess, lunch, parties and other subjects and events as often as possible — which gives all of the children a chance to naturally make connections with each other. “You don’t want to leave them out,” said first grader Noah Rudzinski. “You might want to be friends with them and love them.” “I think our staff does a really good job building a supportive community of learners, not just for our kids with autism but for anybody with a difference,” said Ridge Park Principal Eileen Carr. “Through having o