As the month of April came to a close, so did the awareness of autism at McKinley and Poland Middle schools. As part of an awareness project, the students made up puzzle pieces showing how they are different.
''The theme is we all fit together,'' said guidance counselor Wendy Butch. ''The students made up a puzzle piece, which is the autism symbol.''
The students were paired up and had to create a puzzle piece that would fit their teammate's. Both students then took their own piece and wrote down their own traits and likes that separated them from others. The writings covered enjoyed sports, academics, and feelings such as ''I am always happy'' or ''I sleep a lot.'' The two pieces were then hooked together and added to the main lobby bulletin board.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Poland fifth graders Peyton Mrakovich, Eli Lupuchovsky. Carmyn Manna, Zoe Simon, Chloe Kosco, Ellie Kempers, Taylor Sackella, Mary Liddle, Luke Nord, Will Davies and Ian Francis pose in front of the Autism awareness display in the main lobby between Poland Middle School and McKinley Elementary. All the students added a puzzle piece to show that everybody is different.
Butch said along with the puzzle project, the students heard talks in the morning classes on the topic of autism. It was from that talk the puzzle idea sprung.
Butch said Poland schools have a very small percentage of autistic students. The goal of the April awareness project was to create an understanding of autism.
''It is all about being different and getting along with one another,'' Butch said.