April 9, 2021 — Munson Elementary students and staff are banding together through unity events to demonstrate their solidarity and support for Autism Acceptance Month.
What began as an awareness campaign by the Autism Society of America in the 1970s was then adopted as Autism Awareness Month by Congress in 1984. Earlier this year, the Autism Society announced that it is shifting away from an awareness theme for the month of April to one of acceptance to better foster change and inclusivity for those affected by autism.
In support of this important cause, Chardon art teacher Mrs. Stickley led a collaborative project with each of her classes and all staff members at Munson Elementary, a one school, one project endeavor she had initially been looking forward to implementing in spring 2020. The dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of Ohio school buildings at that time, thereby prompting a postponement of the art project until 2021.
Mrs. Stickley’s vision came to fruition just last month with each and every student and staff member in the building having the opportunity to decorate an individually cut, eight-inch, paper puzzle piece using markers, crayons, colored pencils and embellishments. In addition, students viewed age-appropriate educational videos to learn more about autism.
Staff members Mrs. Marcotte and Mrs. Stumph thoughtfully took on the task of piecing together the students’ and staff members’ finalized puzzle pieces — applying and "connecting" the pieces directly on a wall of the school’s main hallway to produce an impressive, finished project titled Individually Unique.
“We created a wall of puzzle pieces to show that we are all different, but we fit together like a puzzle,” explained Mrs. Kellogg who serves as an intervention specialist at the school.
In addition, Munson Elementary deemed April 8 as “Light it Up Blue Day” with all students encouraged to wear the color blue that day — a color thought to symbolize hope — while staff members donned blue t-shirts with the words “Be a Hilltopper, Be Kind, Be Brave, Be You”.
District Media Contact:
Chardon Local Schools