How does playing baseball help solve the puzzle of autism? Over four-hundred middle school students found out thanks to a group of their Madeira Middle School peers who decided to promote awareness and understanding about the disability of autism.
The student team of Jeff Hill, Lauren Curee, Abby Nolan, Ryan Kamp, Lydia Davis, Liam Powis and Landyn Abner organized an Autism Awareness Day on May 4 for all students in grades five through eight. The day was part of the school’s initiative to promote compassion, student volunteer initiative, and learning through service.
During the Madeira Middle School Day of Service, the team led a craft project for other students to create Autism Awareness pins out of puzzle pieces. They also created informational sheets on autism which were placed on every cafeteria table for the day. After presenting basic facts about autism during the lunch periods, the team showed a video they made designed to educate about autism and to entertain with baseball bloopers. In keeping with the baseball theme, the main menu item for lunch was hot dogs. Afterwards, students could pick up an Autism Awareness pin to wear, grab a bag of popcorn, and take part in low-key wiffle ball games outside.
The student team nominated fellow Madeira Middle School student Jacob McGee to be honored in pre-game festivities at the 2012 Autism Awareness Reds Game on May 27. During the groups’ lunch presentation, all students were encouraged to attend the Reds game to benefit the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati. Staff advisors Amy Hugentobler, Lindsay Isaacs, and Susan Fraley assisted the students with the project.
Whether or not the Reds win their May 27 game, the students who learned about autism and compassion while munching popcorn and hitting wiffle balls are true champions.