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Autism Awareness

Students and staff at the Dennis Township Elementary and Middle Schools came together to raise awareness in the school community on Autism Day by blowing bubbles.

Fifth grade students Sophie Palmer, Isabelle Phillips and Logan Mills started the event by reading aloud to the entire school about Autism Awareness Month, the meaning of blowing bubbles and the importance of raising autism awareness in a state where one in every forty-one children are affected.

Dennis Township Committee member Lisa Salimbene read aloud a proclamation from the Committee declaring the day an official township day of recognition and event organizer Kelli Turner presented a certificate of appreciation from Senator Jeff Van Drew for the district's efforts.

Fourth grader Megan Turner read a poem written by an autistic student about what the bubbles meant to him.

Fifth graders Tommy Barber, Jack Morton, Angelina Lorenzo, Laura Daino, Camryn Rothenbiller, and Iyan Khan led the countdown.

Principal Jamie VanArtsdalen is impressed by the students and the event overall. 

"This is such an important topic and our fifth graders did an amazing job reading and helping out with the program," VanArtsdalen says. 

She sees her students in both schools as some of the most welcoming, supportive students she has ever worked with in her career in education.

Turner, speech pathologist in the elementary/middle schools and event organizer, is also overjoyed with the outcome.

"The readers were great, everyone participated, the soap bubbles worked, and the weather was beautiful," she laughs.  "This was a great day!"

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