Making murals to provide aid

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Making murals to provide aid

Maddie Mills-Craig, Editor in Chief

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April showers. April Fool’s day. Easter. Earth Day. Prom. The month of April widely incorporates many holidays and events, but one thing that people may not immediately think of when one says the phrase, “April is known for…”, is Autism Awareness.

“Autism Awareness month is in April, so we’re going to try and have a kickball game to raise money for the special needs area,” junior class president Gaby Manner said.

The junior Principal Advisory Council (PAC) members are responsible for raising awareness for autism awareness month. They do this by hosting an event or implementing a fundraising campaign.

“We’re going to ask the [Exceptional Learners] teachers what they need us to buy for them. We’re thinking about having an after school activity where we make an art project with all the special needs kids. We’re also going to raise money during lunch between the classes,” Manner said.

In the past, all of the money that PAC raises goes to the Indiana Autism Speaks Chapter. This year, the junior class is looking towards spending the money directly to helping the school’s Exceptional Learners Program. One way they thought about doing this is through purchasing needed supplies. In the past, PAC had unique ways of raising money and awareness.

“We’ve done a classroom competition where we raise cans for the local charity for Autism Speaks. They’ve also done a fundraiser at the LN/LC baseball game where they clocked in money for the same charity and a swimming event with the special needs elementary kids. They bring them over, and our PAC members will go swimming with them,” PAC advisor Tonya Fisher said.

Manner and junior class secretary Gabriel Vaughn came up with the idea of doing a kickball game to raise money, but they were inspired by senior class president Natalie Beyfuss to do the art project event. Beyfuss was in charge of running Autism Awareness month last year and had done a similar event with National Art Honors society and Best Buddies where they stayed after school one day and made art pieces which they hoped to make into a mural.

“In the past years, they did swimming with [the special needs students], but swimming is during school, and a lot of kids wouldn’t be able to make it. So, I looked into doing something after school. I wanted to do something fun, and I kind of looked up some stuff. There had been Autism Awareness Murals,” Beyfuss said.

Last year, Beyfuss had hoped to get a large piece of plywood to hang the art pieces made by the special needs students and display it in the school. This year, the junior class is working towards getting that that done and hope to possibly hang it in the commons. To Vaughn, last years art activity was a huge a success which is why he’s excited to try and do it again.

“I think it’s important to help the special needs people. We’re just trying to help out inside the school and inside the community,” Vaughn said.

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