"Kids have to be exposed to different things in order to develop. A child's not going to find out he (she) likes to play a musical instrument if you never exposed him (her) to it..." Dr. Temple Grandin.
Following Dr. Grandin's philosophy and in fulfilling our HWCDSB board mission statement that, "Each Belongs", our Best Buddies group meets once a month for a planned morning of activities that center around experiential learning opportunities. These activities are organized and facilitated by our amazing Educational Assistants and Ms. Standish (SERT) while being led and implemented by our Grade 8 leaders and teacher Mrs. Callea-Ruiu. Our learning opportunities have ranged from baking and decorating to making slime and physical literacy with our "Hooping it Up" event in March to our latest adventure in T-shirt design and Tie-dying.
When organizing this month's event in conjunction with Autism Awareness Week - our EA/Best Buddies team wanted to have an activity that demonstrated the importance of our uniqueness and a chance to celebrate how diversity and differences create a "One of a Kind" element. Mrs. Girard, one of our Educational Assistants, thought that the process of tie-dying shirts would be a great way to have some fun and visually demonstrate how everyone's difference is beautiful. "I thought it would be a fun idea and unique - just like our students are," says Mrs. Girard.
Throughout the Autism Awareness Week, our students with ASD led the school in the morning announcements with sharing our school's motto, "Be kind and make a difference." The whole school, staff and students, wore blue on Friday April 6th to show our solidarity to support Autism Awareness.
The Best Buddies month activity also occurred in the morning last Friday where our students and leaders created their own unique t-shirt designs. Throughout the weekend and the beginning of the week, all our students worked to set the die and create their finished product that they shared with the whole school. Now everyone in the school would like to create their own t-shirt as well. Inspiration takes many forms and with many opportunities.