Firefighters help school mark Autism Awareness Month

 In Camelot Blog

May 1st, 2018
By: Colin Ainsworth
DelCo Times

COLLINGDALE – Elementary school students at Delco Academy, the Southeast Delco School District’s newest school, marked Autism Awareness Month by assembling large wooden puzzle pieces, the primary symbol of the developmental disorder.

The students unveiled their puzzle on April 26 during a visit with volunteer firefighters from the Collingdale Fire Department. The event was significant for the school, which serves students in grades K-12 who are experiencing emotional, behavioral and academic challenges, although not all students are on the autism spectrum.

It was special for the firefighters as well. Their firetrucks have an autism puzzle on the back to show support for children with the condition.

“The kids loved interacting with the firefighters,” said the school’s executive director Drew Stem. “And we appreciate them for wanting to bring more awareness about kids who are working hard to reach their potential.”

Delco Academy is operated by Camelot Education for the school district. Students are referred for individualized attention in one centralized location. Before this year, students attended multiple schools and programs. Here, their clinical, academic and behavioral needs are met without hassle.

“Our goal is to return as many students as possible to their mainstream schools,” Stem said. “We have already seen substantial growth in our students emotionally and academically in our first year here.”

The visit by firefighters was capped off with volunteer Chris Lowden, a 2016 graduate of Academy Park High School, reading “The Dragon in the Library” to the K-2 students.

“We love what we do,” Lowden said. “Bringing a smile to these kids’ faces is beautiful.”

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