DENNIS TOWNSHIP – Students and staff at Dennis Township elementary and middle schools blew bubbles for autism last week as a way to raise awareness in the community, school officials said.
“Bubbles 4 Autism” is a worldwide movement, a way of raising autism awareness by blowing bubbles, and was started by FACES 4 Autism founder Isabelle Mosca, an Atlantic County resident, whose son has autism.
April is also recognized nationally as Autism Awareness Month.
In Dennis Township, fifth-grade students Sophie Palmer, Isabelle Phillips and Logan Mills started the local event by reading aloud to fellow students about the meaning of blowing bubbles and the importance of raising autism awareness in a state where one in every 41 children are affected, school officials said.
Following the introduction, Committeewoman Lisa Salimbene read a proclamation from the Dennis Township Committee declaring the day an official township day of recognition.
Event organizer Kelli Turner then presented a certificate of appreciation from state Sen. 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 that began the bubble-blowing.
"This is such an important topic and our fifth-graders did an amazing job reading and helping out with the program," said Principal Jamie VanArtsdalen.
“The readers were great, everyone participated, the soap bubbles worked, and the weather was beautiful,’ said Kellie Turner, school speech pathologist. “This was a great day.”
FACES 4 Autism is a nonprofit organization dedicated to education and support of children with autism and their families through family activities, community awareness programs, and educational events throughout the year.