April is Autism Awareness Month, and for kindergartners at Evans Elementary, it’s the perfect time to celebrate a classmate. “Cooper is a big part of our class,” said Katya Schmidt, kindergarten teacher. “The kids all love giving him high-fives and helping him out.”
Cooper Walter is autistic and one of Schmidt’s students. Autism Awareness Month provides the opportunity for her students to learn more about their fellow classmate. “We watched Sesame Street videos about autism and made our own puzzle pieces. I wanted them to see that we are all different, but when you put us together, we create something amazing. Differences should be celebrated because it would be boring if we were all the same.” The puzzle piece theme was continued with student-made artwork for their classroom walls, and a puzzle design was printed onto t-shirts for every learner in Cooper’s class.
The kindergartners also shared their thoughts on how to be a good friend to someone with autism with a writing prompt and worksheet. And the best treat of all the festivities … Cooper’s mother made a visit to school and shared puzzle piece cookies with the class.