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On the Bright Side

May 8, 2013

SK class' book highlights autism

A creative effort by a South Kortright third-grade class is scheduled to lead to a special presentation today, some of those involved said Tuesday.

Teacher Heidi Feltman’s class wrote and illustrated a book titled “Autism A-Z” that won its category in a countywide contest by the Arc of Delaware County (Delarc) and Delta Kappa Gamma, a sorority of retired teachers.

This is the third year that the two have challenged students in the “Everybody Can” contest. It’s designed to encourage students in kindergarten through eighth grade to learn more about people with developmental disabilities, according to a medial release.

Delarc community relations assistant Barbara Thompson said to encourage students at a younger age to develop empathy and understanding, representatives from the sponsors will give the younger winners a special presentation of interactive activities, along with other prizes. It’s part of an 8:30 a.m assembly today at the school for students in grades K through four.

Feltman said this is the first year her class participated.

“I thought they would do well in it,” she said. “They are a very compassionate group.”

They were very interested in learning more about autism, she said. A lot of students know someone who has it. They created a picture book in alphabetic order with drawings and comments about the disorder, starting with “A is for Autism.”

With 12 students in the class, the children chose pages to illustrate, and the class worked together on what to write about each one. She is familiar with the subject, having taught preschoolers with disabilities, and special education.

The contest fits well with the new teaching standard requirements on diversity, she said, and “it was a great experience for the kids.”

One of her students, Madison Leacer, agreed. She worked on “K is for Kindness” and “U is for Understanding.” It helped her better understand people with the disorder, she said.

Before the assembly, others who won contest categories at the school will also receive their awards. They include sixth-grade teacher Erika Liddle, whose class who won the countywide category for grades five to eight for a banner. The countywide individual and small group category was won by Faith Dianich, Sonia Reeves and Emily Feltman, the teacher’s daughter, for a book they wrote on the contest theme.

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