Autism Society – Northwestern Pennsylvania (ASA-NWPA) conducts a competitive grant making program that is open to groups and individuals serving autistic individuals in our area.
McKean Elementary classroom receives grant BY CHRIS ROTH - Gazette Newspapers
MCKEAN – Children in the autistic support classroom at McKean Elementary will soon have a new standalone swing thanks to a grant from the Autism Society of Northwest Pennsylvania.
On Monday, April 2, Tish Bartlett, executive director for the Autism Society of Northwest Pennsylvania, and Tom DiVecchio, chairman of the Autism Society of Northwest Pennsylvania, presented a check for $1,900 to McKean Elementary School on behalf of their grant proposal.
The grant, which was prepared by McKean Elementary School autistic support teacher Nicole McFadden, school district psychologist Julie Snell and John Kennedy, from the Achievement center, centered around the installation of a standalone swing, which would be used in the sensory part of the classroom.
“Students will be able to use the swing in multiple directions,” said Kennedy. “It will help with their balance as well as their sensory functions.” According to McKean Elementary School Principal Mike Getz, the trio of McFadden, Snell and Kennedy spent several months preparing the grant before submitting it for approval. “They made sure they did the proper research on the swing and the benefits it could have for the classroom,” he said. Kennedy added that the use of a standalone swing in the classroom is somewhat of a new thing. “You might find them as part of physical training programs,” he said. “But I have no knowledge of a swing in a classroom at this current time. It is a really innovative step that is working to integrate learning needs with sensory integration dysfunction.”
After strenuously preparing the grant for approval, it was submitted to a committee of four, directed by DiVecchio. According to Bartlett, when the committee gathered to determine who would receive grants, they focused on the benefits the money would have over a long period of time. -“McKean Elementary School turned in a very complete application,” said Bartlett. “We decided that what they proposed would be utilized by a lot of children across the spectrum and age range for many years. DiVecchio agreed. “That is the key,” he said. “A lot of it not only has to do with looking at the initial numbers, but also looking at how this is going to be a permanent fixture. This was something that was really attractive to us and is going to take care of kids for years to come.”
For more information about the General McLane School District and the great things going on, look for future editions of the Edinboro News. Chris Roth may be reached at email@example.com or at (814) 756-4133.
The Autism Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania presented the Bayfront Center for Maritime Studies Erie Adaptive Sailing Experience (EASE) with a check for $2,000 to purchase a fourth access dinghy. L to R: Bren Lindell, EASE Co-Director, Kathy Lindell, EASE Co-Director, Tish Bartlett, Autism Society NWPA Executive Director, and Rich Eisenberg, BCM Executive Director. EASE was developed to enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities by providing them with sailing instruction and the opportunity to sail independently on Erie’s Presque Isle Bay.