Ed. majors assemble “iPad for Aden” fundraiser to improve communication skills of local child with autism

TEMP ORARY November 28, 2012 0

Members of the senior class majoring in early childhood and special education have begun their service learning project that will benefit students with special needs.
This semester, the students taking Special Education 342 have organized the fundraiser “iPad for Aden.” These seniors are selling gift cards to Pita Pit to raise money to purchase an iPad, an iPad case and communication apps for Aden, a young boy from the community with autism. Gift cards are being sold for $20 and $5 of each card sold is donated to the group’s iPad fund.
The students participating in this service project are working with Dr. Leigh Shannon Haley-Mize, assistant professor of education. Dr. Mize also works with Aden at his home and school, which is how the decision to make Aden the sole beneficiary of the fundraiser was made.
According to senior Rachael Smith, one of the students coordinating the fundraiser and its events, the group has raised nearly $100. While the initial focus of the fundraiser was to gather money for an iPad, case and communication apps, one member of the group has recently donated an iPad of their own. While this reduces the threat of not meeting their goal, the students are still working toward providing Aden with a case and communication apps that will help his education.
“Having an iPad allows for Aden, and other children with autism, to communicate with their friends, family and teachers,” Smith stated. “Many children with autism are not verbal or do not have functional communication and this allows them the opportunity to have a voice in their life.”
Smith encourages Etown students to purchase these Pita Pit gift cards, as well as get involved in any other charitable organization for numerous reasons. “It is our school motto: ‘Educate for Service.’ Getting involved in many causes and service opportunities is important, not just to support the cause, but as a student. It honestly gives you different points of view on these situations,” she stated.
Students interested in donating to the cause or purchasing a gift card should contact Smith at SMITHRJ@etown.edu.

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