Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ridgewood High Students Find Common Ground; Hold Autism Awareness Walk to Promote Social Inclusion

Who: Ridgewood High students and staff

What: Common Ground club

When: The club meets at 9:24 a.m. on Wednesdays, Autism Awareness Walk is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 29

Where: Ridgewood High School, 7650 Orchid Lake Road in New Port Richey

Why: Ridgewood High staff and students from general education and Exceptional Student Education (ESE) programs formed Common Ground to promote social inclusion of all students.

How: Common Ground students meet every Wednesday to build bonds through conversation, games and other activities, and food. The club is divided into the blue, white and orange clubs. Peer students from the general education curricula participate in community-based instruction, where they model appropriate behavior, and teach ESE students social and financial skills. General education students from Common Ground also have joined the school’s Special Olympics unified sports teams. To further help raise awareness of social inclusion, Ridgewood High students, including those from the Ridgewood Interact club, will join together from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29, for the First Annual Autism Awareness Walk. The school’s robotics team will provide a five-foot-tall robot, which will carry an autism awareness flag as it walks alongside students during the event. There will be activities, and a Ridgewood High assistant principals will DJ and provide a snow cone truck during the event. The entry fee is $10 and all proceeds go to the Common Ground club. To learn more about the Common Ground club, and the Autism Awareness Walk, contact teacher Patty Hanley at (727) 774-3953.