Autism Awareness Month celebrated in local schools, libraries

Ambrosini Middle School Principal Amy Betts (right) received a donation of books on autism awareness and acceptance.
Ambrosini Middle School Principal Amy Betts (right) received a donation of books on autism awareness and acceptance. MARY BULLWINKEL — FOR THE BEACON
Books on autism awareness and acceptance were donated to Ferndale Elementary School Librarian Leanne McCullough by Familes Advocating Autism Now (FAAN) Secretary Emily Lewis.
Books on autism awareness and acceptance were donated to Ferndale Elementary School Librarian Leanne McCullough by Familes Advocating Autism Now (FAAN) Secretary Emily Lewis. MARY BULLWINKEL — FOR THE BEACON

Several Eel River Valley Schools have received a 10-book collection of books on autism awareness and acceptance from Families Advocating Autism Now (FAAN). The book donations are part of a new program which FAAN is promoting to celebrate April as Autism Awareness Month.

“We have purchased 10 books on autism awareness and acceptance and are donating them to 23 schools, preschools, and Humboldt County libraries,” FAAN Secretary Emily Lewis said.

The libraries have agreed to display and read the stories to children during the month of April. “Of course these books are theirs to keep and have children check out for years to come,” Lewis said.

Eel River Valley Schools receiving the book collections include Redwood Preparatory School in Fortuna, South Fortuna Elementary, Norman G. Ambrosini Middle School, the MGC (Multi-Generational Center) in Fortuna, Stanwood A. Murphy Elementary School in Scotia, Rio Dell, Hydesville Elementary School, Ferndale Elementary, and the Ferndale Children’s Center.

The titles of the books are: “Looking after Louis,” “We’re Different, We’re the Same,” “What It Is to Be Me!: An Asperger Kid Book,” “My Mind: The World through the Eyes of Autism,” “It’s Okay To Be Different,” “A Friend Like,” “Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes,” “Leah’s Voice,” “Ian’s Walk: A Story about Autism,” and “My Brother Charlie.”

“We hope that these books will educate local school children on autism, Lewis said. “We believe this is a great opportunity to provide knowledge on autism awareness and acceptance to our local school kids! We are so excited to bring this program to the community, and look forward to them being implemented into story time during the month of April for the kids.”

Other schools receiving the autism book collections are Pine Hill, Ridgewood, Cutten, Washington Elementary, and Mistwood Montessori in Eureka, Arcata Elementary, Jacoby Creek Elementary in Arcata, Dows Prairie and Morris Elementary in McKinleyville, Redway Elementary, and the Fortuna, Eureka, as well as the Arcata Humboldt County branch libraries.

There are several other events planned this month in celebration of Autism Awareness Month, including a Family Fun Day at Fortuna Skating Rink on Saturday, a movie at Broadway Cinema on April 19, and bowling on April 26 at 11 a.m.

The Annual Ales for Awareness fundraiser at Six Rivers Brewery in McKinleyville will be held on April 29 and proceeds will help support FAAN activities. More information is available by calling Emily Lewis at 707-499-0741.

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