Rushville Republican

November 30, 2012

Another puzzle piece

Marianne Scott
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — The most identifying logo linked to the National Autism Association is the puzzle pattern (piece). It reflects the mystery and complexity of the autism spectrum. The different colors and shapes represent the diversity of the people and families living with autism. The brightness of the ribbon signals hope, hope that through increased awareness, early intervention and education allows people with autism to lead fuller and more complete lives.

It stands to reason that today’s iPad has become a part of this ever changing puzzle. When puzzle pieces, a memorial gift and teachers come together great things can and do happen. Such would be the case for Rushville Elementary Schools East and West.

The Alex Workman Memorial Fund was established in May 2009 by Robert E. and Angelia J. Workman through the Rush County Community Foundation. This fund was established to provide support to children with autism. The annual distribution of these funds is available to families who have autistic children or to a Rush County teacher who works with autistic children (through a grant).

“Earlier this year a grant was written and funds were received enabling us to purchase six iPad’s for use with our students,” states Anna Jo Richards (Special Education Teacher at RESW). “The iPad can be a huge motivator for students on the spectrum. There are many programs available that are engaging and fun for kids. They add a wonderful variation to the classroom setting and record the individual student’s progress. This is key toward tailoring instruction for each child’s needs. Even the most challenging student may work longer and with improved attention to task when using iPad technology. These programs inspire creativity and hands-on learning with features you won’t find in any other educational tool. More importantly, this is a fun way to get students to practice a subject that seems tedious to a child.”

Before these new iPad’s made their way into the classroom, teachers spent time learning not only how they work, but, more importantly how they will work best with their students. Rest assured the Alex Workman Memorial Fund is realizing its intended purpose, supporting children with autism.

On behalf of those assisted by this gift, Rush County Schools expresses its appreciation for this exceptional piece of the puzzle.