Monday, February 23, 2015

Join Star Academy in the Walk Now For Autism Speaks! by guest blogger Jenifer Pearsall

Our family has participated in the Walk Now For Autism Speaks walk in Sacramento for many years. The event is a family affair, with not only the walk, but also a resource fair filled with vendors from all over the
Sacramento area providing services for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, including speech, occupational and behavioral therapy, respite services for parents and/or caretakers, and recreational programs for children with disabilities. In addition to the resource fair, there are bounce houses for the kids, music and a photography booth for team pictures!

The walk itself (1.8 miles) begins at Raley Field and continues on to the capitol. We cross the tower bridge (which the kids think is really cool, since we are walking over the freeway!) loop around in front of the
capitol and walk back to Raley field. There is always great excitement, with teams walking together, carrying signs and wearing team shirts. There are also people standing on the side lines cheering you on along
the way! It is a great time for all!

Registration for the walk is completely free and is done online through the website. In the past, our family has registered as a team for our older daughter, Emma. Our team names have included “A’Dora’ble Emma’s Team” and “Emma’s Entourage”. Please see the photos below! This year the walk takes place on Sunday, May 31st. 

To go along with our month-long education and awareness of autism at Star Academy, we are putting together a Star Academy Team with the team name “A.W.A.R.E.”, which stands for “Academy Walking for Autism Research and Education”! Team shirts are being designed and will be available to purchase soon!

For those who are interested in walking as part of Team A.W.A.R.E., please go to the following link to register under our team name.

Register here to join Star Academy Team AWARE

Click on “Register”, locate team name and select “Join Team”. That is all you need to do! You are able to donate as well as create a donation goal, if you would like. There is also the option to send out emails to
friends and family asking for donations. They are able to donate to you personally, or to the team. There is also a Team Page, showing all team members who are registered (children must be registered, as well),
donations collected and links to share on various social networks including Facebook and Twitter.
The site is very user-friendly and the event itself is always a fun way to spend a Sunday morning! The event begins at 9 am with the actual walk kicking off at 10:45 am. The morning of the event, we will all meet at a
chosen location within Raley Field, and gear up for walking at 10:45! Once we return to Raley Field, everyone is free to go on with their day or if they choose, allow the kids to play in the bounce houses for a bit!

It should be a great time! Please register today and I will be in touch with you shortly about getting your t-shirts as well as answer any questions you may have! Oh, and by the way, all donations are made to
Autism Speaks and are tax deductible!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Real world DISNEYLAND math by guest blogger AJ and his mom!

First grader AJ and his mom share the power of math in the real world. This guest blog post is a great example of using technology for a real purpose and audience! Awesome!

*Another note: AJ's mom wrote this post, shared it in a Google Doc AND posted to our school Facebook page!

This past November we took a trip to Disneyland/California adventure to celebrate AJ's 7th birthday. He loves cars so we were in cars land everyday. One morning we were having breakfast at Flos V8 cafe and we started talking about math. We looked at the gas pumps as I tried to explain the concept of multiplication and how it worked on a gas pump. As we were working on these i noticed the pumps were incorrect. The cost per gallon when multiplied by gallons purchased didn't add up! We checked all the pumps and several were wrong. AJ told me there was no way Disney was wrong, so I must have forgotten my math :-)

photo (83).JPG photo (84)-2.JPG

I took a photo of the pumps and when we got home we emailed the head of California Adventure, Kris Theiler and showed her the pictures and told her they might want to check on them. We soon received a reply that Mater had been in charge of setting the gas pumps, hence the confusion. Over the next couple weeks, she let us know that cast members had corrected the gas pumps and thanked us for graciously writing about it.

A couple weeks after that (last week) a large box full of CarsLand merchandise arrived addressed to AJ. I asked if he had ordered anything from disneyland, and he said no but maybe Mater sent him something to thank him.

This was a priceless, teachable moment that all started by working on a math problem in Cars Land. I really never expected a response but it was such a great way to show AJ that you can be nice and polite even when pointing out mistakes.

Kudos to Disneyland!