Carmel Wears Blue for Autism Awareness

True to the values of compassion and citizenship that are instilled in its students, the Carmel Central School District community showed particular acceptance and kindness in April while heightening awareness of spectrum disorders during World Autism Month.

Large group of employees wear blue for Autism awareness

Members of the Carmel Central School District community raised more than $1,700 for Autism Speaks, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. The effort was led by Kent Elementary School second grade teacher Lauren Ruckel, whose daughter Emily was diagnosed with autism at two-years old in 2011.

“The conversations and the learning about autism and compassion that are happening around the District are amazing,” said Ruckel. “This is my family's ultimate goal, to make the world a little more accepting for people with special needs.”

World Autism Month is a global effort that focuses on providing information and resources for communities to be more aware of autism, promote acceptance, and be more inclusive in everyday life. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States. One in 54 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, totaling over 5 million young people and adults.

Showing overwhelming support for the Ruckel family and their awareness efforts, the schools were a sea of blue on April 30 when Ruckel asked the District community to join her in wearing blue as a closeout of the month’s activities and fundraising efforts. Although Emily was not able to join the celebration in-person as she has in years prior, Ruckel made sure to relay the outpouring of love from the District community and share photos with her.

"My family and I are immensely grateful for our Carmel family, and for the love and support that has been given through the years.”