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Fifth-Grader Designs Autism Awareness T-Shirt; Over 300 Sold

winning designAn art contest to design a t-shirt for Autism Awareness Day is open to every fifth-grader at Smallwood Drive Elementary School. This year’s winner was Autumn Winkfield who designed a colorful drawing with three children and Roary the Tiger holding puzzle pieces with the words accept, care, love and Smallwood. This is the second year the school has held the Autism Acceptance T-Shirt Design Contest.

“Not only are we thrilled with the response from our school community, but maybe even more importantly is the awareness and acceptance that continues to grow in our school as a result of this schoolwide project,”  says Katie Marzocchi, fifth grade special education teacher and co-founder of the initiative.

Fifth-grade students submit original designs that incorporate autism acceptance and our school community. Response from the fifth grade student body has been outstanding with over 60 original designs submitted each year.

“We are very excited about the response from our entire school community with our Autism Acceptance initiative,” says Rich Crozier, Principal of Smallwood Drive Elementary. “We anticipate this becoming a long-lasting tradition at Smallwood for several years to come.”

All of the artwork submissions were posted on a wall at the school and every student could cast a vote for their favorite. That winning design is made into a t-shirt that can be purchased by our students and staff. For the second year, a portion of the proceeds are donated to The Summit Center, a not-for-profit organization serving individuals with autism.

 SDS autismAutumn’s artwork was put on a shirt that students and staff could purchase. Nearly 300 students and staff ordered a shirt and they all wore it on the Friday before spring break.

Autumn’s teacher David Beck said she is an incredible artist and has had her artwork posted on the walls at school.

“At Smallwood we believe that every child is an artist,” says Anna LoTempio, Smallwood’s Art teacher and co-founder of the project. “I cannot think of a better way to support such an important cause while also promoting the arts.”