Students with Autism Enjoyed Day at Walt Disney World After Raising Own Fun
Seven students enrolled in Eden Autism Services Florida’s school for children with autism enjoyed a day at Walt Disney World and night at a resort hotel this month, thanks to money they raised themselves.
Eden teacher Staci Thompson found instructions to make “cookie jars” – glass jars containing all of the dry ingredients needed to whip up a batch of homemade cookies – online last fall and thought it would make a fun class project. She also thought it would make a great fundraiser for the holidays.
“There are some things typical children do to raise money that children with autism can’t do. Measuring the ingredients for the jars, attaching a recipe with ribbon – these were all things our students could do,” Thompson says. “We sold them for $10 apiece during the holidays and they sold so well that we made 50 more to sell at the Naples Invitational Artfest in January, which benefits Eden.”
All totaled, the class made almost $1,000. With a little extra help from one parent, it was enough to pay for park tickets and hotel accommodations for all seven students and three teachers chaperoning the trip. The students selected to use the money for the trip.
“For many of them, this will be their first night away from home without their parents. They’re very excited,” Thompson says. “It’s been very beneficial for the students to be part of the whole enterprising process from making the product to selling it and exchanging money. They worked hard and may be willing to work even harder in the future because they are seeing the fruits of their labor.” Thompson says she may help the students make cookie jars, or another craft to sell, each year due to the success of this year’s sales.