ARC celebrates "Everybody Can" contest

March is National Developmental Disability Awareness Month. There is no time more fitting to celebrate all that local students have learned about developmental and other disabilities as a result of their participation in the “Everybody Can” contest hosted by The Arc of Delaware County and Delta Kappa Gamma.
RAISING COMMUNITY AWARENESS: Pam Thompson, at left, from contest co-host Delta Kappa Gamma and Barbara Thompson, community relations assistant at The Arc of Delaware County, admire a contest entry. — Submitted photoRAISING COMMUNITY AWARENESS: Pam Thompson, at left, from contest co-host Delta Kappa Gamma and Barbara Thompson, community relations assistant at The Arc of Delaware County, admire a contest entry. — Submitted photo

“The goal of this contest is to raise awareness and understanding of intellectual and developmental disabilities and to instill acceptance of differences at a young age, very similar to the goals of National Developmental Disability Awareness Month but on a smaller scale”, states Catherine Tweedie, director of Community Relations at The Arc of Delaware County, “From the entries submitted, it was apparent that students had fun while learning about people and how they didn’t let disabilities stand in the way of their accomplishments!”

Somthing different
This year’s contest had a bit of twist, challenging students to research famous people who had disabilities and, through their project, demonstrate their knowledge of the disability and the accomplishments of the famous person(s) they selected. A variety of very creative submissions were received from Delaware County students in grades K-8 in the categories of art, media, and literature.
The Arc of Delaware County and Delta Kappa Gamma have announced the following winners of the 4th annual “Everybody Can” contest. Countywide winners include:
Art: Alexis Redden, Michaela Valkavich, 7th graders from Andes Central School for their mobile that portrayed famous people who had a variety of disabilities including Down’s syndrome, being blind, deaf, or loss of the use of their limbs. The artistic elements of the project included photos and short biographies, which were incorporated into a mobile with an overall film/movie star motif.
Media: Haley Kosier, 5th grader from South Kortright Central School for her PowerPoint, “Never Say Never” which highlighted the accomplishments of former president Franklin D. Roosevelt, Stevie Wonder, and Helen Keller.
Literature: Nancy Gavett’s 5th-grade class from Townsend Elementary School in Walton compiled a book with photos and stories, which was illustrated with pictures of their artistic character interpretations portraying 21 famous people who through their researched, they learned each had some type of disability, including Einstein, David Beckham, Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg and many others.
Honorable Mention:
Art: Joanna Grommeek, Jordan Finch, and Morgan Hungerford, from South Kortright Central School created a life-size poster about Bella Thorne and dyslexia.
Media: George Haynes and Gavyn Bryant from South Kortright Central School created a PowerPoint entitled “Never Give Up.”
A Teacher’s Choice Award selected for a uniquely creative book about baseball player James Anthony Abbott; this project was designed and produced by Joey Shafer, Joe Ploutz, Aydyn Tweedie from South Kortright Central School.
To view the winning entries, visit www.delarc.org and click on the news story, “Everybody Can- Goes Famous.”