EAST HANOVER, N.J.-Hanover Park, also known as “The Hive” was most definitely buzzing with action the last few weeks, filled with fundraisers and historic sporting events.
On April 23rd, kick off to the second annual “Arcading for Autism” was in full swing in the library. Arcading for Autism is a fundraising event that was first seen at the hive in the second semester of the 2016-2017 school year. The event was organized by Mrs. Suzanne Apicella, Mr. Thomas Gaglione, and Mr. Matthew Meyerkopf. In combination, these three leaders teach Adobe Illustrator, Computer Science, and Technical Drawing classes. These three teachers, along with their various classes collaborated to create small scale computer games for HP students to play for 50 cents each, while the Peer Buddies Club ran the event. The money raised in the first year added up to $175, all of which was donated to Hanover Parks own Special Education Department. In its second year, the event blossomed, raising $315 for the HP Special Education Department.
Here's how it worked: Mrs. Suzanne Apicella’s Adobe Illustrator classes were in charge of the games graphics and characters while Mr. Thomas Gaglione's students were responsible for the backgrounds of the games. Gaglione states that “Not only did the event increase autism awareness but it also gave my students an opportunity to see their art work applied in the real world.” Last but not least, Mr. Matt Meyerkopf Computer Science class handled the logistics. The computer programming and how the game would take all of these moving parts into a functional arcade game. Not only did the number of games increase from the events first year, but the Art department at Hanover Park has seen an influx of student enrollment in Adobe Illustrator and Computer Science classes.
In the coming years, the trio plan to include the schools Music Technology classes to create sound effects and background music for each of the arcade games. Along with a musical addition, the number of games, proceeds, and players are also expected to increase. Galione later said “ I was really happy to get my students involved in this wonderful and collaborative endeavor”
As previously stated, the proceeds go directly to the Hanover Park Special Education Department. Ms. Katie Karovic, a Special Education teacher at Hanover Park plans to use the funds raised towards two brand new “Can Do Ball Chairs” for the Special Education department classrooms. The chair is a part swivel chair and part yoga ball that allows the seated student to move about the chair in several different ways and incorporates ball therapy into the students learning experience. Mrs. Suzanne Apicella says “I enjoy seeing the students help out their peers here in school.” “It is great that we know exactly where the proceeds are going and that they will be helping out our own students positively.”
A positive effect is very apparent in this situation and many others that come out of Hanover Park. The School’s dedication to community, its own students, and to each other is most definitely a testimony to their #wearefamily initiative.