SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Appleby students were out on the playground blowing bubbles for autism awareness on April 9. It was the first time Appleby took part in Blow Bubbles for Autism Day. April is autism awareness month and bubbles are often recommended as a helpful and fun activity for children with autism.

"Blow Bubbles for Autism Day is an event started by an organization called Faces 4 Autism," explained Appleby autism teacher Leni Preston. "They had schools and businesses throughout the country blow bubbles to raise awareness and break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people blowing bubbles at the same time. They achieved the record years ago, but continue to have people participate in bubble day to raise autism awareness."

"This is the first year that Appleby is participating in this great event and we hope to continue to do so for years to come," Preston added.

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Blow Bubbles for Autism Day can be held any day throughout the year though many school district choose April since the month is designated to help spread awareness about autism. The event was originally scheduled for April 5, but had to be canceled due to inclement weather. The weather on April 9 was more conducive to bubble blowing and the entire school gathered outside. Spotswood PTA President Melissa Hallerman was on hand as well as other members of the Spotswood PTA. The Spotswood PTA provided bubbles and a wand for each student. Spotswood Mayor Ed Seely stopped by as well to blow bubbles with students and staff.

Earlier during the school year, Appleby held two fundraisers with the funds being donated to the Parents of Autistic Children Organization.

"The first fundraiser was an autism t-shirt sale and the second was color the puzzle piece and donate," Preston continued. "The coloring pages are proudly displayed in our hallways. Through these fundraisers, our school was able to donate $385 to P.O.A.C."

Appleby students also helped to create a banner to mark Blow Bubbles for Autism Day. The banner will also be showcased in the school's hallway.

"My hope for Bubble Day is that the students of Appleby learn, have fun and spread autism awareness," Preston added. "I want the students to understand the characteristics of autism and be accepting of their peers who are on the spectrum. I want the students to see that the students on the spectrum are kids just like them!"