D.215 news

T.F. football teams to play for Autism Speaks

2013-10-04T00:00:00Z T.F. football teams to play for Autism SpeaksIyana Mason Times Columnist nwitimes.com
October 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that one in 88 children has been identified as having autism spectrum disorder, representing a 23 percent increase since 2009.

Staff from T.F. North and South high schools have organized a series of fundraisers and events to bring greater awareness to autism. This initiative is led by T.F. North teacher and football coach Mike Anaclerio, whose sister, Mary Anaclerio, was diagnosed with autism as a child and passed away in October 2012 at age 41 from colon cancer.

Throughout the week of Oct. 14 raffle tickets will be available for purchase and autism awareness T-shirts will be sold to students for $5 and $10 for faculty to benefit the Mary’s Piece of the Puzzle fundraiser. At 6:45 p.m. Oct. 18, the T.F. North and South football teams will play against one another in a charity football game at T.F. South, 18500 Burnham Ave.

Players from both schools will wear autism awareness puzzle stickers on their helmets and blue socks, shoe strings, and wristbands. Proceeds from the Mary’s Piece of the Puzzle fundraiser will be donated in Mary’s name and will benefit the nonprofit organization Autism Speaks. We welcome the entire community to show support for this worthy cause by purchasing raffle tickets and attending the game. Contact Mike Anaclerio at manaclerio@tfd215.org for more information on the fundraiser.

We invite industry professionals to volunteer for T.F. North’s 10th annual Mock Interview Event from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Nov. 22 in the T.F. North Library, 755 Pulaski Road. This event provides our students with an opportunity to practice their interviewing and job placement skills, which will enable them to secure and retain 21st century jobs. More than 75 students in the school’s work-study and Professional Development for 21st Century Success programs will participate. Professionals interested in volunteering their time for this event may contact Jennifer Donovan at jdonovan@tfd215.org to confirmation their attendance.

We would like to extend a special thanks to Illinois State Trooper Brian Walker who visited several driver’s education classes at T.F. South last Tuesday just in time for homecoming week. Trooper Walker, a 17-year veteran of the force, has presented to driver’s education classes at T.F. South for the past 10 years on various topics related to driver safety. T.F. South driver’s education teacher Mike Kaczmarczyk indicated that Trooper Walker provides young drivers with excellent advice to ensure they stay safe on the road and out of trouble.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. Iyana Mason is the grant writing and communications specialist for Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215. She can be reached at imason@tfd215.org.

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