Joy in the air as Harding Elementary celebrates Bubbles Day for autism awareness

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KENILWORTH, NJ — The Kenilworth School District has embraced opportunities to lighten things up this year, and the recent Bubbles Day at Harding Elementary School was a perfect fit.

All students from prekindergarten through sixth grade eagerly made bubbles during outdoor mask breaks, but also learned that the activity on Thursday, May 6, was not just for fun.

Harding’s morning announcement included a message about Bubbles Day’s origin as an autism awareness activity.

A mom from South Jersey who founded the group FACES 4 Autism started Bubbles 4 Autism in 2004. The idea was inspired by her preschool son Kyle’s love of bubbles, but there are also lessons for all children. Making bubbles can teach neurotypical children how to play with peers with autism.

Harding students learned that the Bubbles 4 Autism celebrations are based on a Cherokee custom involving butterflies. They were asked “to send good intentions, wishes and hopes with each bubble made,” according to a press release.

The local UNICO chapter donated supplies and treats for the event to students in Harding’s language learning disabilities programs.

“Fun is the universal language of childhood,” Director of Student Personnel Services Dawn Cuccolo said. “We were proud to celebrate Bubbles Day at Harding to model ways that all children can play together and communicate, no matter what their abilities.”

In true Kenilworth fashion, participation from the wider school community contributed to the event’s success. The Brearley Bear mascot from David Brearley Middle/High School joined in making bubbles. Talented 12th-grade Brearley photographers took pictures for the event.

Photos Courtesy of Sheri Berkery

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