Center for children with autism fundraises for school bus

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Oasis NC is a non-profit organization that helps kids with autism. They offer a day school and an after school program. Their goal is to get the students beyond the classroom and out more in our community.

The teachers at the center currently use their personal cars to transport the kids from one place to another.

“About 3 or 4 students in each car and we do a little caravan over to UNCW,” Director Erika Merriman said.

The organization is fundraising to purchase a school bus.

“With a bus we would obviously be able to put our students all in one place which makes it a little easier to keep track of and that would allow us to travel to more place,” Merriman said.

She says they just go to UNCW twice a week, but having a school bus will allow the kindergarten through eighth graders to experience more.

“There’s so many things to do in Wilmington that could really helps them generalize what they are learning about in the classroom whether it’s an academic skill, but most importantly for our student’s social skills,” Merriman said. “So helping them interactive with the community in a polite way will really help them later with getting jobs and being a successful citizen.”

The key to learning social skills is being social which is why Merriman would like the kids to be able to visit places like museums and restaurants.

10-year- old Jackson Abritton says, “maybe we could go to a pizzeria.”

John Daniel Griffin says he enjoys history and says he would like to go to the Cape Fear Museum. August Tondurin said he loves field trips.

Merriman knows where ever they go that the interaction with others and the lessons they can learn outside the classroom is priceless.

“It’s just real life, while we can simulate it here at Oasis it must more meaningful out in the community.”

The students say they can’t wait.

“We are going to go on cool trips to learn awesome stuff,” Tondurin said.

They hope to get a school bus before starting a new school year in the Fall.

If you would like to donate, Oasis NC GoFundMe Page

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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