Alva Review-Courier -

Groovin' for Autism and Arnall grant benefit students


Washington Behavior Team members are, from left, front row: April Argo, Tiffany Mata, Kayla Gilchrist. Back row: Principal Shane Feely, Brandi Peace, Krista Starbuck, Traci Wynn, Marisa Singletary (OAC), Tara Warwick (OAC).

Over the course of the last couple of years, you may have heard or read about the work being done at Washington Early Childhood Center to support students with autism. Washington has been working with the Oklahoma Autism Center to implement the Arnall Foundation Grant. This grant funds extra training and support from the Oklahoma Autism Center covering challenging behaviors, the creation of site and district behavior teams, and inclusive services for children and families.

In the 2017-2018 school year, Washington Early Childhood Center was one of only three schools in the state that received the grant. Because of the diligent work of teachers and paras to implement research validated strategies, Alva Schools was the ONLY district in the state to get the grant in the ​2018-2019 school year. It has provided not only training for the teachers in the classroom, but also has created a support network across the district when teachers need more strategies. Additionally, the grant has covered specific programming for individual students in Alva with autism.

For the past 11 years Today's Therapy Solutions, owned by Tara (Otte) Warwick and Kelli Marshall, has host a fundraising event called Groovin For Autism. This year's event was the biggest yet raising over $22,000. Over 200 people attended as well.

During the event, the staff of Washinton ECC was recognized with the Groovers of the Year award for going above and beyond for students with autism. Early intervention is key to working with students with autism. The grant and Oklahoma Autism Center have allowed the Washington staff to get the training and support needed to empower teachers with research validated strategies that impact students. The WECC staff is grateful for all that has been accomplished through this grant.


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