Turtle Wing Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization aimed at helping children with learning challenges in rural areas achieve their full potential. The foundation was founded by DeeAnn Hooper in honor of her son, Jack Hooper, who passed away April 5, 2011 of a viral-like syndrome of unknown origin. Jack was diagnosed with high-functioning Autism at the age of six and due to the various academic and social skill supplemental services Jack received; he was a successful 4th grader at Schulenburg Elementary School. Each year the foundation makes an effort to educate the community it serves about autism and the families who love people with autism, particularly during April which is Autism Awareness Month. This year Turtle Wing Day will be held on April 4, 2019. Seven school districts in the Turtle Wing service area will be wearing green or their Turtle Wing Foundation t-shirts to help bring awareness, along with incorporating special announcements, prayers, or educational programs. The whole community is encouraged to participate either individually or with their work family. Additionally participants are asked to share their Turtle Wing Day pictures on Facebook (@turtlewingfoundation, #TurtleWingDay2019). Those who do will be entered in a drawing for some amazing Turtle Wing treats for their office or group. If businesses or individuals would like to purchase t-shirts at a special discounted price they may stop by the Turtle Wing Foundation office at 723 Upton Avenue in Schulenburg or there is an order form on the Facebook page. Logo shirts are discounted when purchase prior to Turtle Wing Day, plus there is a special “Just Winging It” featured shirt new this year. Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in the prevalence in 40 years. Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. Children with autism may have a different way of seeing, hearing or feeling things. Some children with autism have trouble talking. In 2018, Turtle Wing helped served over 300 local children and continues to touch families who struggle with not only Autism, but all learning challenges every day. The recipients have all been from Colorado, Fayette, Lavaca, and surrounding counties with academic, social-emotional, behavioral and/or developmental needs. To learn more about Turtle Wing Foundation visit www.turtlewingfoundation.org or contact Managing Director, Susie Shank, at 979-505-5090.
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