Known for its distinctive red and white, St. John's University's
will add a touch of blue on April 3–5 as The
School of Education hosts its annual Light It Up Blue event,
designed to raise awareness of autism.
“Our goal is to let people know about the endless
opportunities to make a difference when it comes to autism,” said
Charisse Willis ’91GEd, ’95PD, Associate Dean for Undergraduate
Studies in The School of Education, who coordinates the
"The rate of children being diagnosed with autism is increasing,”
Willis added. “By exposing our students to the world of autism now,
we will better prepare them to work with these children as
teachers. Through Light It Up Blue, our students take away a
greater understanding of children with autism. They learn that
their uniqueness is something to be appreciated, rather than a
The events begin with an Athletics Fun Run at noon on Wednesday,
April 3. Blue autism ribbons will be placed throughout the campus.
Following the run, a barbecue will be held in the Carnesecca
Plaza. The day concludes with a talent show in the Little
A Light It Up Blue breakfast, held in the D'Angelo
Center, kicks off the next day's activities. During the
morning, pins and bracelets will be sold with all proceeds going to
Autism Speaks, the
world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. Following
breakfast, a Mass will be held at St.
Thomas More Church, and the day concludes with observations
from a parent raising a child with autism.
On Friday, April 5, the week ends with service opportunities for
St. John’s students. They will be able to volunteer at the Governor
Maria and Matilda Raffa Cuomo First Step Early Childhood Center or
the Dolly and Frank Russo, Sr., First Step Early Childhood Center,
both in nearby Richmond Hill, Queens, New York.
For more information, please visit The School of Education’s Light
It Up Blue webpage.