Independence Day Parade 2014

Jul 4, 2014 | Hope in the News

Hope students and staff members proudly displayed their patriotism July 3 during the annual “Independence Day” parade at The Learning Center.Each classroom transformed donated red wagons into floats dedicated to this year’s theme of “Autism Awareness, Piece by Piece We Come Together.” Floats included student photos attached to large puzzle pieces and rocket designs. The nearly 20 creations included American flags, balloons, streamers and all things red, white and blue. Staff painted their faces as part of the festivities and one member dressed up as Uncle Sam.

Classrooms walked in the parade with their floats under morning sunny skies from Circle Drive near the Administration Building around to The Learning Center entrance. One sign read: “Don’t Focus On The Things We Can’t Do. Focus On The Things We Can.” Hope Principal Cliff Hathaway also took part in the parade along with the school’s bulldog mascot.

After the parade, students enjoyed trips on a tractor hayride and barrel train. The Springfield Fire Department also allowed students to tour their fire truck and sit in the front seat.

Amanda Brott, Chief of Residential Programming, said the event gives students a safe and fun way to celebrate the holiday.

“We celebrate our independence but we also celebrate our dependence,” she said in reference to this year’s theme involving the various aspects of autism spectrum disorder. Educational, residential and therapeutic professionals are all required to best serve students, and the students also teach staff along the way, she said.

“Our kids don’t just need us. We also need these kids.”

In the afternoon following the parade, students took part in a play day in the Unit 5 playground that featured games, snow cones and freezer pops.

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Springfield, IL 62712