Skip to main content

News and Knowledge

OAR is pleased to announce the fall 2020 winners of the Autism Education Grant Program. Launched earlier this year, the Autism Education Grant Program supports projects that aim to promote autism awareness and acceptance among students in grades K-8 using OAR’s Kit for Kids Peer Education Program. OAR has helped educate more than 135,000 children through the Kit for Kids since 2012.

OAR is grateful to The Sunshine Foundation for supporting this round of grants.

Congratulations to the fall 2020 grant recipients and the participating schools:

Michelle Chemaly

Autism Coach/ESLS Specialist
Lakeside Elementary School, Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Project: Promoting Autism Awareness & Acceptance in Our School

Chemaly will launch an autism awareness and acceptance campaign at Lakeside Elementary School next April. The campaign will include students performing skits, a poster contest, the Kit for Kids materials, and an installment of sensory paths throughout the campus.

Kyle Curtis

Autism Resource Teacher
Wood Creek Elementary School, Farmington Hills, Mich.

Project: Increasing ASD Education at Wood Creek Elementary using Kit for Kids Curriculum

Curtis will coordinate with general classroom teachers and the school social worker to guide students through the Kit for Kids lesson. Curtis will also provide training to the general education teachers using OAR’s Understanding Autism Professional Development program.

Denise Davidson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Loyola University Chicago & St. Bartholomew Grade School, Chicago, Ill.

Research Study: Autism Awareness Chicago Project

Davidson has partnered with St. Batholomew Grade School to teach third grade students using the Kit for Kids and Autism Tuned In programs. Students will read the “What’s Up with Nick?” story, watch the video, and complete related activities through remote-learning technology.  The study will evaluate the efficacy of the program in teaching students facts about autism through a baseline test and post-test, as well as feedback collected from the students and teachers.

Carla Swartz

Special Education Manager
Commonwealth Charter Academy, Johnstown, Pa.

Project: Autism Awareness: Learning Together

Swartz will hold an in-person information fair and develop a video series related to autism and the “What’s Up with Nick?” characters. The videos will be distributed to students and staff to help them better understand autistic students.

Diane Zedan

Brandon School District, Ortonville, Mich.

Project: ASD Awareness for 2nd and 3rd graders

Zedan will host the Disability Awareness program across multiple elementary schools within the Brandon School District. Social workers, psychologists, and speech therapists will support the teaching and integration of the lessons in the 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms.


Submit an application

The next rolling application deadline for the Autism Education Grants Program is January 22, 2021, for projects starting as early as April 1, 2021. Teachers, youth group organizers, parents, and autism professionals are eligible to apply for grants in amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000.

OAR supports projects that use the Kit for Kids and Autism Tuned In to increase autism awareness and acceptance among students in kindergarten through 8th grade. Example projects include awareness campaigns, workshops, and presentations. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to OAR’s peer education materials, print costs, honorariums, and travel expenses for guest speakers, venue rental, and refreshments.

For questions or comments, contact OAR at