March 29, 2017 — Support the campus community and put some steps on those fitness trackers by signing up for the Autism U-Knighted Walk. Sunday, April 23, marks the second year for the Council for Exceptional Children-organized walk, which raised more than $2,000 last year for Autism Speaks. This year’s recipient is one of our own programs: Friday Knights.
The walk will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Saint Rose Campus Green (weather permitting). In addition to walking loops around the quad, participants can enjoy food, crafts, games and sensory stations. There will be T-shirts and raffle tickets available for purchase as well.
There is a $5 fee for individual participation and a $15 fee for families (family of 3 or more; children younger than 4 are free). Fees are collected at the event.
“This year, the committee that puts together the walk decided that we wanted to keep the money we raise from this great event within the Albany area, and even more specifically, within our own Saint Rose community,” said Maureen Elliott, president of the Council for Exceptional Children at Saint Rose and a junior majoring in childhood/special education.
Friday Knights is a popular program for children and teens on the autism spectrum developed in 2004 by Associate Professor Susan DeLuke. Under the Friday Knights umbrella are several programs: the Friday Knights Recreation Program, in which volunteers help children and teens develop social skills through fun activities; a learn-to-swim program called Friday Knight Fishes; a one-week summer camp program called Summer Days; and a Social Skills Program.
Friday Knights is primarily run by graduate and undergraduate student volunteers, and as many as 185 community youths are enrolled in the Recreation Program alone. The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities funds some of the participants, while other families pay a small fee. Scholarships are available to those in need. DeLuke says the money raised by the Autism U-Knighted Walk would help to fund those scholarships as well as snacks and supplies for the programs.
Click here for information on how to register for the walk. And click here for information on how to donate.
For more details on Friday Knights, check out this Times Union story from April 2015.