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Open Door School kicks off DD Awareness Month with balloon launch

Students, faculty and staff of Open Door School released balloons into the air to celebrate the start of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month on Monday in Ironton.

Students, faculty and staff of Open Door School released balloons into the air to celebrate the start of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month on Monday in Ironton.

 

Bright skies mirrored bright smiles as students from Open Door School kicked off their week and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with their annual balloon launch.

While some balloons got a head start on the group, most of the students held on tightly until Principal Kendra Kelley counted from 10 and then they let their purple and pink balloons fly.

Each balloon had a card attached with the name of a student and the address of the school. The goal is for someone to find the balloon and write a letter back to the student.

“Since I’ve been principal we’ve had three or four people write letters,” Kelley said. “We’ve gotten one from West Virginia and far away as New Jersey or New York. The kids love this. They are proud of who they are and want to share that.”

While some of the students may wish to receive letters from people in other states, 15-year-old Kyle Bolen said he dreams of the wind taking his balloon somewhere a little farther.

“I want my balloon to go to Russia,” Bolen said while laughing. “I want a polar bear to get it and sign it with their claws.”

As Bolen made slashing gestures with his hands he said he would be happy with a human letter as well.

Bolen had a busy day as he played a big part in making the launch happen by going around and delivering the balloons to all the students. After the launch, he went around the school to read “The Cat in the Hat” to younger students in a Cat costume, complete with striped top hat and red bow tie.

The balloon launch was just the first of many events scheduled for DD Awareness Month.

Other events are:

• 5K run/walk on Saturday. The event starts at 9 a.m. at The Point and runs through the industrial park

• Chili Fest and Craft Show held in the Dawson-Bryant High School gymnasium Saturday, March 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• March Madness basketball games held in the Dawson-Bryant High School gymnasium Tuesday, March 19 starting at 5:45 p.m.

• DD food drive and eyeglasses collect points at various locations

Those seeking more information on developmental disability awareness in Lawrence County or to register for the chili competition or 5K can contact the LCBDD at 740-532-7356.