Welcome to our new Autism Ambassador Hub

As you know, April is Autism Awareness Month, and this April will be like no other!

More than 600 ambassadors already registered for our longstanding “Ambassador Program” and were sent free tools and supplies to help them raise awareness in their community. We appreciate their dedication to spreading awareness and building acceptance.

We have redesigned this Ambassador Hub to incorporate ideas and activities that can be executed during the coronavirus pandemic. We invite everyone to join us and Start with Respect – From Home!!


In the Community during Social Distancing

We accept the challenge to Start with Respect while following the recommended safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we’re not able to gather in large groups, there are things we can do to stay connected to our friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

Messages

Leave inspirational messages for others.

We’re all in this together. Help bring a smile to others.

If you live in a suburban or less-populated neighborhood, consider taking a stroll or a bike ride around the block while practicing social distancing. Take sidewalk chalk with you and write inspirational messages, autism awareness facts, or draw pictures for your neighbors to see.

Or hang your poster on your front door or window!

Social Media

Connect with other ambassadors on via social media and our exclusive Ambassador Facebook page.

We encourage you to update your status with your autism awareness plans, photos, and ideas.

Create challenges for you, your friends, and other ambassadors can join.

Challenges can run the length of April. Use #AutismNJAmbassador and #RespectAcceptance

Acceptance selfie
Snap a selfie with your favorite autism awareness swag. Tag three friends and ask them to participate. How many selfies can we collect?

Respect your feed
Whom do you respect and why? Post a picture of someone you admire and respect. Describe why you respect them in 10 words or fewer.

“Find out what it means to me” Lip-Sync Battle
Create a dance to Aretha Franklin’s RESPECT. Record the video, livestream, or create a TikTok to post.

Connect

Chat it up!

There are a lot of free messaging and group meeting apps that make it easy to have face-to-face interactions with your friends, teammates, and co-workers. Set up a time for everyone to log in together and have a discussion about how you can make your community more autism friendly and accepting.

Free Time

Without play dates, troop meetings, or sports practice we may find ourselves with a lot of free time.

Fill this time with autism awareness activities.

In Your Virtual Classroom

Teachers, we recognize the struggle you are all facing to bring an enriched educational experience to your students remotely. We ask that you continue to incorporate an autism awareness lesson or activity in your April plans.

Thank you to our Teacher Resource Sponsor!  Greenwich Autism Alliance Foundation

Awareness Lessons

Autism Awareness Lesson Plans

Often children with autism feel isolated, misunderstood, or bullied by their peers. The classroom is where change can happen by educating students and being respectful role models. This doesn’t change simply because our physical location has.

Adapt these ideas as best you can to fit your remote classroom.

 

Reading Activity

Download a copy of Kids Booklet on Autism and create questions and discussion points for students.

Creative Projects

When taking a break from reading, writing, and math, have your students download an awareness ribbon coloring sheet.

Spirit Week

Organize a spirit week for students to post pics or to show off during virtual classroom meetings.

We’re closing out Awareness Month strong! Join us April 27 – May 1 for an awesome spirit week! 

  • Monday – START as an individual! Wear crazy socks.
  • Tuesday – START coming together! Wear your favorite sports team gear.
  • Wednesday – START sharing your ideas! Wear your “thinking” cap.
  • Thursday – START with the facts. Autism is a spectrum. Wear your favorite color.
  • Friday – START making the dream of acceptance reality. Pajama Day!

Bookmark Contest

Enter our Bookmark Contest

The winning design will be used for the 2021 Autism Ambassador Bookmark! 30,000 will be printed and distributed throughout New Jersey.

Students K – 6th Grade are invited to submit a bookmark design to appear on 30,000 bookmarks for our 2021 Ambassador Program

  • New Jersey students grades K-6
  • Designs must be autism awareness themed, some ideas are:
    • Friendship
    • Autism Awareness Ribbon or puzzle pieces
    • Our differences are what make us special
    • Community
  • Designs can be hand drawn or computer generated
  • Send your entry to Autism New Jersey or aamonth@autismnj.org by July 1, 2020

Download a Bookmark Contest Form

Don’t have a printer? We’re not picky, draw your design on a piece of white paper.

Bookmark Contest Sponsor:

Video

“Respect” Video Contest

Calling middle and high school students! Become engaged in spreading autism awareness and building communities that embrace individuals with autism through creative storytelling and video production

  • Choose an autism awareness message about respect
  • Enter by sharing your video one of the following ways on or before July 1:
    • Post your video or livestream on Facebook and tag @AutismNJAmbassador
    • Upload your video to YouTube or other video streaming sites and email the link to aamonth@autismnj.org
    • Email your MP4 file to aamonth@autismnj.org

WINNERS WILL WIN A $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD! Entries will be judged by a panel of Autism New Jersey staff members

Autism New Jersey will share all approved video entries via its website, e-newsletter, and social media leading up to and throughout April, National Autism Awareness Month.

NEED HELP GETTING STARTED?

Use video as a tool to discuss autism, share your personal story, or answer questions such as:

  • How does autism touch my life?
  • What is autism?
  • Why is community acceptance important for families or my family?
  • If I could share anything about my (sibling, friend, neighbor, classmate) with autism, it would be...
  • Things I want my classmates to know about my autism...
  • Top reasons why respecting individuals with autism is important.

Official Rules:

  • The contest is open to all middle and high school students (Grades 6-12) in New Jersey
  • Videos should be no longer than 5 minutes
  • Videos can be shot on camcorders, smart phones, or other digital equipment
  • Videos can be recorded, livestreamed, or submit a TikTok.
  • Videos containing profanity or inappropriate behavior will not be shared or considered for the winning prize

Online Fundraising

With so many events cancelled or postponed, you can still raise funds online using the tools below.  Get creative!

Facebook

Create a Facebook fundraiser

Visit Facebook and follow the prompts to set up your fundraiser. Be sure to select “Autism New Jersey” as your beneficiary. It’s that easy! Or, add a “Donate Button” to any post by selecting “Support Nonprofit.”

What else is great about a Facebook fundraiser? All the fees are waived, so 100 percent of your donations go directly to Autism New Jersey.

Go Fund Me

Create your own fundraising page, share, raise funds, and make an impact.

Start a Go Fund Me  fundraising campaign for Autism New Jersey.

If you need assistance with any of the options, email us at donate@autismnj.org and we’ll be happy to lend a hand to help you get set up!

Why Fundraise?

Your contribution will help us to continue ensuring safe and fulfilling lives for individuals with autism, their families, and the professionals who support them.

Please consider showing your support for the work we do on behalf of families in New Jersey. Below are stories of families whose lives have been changed by our programs and services.

 

Like many in the nonprofit sector, we’re bracing for the financial impact this disruption might have. A substantial portion of our donations that sustain our operations come via fundraising events and activities that normally occur throughout the month of April during Autism Awareness Month. Many of these have been postponed or canceled.

We are so very appreciative of the efforts of these community fundraisers and our autism ambassadors, many of whom are dedicated school teachers and hardworking small business owners. They work so hard to plan these events and get the important message of autism awareness and acceptance out to their communities.

If you find value in our services and the work do, please consider creating a fundraiser or simply making a donation or just spreading the word about the work we do.

We will no longer be offering our incentive packages. Instead, we will send a small gift of gratitude to our fundraising supporters. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

STAY CONNECTED TO OTHER AMBASSADORS

Share your awareness activities, be inspired, and follow the latest news and updates on our ambassador-exclusive social media feeds.

           

 

THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR GENEROUS SUPPORT

THANK YOU TO OUR 2020 SPONSORS


Teacher Resource Sponsor
Bookmark Contest Sponsor
Delivery Sponsor

ADDITIONAL FUNDING GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY



THANK YOU TO OUR AMBASSADOR BUSINESS BOOSTERS