Autism Model School is one of the organizations benefited when LPGA comes to town

Autism Model School is one of the organizations benefited when LPGA comes to town

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The LPGA teams up with several local charities and organizations to give back to the community.

The Autism Model School is one of the 23 organizations that the LPGA is helping in 2017.

Students at the Autism Model School take many classes, such as art.

School administrators said the reason they need to grow the department, which they have named the Voyagers Art Club, is to build the communication skills that are often hard to develop for children with autism.

"The focus isn't just to make that piece of art. It's to talk about it with their classmates, to talk about it at home and to be able to really take it from a piece of paper and to turn it into something that the students love," said Luke Reed, developmental director of Autism Model School.

As opposed to having a traditional art teacher, the school has a speech therapist that runs the art program.

The program has already allowed students some awesome things, like bracelets.

"These bracelets are tie-dye looking and they have a heart and they say 'art club is awesome' with a period. And a flower and another flower at the end. And this has pink, green, blue and hottish pink and a bunch of other colors that I don't know," said student Nick Veizer.

Veizer said he handed the bracelet out last year at the Marathon Classic and has continued to give them out to friends, family and members of the community.

The money donated from the Marathon Classic will help them expand their art program so their 110 students can continue to make artwork.

The school said more than 60 percent of their students are from under-served areas of Toledo, which is why the donation from the tournament is so important.

"Being selected as a charity partner with the tournament send a message to [the students] that the community is behind you, people know about the school, know about your struggles and the challenges you face, but also some of the successes you can have and some of the victories you can achieve," Reed said.

This time next year, the program should be revamped and rebooted so kids like Veizer can continue their belief that art club really is awesome.

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