DOWNINGTOWN, PA — During the months of March and April, the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) initiated a number of activities across the county to increase awareness and acceptance of all abilities. The efforts culminated in the third annual shoe design contest.
Art teachers were invited to engage their students in developing a shoe design that best represents and articulates the awareness, acceptance and celebration of all abilities. Each participating school reviewed submissions and selected one top design to be submitted to CCIU for placement in the 2018 online contest.
Four submitted designs were featured on the CCIU website and promoted on social media. The community was encouraged to vote for their favorite design between April 2-6, with over 1,000 votes entered. It was a tight race between first and second place, but in the end, Avon Grove Intermediate School sixth grade student Ella Bartnik’s design was selected as the winner of the 2018 shoe design contest.
According to Melissa Smith, Assistant Director of Communications and Learning Solutions at the CCIU, “We received four outstanding submissions for our shoe design contest, each articulating disability awareness and each representing a very talented sixth-12th-grade student in Chester County.”
Bartnik’s winning design became a reality when the sneakers were custom painted by shoe design artist Laura Jane Craig. Bartnik was recognized at the May 29 Avon Grove School District Board meeting and presented with her custom pair of shoes sporting her original design.
This is the third year that the CCIU has been conducting this awareness initiative. The past two year’s contests were met with great success as well.
CCIU offers a multitude of programs for individuals with all types of abilities from preschool through adulthood. For more information on programs offered, please visit www.cciu.org/abilityaware.
Source: Chester County Intermediate Unit, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown PA 19335
Pictured here is Avon Grove Intermediate (AGI) teacher Amanda Piercey, AGI art teacher Colette Kemmerling, AGI principal Michael Garvin, 2018 CCIU shoe design contest winner Ella Bartnik and CCIU representatives Amy Fichter and Cynthia Riley.
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