Elementary Schooler Organizes Chocolate Event to Raise Money for Sensory Equipment for Students

Valentine’s Day can be a fun occasion, with the décor, the candy, and the silly cards we give to our loved ones to make them laugh. One elementary schooler in Texas decided to make the holiday just a bit sweeter by creating a chocolate-themed event to raise money for students with autism.

Copperas Cove Independent School District is holding the chocolate fantasia event in February. Attendees can enjoy chocolates made by students in the district’s culinary arts program and art made by special education students. The event’s organizer, Preteen Miss Five Hills Romella Spitzer, says it will be money well spent.

She explains, “The money is going to sensory equipment for students who have autism, and kids who have parents that are in the military, and for all kinds of kids who have behavioral problems.”

PHOTO: FACEBOOK/COPPERAS COVE FIVE HILLS SCHOLARSHIP PAGEANT

She came up with the idea in honor of her sister Samantha, who has autism. She wants to help others like her who face certain challenges with school.

Spitzer says, “When they go into that sensory classroom they can calm down and actually relax and go back into the classroom and actually learn.”

She added that she loves to help others and wants to make sure everyone has a fun time at the event. However, the main reason she wanted to put it together is to raise awareness about autism. She says that sometimes, those with autism don’t always have the chance to do what they want to do, but she wants them to know that there is plenty they can do.

Those who work for the school district are impressed with the work Spitzer did to get things going.

PHOTO: FACEBOOK/COPPERAS COVE ISD

Wendy Sledd, the district’s director of communications, says, “Romella raised all of the money from her lemonade stand that covered the cost of paint and the canvases and things that our special education students needed to prepare the artwork.”

This isn’t the first time Spitzer has made autism awareness the focus of a project. She also raised money for that purpose with that lemonade stand over the summer. In fact, she made it her platform in the Five Hills Scholarship Program.

She said, “I saw my mother working with my oldest sister who is autistic and how she communicates with her iPad, doing some sign language and trying to help her try to speak where she is understandable to others not in our family. I started asking my mom a lot of different questions about how and why my sister uses the technology and if she had them while she was in school.”

She hopes there is good turnout at the chocolate fantasia event to help kids like Samantha who need a few more resources in classes.

The kids at the school district have been hard at work. Posts on the district’s Facebook showed students preparing sweet treats like lemon cream-filled white chocolate bon bons, caramel-filled milk chocolate hearts, and buttercream-filled dark chocolate bon bons.

PHOTO: FACEBOOK/COPPERAS COVE ISD

Overall, a dozen options will be available to help Romella reach her goal of making sure kids with autism have the education resources they need.

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