MANSFIELD – Richland Newhope had its inaugural bowling event at Lex Lanes on March 4 to celebrate National Developmental Disability Awareness Month.
"Everyone had a great time and had the opportunity to bowl and interact with people that they might not have otherwise had a chance to connect with.” said Superintendent Michele Giess.
Every March, Newhope puts on different awareness activities throughout Richland County. The focus for the event was 8th-grade students and Richland County Elected Officials. The students involved were students with a disability and students that were considered leaders of their class.
Newhope mixed the students with a public official to create unified teams. Newhope gave out first-place awards and Gionino’s catered lunch.
“We were very blessed to be included, and it was an opportunity for us to see these students shine and to get to celebrate their abilities,” Richland County Commissioner Marilyn John said. “We had a great turnout for the event to kick off Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.
More March activities include the 19th annual Community Awareness Day on March 12 at The Life Celebration Reception Center, a booth at the Richland Area Chamber’s Business Expo at Fairhaven Hall on March 19, and the third annual Step into Spring – a free fun walk on March 27 at the Richland Mall. The walk is being held in conjunction with Richland Public Health, Richland County Children Services, and the Richland Mall.
Other activities to mark Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month include displays at the main branch of the Mansfield-Richland County Public Library and the Richland Mall, and billboards around the community.
Richland Newhope supports more than 1,600 Richland County residents through early intervention, preschool, transition services, day services, supported employment, residential, therapy, and other family support programs.