Karsen Barringer of Stewart, Ohio looks down a climbing tube in his classroom at the Beacon School in Athens, OH. Karsen is one of 14 students who are in the preschool classroom at the school.
Emily Stack of Alexander, OH raises her hand excitedly after teacher Lindsay Moore of Coolville, OH asked the students who was ready for lunchtime.
Teacher Lindsay Moore spins (from left to right) Shirley Anderson, Allie Jolley and Fiona Meyer in their classroom during freetime in the afternoon. Ms. Moore noticed that the students enjoyed it when she spun the toy and made sure all the students who wanted to be spun got an equal chance.
Ronnie Riley wheels around the Sensory Room on his tricycle. Ronnie went with Alania Harper, the PTA at the Beacon School, to do individual physical training, and is one of the 7-8 students Ms. Harper sees each day. Ronnie is wearing the wooden blocks on the bottom of his feet to serve as an extra layer of balance.
Teachers Chris McLain of Albany, OH (left) and Beth Maccombs of Nelsonville, OH (right) lay out the children's breakfast options at the beginning of the school day. Since most of the children in the class are non-verbal, they choose what they want to eat by choosing icons with velcro on the back to put on the cardboard strips in the bottom left of the photo. The icons show foods ranging from cereal, fruits, juices and more.
Karsen Barringer (front) and Behnjamin McKinney-Collins of Athens, OH grab their lunch tickets out of an evelope outside of their classroom as they make their way to lunch.
Harper Riddle of Stewart, OH lines up to get ready to get his breakfast.
(From left to right) Fiona Meyer, Allie Jolley and Behnjamin McKinney-Collins all line up for lunch while Alania Harper talks to them.
Emily Stack (left) and Karsen Barringer (right) interact with each other during lunch.
Shirley Anderson eats her Fruity Pebble cereal. Every time I went to the Beacon School, Shirley could always be recognized because of her distinct blue coat which she hardly ever took off. The coat seemed to act as a security blanket for her.
Ronnie Riley smiles as Gini Tabler puts paint on his hands to put his handprint on his finished Thanksgiving art piece for his parents.
Harper puts the finishing touches on an art piece during the art session while Debbie Dixon (behind right) plays with Karman Jenkins with a pom-pom.
Harper looks up to teacher Beth Maccombs before the start of the school day. Just in front of Harper's feet there is a line of red tape which is an indicator for all of the kids that they can't pass it because all of the teachers belongings are behind the tape.
The class looks on while Andrea shows off a lesson plan involving feathers. The kids would wear headbands similar to Andrea's and she would ask them who was wearing (for example) a blue feather and the child she asked would press on that student's picture on her IPad.
Braven Windle looks on as Ronnie Riley clicks on a student's picture on the IPad that was being passed around the classroom.
Karsen Barringer sticks his tongue out while doing a puzzle with teacher Gini Tabler. Ms. Tabler is currently an undergrad at OU studying early childhood education and is in her first year at Beacon.
Shirley Anderson colors a picture with markers during a free session in the classroom.
Ronnie Riley (top) and Harper Riddle play with colorful blocks together. During the day there are many blocks of time where students are free to play with whatever toy they choose.
Braven Windle plays with some toys under the table during a free session.
Students Harper Riddle, Behnjamin McKinney-Collins and Jonathan Hart .
Teacher Gloria Whipple (left) opens up the pool for the class as Braven Windle (in stroller) and Shirley Anderson (bathrobe) are accompanied by Chris McLain and Gini Tabler.
Teacher Chris McLain lifts Emily Stack out of the pool. The class goes to the pool and swims every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Teacher Lindsay Moore plays with Karman Jenkins in the gym. Ms. Moore was singing to Karman who would smile and laugh while hearing Lindsay sing. Karman has cerebral palsy and is also legally blind; to eat, the teachers spoon feed her baby food and would spend extra time with Karman with other activities.
Teacher Lindsay Moore plays with Allie Jolley (left) and Shirley Anderson in the gym while Behnjamin McKinney-Collins rides a bike in the background.
(From left to right) Behnjamin McKinney-Collins, Shirley Anderson, Harper Rindle and Karsen Barringer look out the window at some light snow fall. When some of the kids realized that it was starting to snow they rushed over to the window yelling "Snow! Snow!" and continued to look outside for a long time.
Andrea helps out (from left to right) Allie Jolley, Fiona Meyer and Emily Stack and the rest of the class with a reading activity before the school left for Thanksgiving break. Andrea would read a sentence ("I see green beans" can be seen on the pages) and the kids would respond by hitting a button on the blue boxes indicating whether or not they liked green beans or any other food associated with Thanksgiving.
Emily Stack and Karsen Barringer read a book together underneath a table.
Teacher Gini Tabler reads a book to (from left to right) Karsen, Allie and Fiona.
Shirley Anderson looks at herself in the mirror. At times Shirley would go over to the large mirror in the classroom and either look or interact with herself (like she is doing here) or she would bring toys in front of the mirror and would play with them there. She would seem much calmer in front of the mirror if before she seemed a little agitated.
The class goes outside to watch bird seed be put into one of the birdfeeders on school grounds. Earlier that day the kids made their own bird feeders to take home.
Beth Maccombs looks on in shock as Allie Jolley reads back the names of the kids in the class. Beth would write down most of a kid's name (Karma-) and before she was done writing the word Allie would say their name. Allie got all of the names right except the last name.
Emily Stack plays with Karman during class. Karman was given the play-dough to help her feel different textures and has also used pompoms and fuzzy balls to help with sensory skills. Because of Karman's cerebral palsy, learning to feel different textures is key. Despite Karman's difficulties with verbal communication her classmates still reach out to her and find alternative ways to communicate. Later in the day, Emily was singing the ABC's to Karman and classmate Fiona helped chime in as best as she could even though she too is non-verbal.
Emily Stack, Karsen Barringer and Allie Jolley play on a kitchen set as golden light shines through the window near the end of the school day.
PTA Alania Harper leads Fiona Meyer (left) and Behnjamin McKinney-Collins to the buses after school. Even though Fiona walked out to the buses with Alania and Behn, she went back inside to wait for her father to pick her up.