What’s Your Story Archive


Preschooler’s Take Meeting with the Mayor


Preschoolers from the Pioneer Center’s integrated preschool classrooms housed at OU-C’s Early Childhood Development Center tackled one of their biggest meetings of the year earlier this week. The kids sat down with Chillicothe’s new mayor, Luke Feeney, at the City Administration Building in downtown Chillicothe. The meeting has become an annual pilgrimage of sorts, in honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, which takes place each March.

After presenting the mayor with the latest copy of the Pioneer School yearbook and a t-shirt commemorating DD Awareness Month, the young students got down to business. Several of the students came prepared with questions and were eager to hear the mayor’s response.  Bella, age 5, jumped in first, asking “What is your favorite part about being the mayor?”

The mayor responded with an honest answer that went over well: “Meetings like this!”

Next up was Zavier, asked the following question with assistance from an augmentative communication device: “What’s your favorite color?”

Green was answer – this also went over well, though one of the children seemed to be hoping for an answer that matched her own. Green was obviously not the answer for her.

Finally, Maele asked the name of the mayor’s new baby, who just turned 5 weeks old. For inquiring minds, the baby boy’s name is Collin.

If you have any other questions for the mayor, be sure to attend Mayor Feeney’s Neighborhood Office Hours event at Allen Elementary School later this month, check www.chillicothe.com and check your local media outlets for the time and date.



Eli’s Story



Eli is a ten year old boy who attends the Pioneer School.  He lives with his mom, dad, and sister. His family is his biggest advocate and supports him in every aspect of his life, along with helping to support Autism Awareness.  He is a child who is non-verbal autistic.  While Eli may not be able to speak to you utilizing traditional methods of communication, he still has a lot to say.  He speaks in many different ways using pictures, his body, showing people what he wants, and also making sounds.

He loves to swim, jump, swing, and take walks.  He loves his I-pad and spoons.  Eli at times gets anxious and needs something to fidget to help calm his nerves.  His absolute favorite spoons are long handled but sometimes any silverware will work.  He bends and shapes the spoons until they feel right in his fingers.  He at times seems to not be able to get them right even though he tries really hard.  A lot of times he ends up breaking the spoons.  His mom and dad have a lot of broken and unique formed spoons at their house.  Eli’s dad, mom, and sister Eryne came up with an idea to use his spoons to create works of art that help promote Autism Awareness.  Eli loves this idea and thinks it is really wonderful.  Now his mom isn’t so upset when the spoon breaks because she uses them to help Eli create these beautiful works of art!  This makes Eli really happy and he hopes that his spoon art makes you feel the same way!

-Lovingly submitted by Eli and his family

The Pioneer Center would like to extend their heartfelt thanks for giving us the opportunity to share Eli’s story. We encourage you to get to know the stories of the other people we are proud to serve during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month – March 2016.

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