Town of Dickinson (WBNG Binghamton) BOCES students and staff gathered at exactly 1:15 p.m. Monday to join a worldwide event to raise awareness, hope and desperately needed funding for autism research and aid.
Students and staff blew bubbles for 60 seconds, something Binghamton-Tioga BOCES Special Education Staffer Lori Martin says is a symbolic gesture.
"They're delicate, as our kids are," she said, comparing students with autism and bubbles. "And each one of them is different, as are our students."
New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show one in 50 school-aged American children are diagnosed with autism -- an increase of more than 20 percent since 2009.
The 10th -annual Bubbles 4 Autism event is a chance to shed light on the increase and lobby for more funding to provide the electronic devices and sensory items children with autism need, Martin said.
"Bringing all of our kids together, all of our students together -- this is a huge project," she said. "It's a wonderful thing for us to be together as a group, as a community."
The non-profit organization FACES 4 Autism organizes the event every year.
April is National Autism Awareness Month.