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Randolph's Higashi School wins Essential Puzzle Piece Award

Holbrook Sun - 5/19/2018

The 2018 Essential Puzzle Piece Award was presented to Randolph'sBoston Higashi School at Teamsters Local 25's 11th annual Autism Gala at the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston.

Boston Higashi School is one of two schools of its kind in the world. Founded in 1987 by the Dr. Kiyo Kitahara and Katsuhei Kitahara, the school uses daily life therapy, an educational model that incorporates physical exercise, emotional stability and intellectual stimulation, into the daily schedule. For instance, students begin each school day with a jog around the campus.

"As a group that has done so much for so long for children and families impacted by autism, I am truly honored to accept this award from the Teamsters Local 25 on behalf of the Boston Higashi School," said Michael Kelly, executive director for the school.

More than 900 guests attended the gala. MC'd by WBZ-TV news anchor David Wade, the event included performances by the Boston Higashi School Jazz Band, an ensemble of students on the autism spectrum; the Greater Boston Firefighters Pipes and Drum Band; and the dance band The Zoo.

Since 2006, Teamsters Local 25 has raised more than $4 million to local nonprofits for autism. Nonprofits donated to include Autism Speaks New England; Challenger Little League programs in Braintree, Boston and Malden; Technology for Autism Now; Melmark New England; McLean Hospital's autism program; and others.

"We couldn't be prouder of the contributions Local 25 has been able to make within the autism community," said Sean M. O'Brien, president of Teamsters Local 25. "In the last 11 years, we've raised more than $4 million that has gone right back into the communities where we live and work. These funds have supported cutting-edge research, webinars for parents, specialized education and activities like challenger baseball."


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