AG High club hosts tailgate to help autistic students


Attending a high school football game is a right of passage for most American high school students. But, for students with learning disabilities like Autism, the social challenges of navigating that kind of chaotic, loud environment can be daunting.Avon_Grove_High_School_logo


This Friday, October 16th, Avon Grove High’s REACT club will host a tailgate party at its home game against West Chester Henderson High School for students who face those very struggles. REACT stands for “Recreation Experience Activity Club for Teens” and is the only group of its kind in Chester County that is designed to help students with Autism and related challenges to more involved in school events, their community, and to encourage and support authentic peer relationships.


REACT was formed nine years ago by a former Avon Grove Special Education Supervisor and parent to offer more social opportunities outside of the classroom for those who struggle with social interactions, making friends, and engaging in social activity.


“The club allows students to become an integral part of their school community,” said Autistic Support teacher Megan Ahern. “Our activities and events are designed to encourage students to develop and maintain meaningful relationships with typically developing peers.” Ahern and fellow teacher William T. Shahler III are advisors for the club.


REACT holds events at Avon Grove High School and in the community, typically twice monthly on Friday evenings. The students are very much a part of the planning process in terms of what types of events are scheduled. REACT hosts events such as game nights, bowling, restaurant outings, holiday shopping, laser tag, mini golf, barbeques, swimming at the YMCA, Wilmington Blue Rocks games, and helping students to attend school activities as a group such as dances, plays and musicals.


“Without a group like this, some of our students would rarely get the chance to interact outside of the school day with their peers,” said Stahler.


The REACT club will be tailgating this Friday, October 15 at Avon Grove High School, beginning at 5 p.m., in the southwest corner of the parking lot at the picnic table area.


For more information, contact: Beth Trapani – 215-360-2733,

Point of contact during the event: Dr. Jeremy Curtis, Director of Pupil Services – cell phone – 215-275-5442

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