Monday, July 30, the Emory Autism Center (EAC) will be the entry point to Atlanta for 28 cyclists from the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity who are participating in this year's Push America Journey of Hope. Cyclists will arrive en masse at the EAC (1551 Shoup Court, Emory Clairmont Campus) at 1 pm.
The Emory Autism Center was chosen by Push America because of its dedication to children and adults who are disabled by autism.
The Emory Autism Center opened in 1991 as part of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and has become a national model for the diagnosis and treatment of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Those disorders include autism, Pervasive Development Disorders ( PDD) - Not Otherwise Specified, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and Asperger syndrome.
"Children with autism and their families need much help and support from trained professionals to realize their full potential and achieve success," says Sheila Wagner, assistant director of the Autism Center and coordinator of the center's MONARCH school-age program.
"In order to help ensure these children have every opportunity to grow and develop, we offer a preschool program that enrolls toddlers as young as 18 months old in an environment that integrates typical children with autistic children," she says. "We coordinate family training and support groups, programs for school-age children and a formal training program for public school teachers who come in contact with students who are autistic."
Push America's Journey of Hope kicked off in San Francisco on June 10, 2007. Through team member fundraising and corporate sponsorships, the Journey will raise more than $500,000 that will go toward enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.
There are three teams with a total of 81 members of the Fraternity who are cycling 4000 miles across the country. The teams are traveling on three different routes, stopping in 180 cities, covering 33 states and over 12,000 miles on their bikes.
The cyclists will be given a tour of the EAC when they arrive on Monday, which will be followed on Tuesday, July 31 by another event sponsored by EAC from 2-4 pm at Dave & Buster's in Duluth. Adult clients of the EAC and their families will have an opportunity to visit with team members during the event, which will include a DJ and snacks.
Cyclists, EAC clients and families and experts on autism will be available at both events for media interviews.
B-roll of the cyclists from the beginning of the Journey is also available. Local media have been following the journey in all the cities along the way.
Please contact one of the media representatives above to make arrangements for interviews and/or b-roll.