A 12-year-old Templeton girl received a 2010 Yes I Can! Award from the Council for Exceptional Children earlier this month in Nashville, Tenn.
Olivia Shaw is one of a set of triplets who were born with a visual impairment. She was diagnosed with degenerated retinas and aphakia, an absence of the lens in both eyes, but Olivia has not let her disability interrupt her life.
She is enrolled in general education classes and is a straight-A student. She enjoys using her Braille Writer to show her creative writing talents, which includes a 19-chapter book she wrote.
The Yes I Can! Awards were developed to honor students with disabilities, and each year the CEC honors 27 students who have excelled despite having disabilities. Awards are given in nine categories, including academics, arts, athletics, community service, employment, extracurricular activities, independent living skills, self-advocacy and technology.
Olivia enjoys skiing, playing the violin, singing and bike riding. She was also elected to be the fifth-grade class representative for the Student Council at Vineyard Elementary School.
James Neal, 18, of Arroyo Grande also received a Yes I Can! Award in Nashville.
Neal is autistic and has struggled academically, but he now holds a “B” average at Arroyo Grande High School.
He will graduate in June.
— Amy Dempsey
The Oceano Community Center will host the annual Day of the Child health fair Sunday.
The event from 1 to 4 p.m. is sponsored by local agencies including Arroyo Grande Hospital, Oceano Family Resource Center and Lucia Mar Unified School District.
Food, games, prizes, music and free health screenings will be available, including glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings.
Lisa Ray’s Donation Group, which provides clothing handouts to families in need, will offer free jackets, sweaters and shoes to children. Jamba Juice will be there as well, offering 200 free smoothies. Several local agencies will provide health awareness.
Grace Bible Church also will be selling homemade enchiladas.
For more information, e-mail Lisa Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Nick Wilson