Last April, we did a video about the awesome work a group of Cubberley K-8 parents has achieved to bring awareness to autism.
But we, at Long Beach 908, aren’t the only people to take note of the awesome and inspiring work being done by this group, who call themselves the “LBC Hero Squad.” On Tuesday, Oct. 2, they were recognized by the top of the totem pole in Long Beach: City Council and Mayor Robert Garcia himself.
The LBC Hero Squad, formed in 2016, aims to bring awareness to the spectrum of autism, which affects 1 in 68 American children. At Cubberley, they have established “Autism Awareness Week” to help students, parents, and teachers understand the similarities and differences between children with autism and their peers. Their end goal is to make everyone at the school feel more accepted and part of the family.
The results at Cubberley have been astounding. They are quickly growing a reputation around Southern California as one of the best schools for children on the spectrum to attend with many parents moving into Cubberley’s neighborhood to make it their home school.
Jennifer Coats is a local mom and one of the founders of LBC Hero Squad. She and fellow spear-headers Nancy Simons, Jamie McDonald, and Cubberley Principal Imbroane gave a presentation at Tuesday’s City Council meeting about the change they have made at Cubberley and ideas for other parents and schools looking to implement their own autism awareness programs.
“Being recognized for what we were doing was so overwhelming and humbling,” Jennifer said. “What was even better was having all our friends and family pack the City Hall.
So many people from Cubberley and elsewhere came to Tuesday’s meeting to support LBC Hero Squad that City Hall reached capacity.
“I felt bad, my boss wasn’t even able to get in!” Jennifer said.
For her son Nolan, who is on the spectrum, having his friends there was what made the night special too. When asked what the best part of City Hall was, third-grader Nolan said, “That I got to see my friends there. Oliver, Bodi, and I are good friends together, we talk about
A reminder that at its core, LBC Hero Squad is not about awards, recognition, or even autism sometimes. At its core, LBC Hero Squad is about bringing people—all people—together. It’s about friendship. Just like their shirts say, “Be Kind!”
Congrats to Jennifer and the rest of the LBC Hero Squad. Thanks for putting East Long Beach at the forefront of awareness and acceptance. We look forward to watching the LBC Hero Squad continue to make a change in Long Beach culture.
To learn more visit their social media channels @lbchs. And remember, anyone can be a hero.