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Hormel Historic Home: Teachers are integral part of autism programming

Our office has been very busy lately with both phone calls and people coming in regarding the Autism Fundraising Walk on Saturday. With more than 230 people registered already, including teams from all the schools and many new faces, we are confident that the Walk will raise much-needed funds to support the two Autism Summer Camps the HHH currently offers. There is still time to register for or donate to the Walk, so please call us at 507-433-4243 or visit our website for more information.

Autism programming has grown and succeeded for the past few years because of passionate and specially educated professionals who have spent many hours planning curriculum, designing schedules and organizing outings.

"I really have enjoyed my 13 years working with students on the autism spectrum in the school system," writes Erin Dilley, Ellis Middle School Autism Resource Specialist and All Access Community Explorations co-director. "I have seen over the past few years working with ASD programming at the HHH that students are being taught valuable skills at school, and our ASD programming gives them a no-pressure, dynamic, fun environment in which to begin to generalize those skills. There is no other way I would rather be spending my summers."

Another key staff person in our programming is Karianne Bachmeier, a special education teacher at Southgate Elementary.

"I am committed to working with individuals with autism because they are not only brave and honest people, but they can be such an asset to Austin," Bachmeier writes. "Their unique talents and perspectives always make me see life in another way, and they deserve to have the chance to be themselves, stretch their boundaries, and find a place in our community in a caring and supportive environment."


In the late 1890s, the city of Toledo, Ohio, had a dedicated and caring teacher much like Erin and Karianne. Miss Helen "Nellie" Ann Hormel, George A.'s youngest sister taught there for five years. Although she died at age 25 of tuberculosis, she was described in her No. 8, 1899, Austin Daily Herald obituary as having an "indefatigable ambition to please and to extol (her students) making her greatly esteemed in her chosen profession."

Teaching is a true gift, and we are fortunate to have so many dedicated people working with us. Nellie sounds like she would have been a fine addition to our staff as well.

Looking ahead at the HHH

Board of Directors Meeting. April 15, 8:30 a.m.

Social Concerns. April 16, 10 a.m. Free. Don and Louise Barnes will share their passion and talent for gardening. Gardening "Mini" Style is the topic, and you will learn about getting big yield from small spaces. Call the HHH to register.

Stepping Out For Autism Walk. April 20. The 2nd annual fundraising walk will be held at Mill Pond. All donations will help support the autism programming sponsored by the HHH. Walk starts at 10 a.m., and Hy-Vee will provide lunch at noon. More information available online at www.hormelhistorichome.org or by calling the HHH. 507-433-4243

Minnesota on the Map: A Historical Atlas. Apil 25, noon. Free. A talk with author David Lanegran is being presented as a cooperative Lunchbox History Series and Dewey Lecture Series at the Hormel Historic Home. Sponsored by the MCHS and the Austin Public Library. Call the HHH at 507-433-4243 to sign up.

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