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Holiday Play Supports Northville Students with Autism

Northville's Genitti's Hole-in-the-Wall and a local children's theater are raising funds for Northville's Sprouts autism program.

A Sprouts student listens to instructor Kelly Garland during music enrichment. Credit: Northville Sprouts autism program
A Sprouts student listens to instructor Kelly Garland during music enrichment. Credit: Northville Sprouts autism program
Enjoy a holiday play, meet Santa and savor some hot cocoa and cookies this weekend all while supporting Northville Public Schools Autism K-5 program.

"Cookies, Cocoa and Santa!" is Sunday in Northville at Genitti's Hole-in-the-Wall Theater, 108 East Main St., and will support enrichment initiatives for Thornton Creek Elementary's Sprouts autism program.

"We're looking at how the arts can enrich children with autism," said Laurie Kondek, Sprouts mom.

She said a new music program has already been successful and the goal is to add more classes like those on visual arts, dance, or even yoga. She said these types of programs increase the social skills of children with autism and keeps them in the classroom longer.

"They can learn more if they can attend longer, and they can attend longer by using some of these skills in the enrichment programs," she said.

Genitti's, children's theater donate 100 percent of proceeds

All proceeds from the event will go toward adding these programs for the children. Local children's theater Spotlight on Youth is comprised of actors 5 years old and up who will perform their holiday play, which officially opens Thursday at Canton's The Village Theater, for the fund-raiser.

"They are coming out on a Sunday a few days before their show opens and doing this for us for free," Kondek said. 

Doors open at 3:30 p.m. for cookies and cocoa at Genitti's. Santa Claus will be available for free photos, and attendees will then be invited into the theater for the 20 to 30 minute holiday play "A Wonderful Worldful of Christmas" by the all-youth cast. The play includes chances for the audience to sing along. 

"We are so humbled by the generosity of Spotlight on Youth and Genitti's Restaurant. Without even taking a breath, both Laura Genitti and Barbara Boom of Spotlight on Youth, enthusiastically offered to host this fund-raiser for our Sprouts," Kondek said. 

Tickets are $10 each. Seats are limited and can be reserved by calling 248-349-0522.

The Sprouts Autism K-5 program also received a grant from the Northville Education Foundation. For more details on the Sprouts program or the event, email sproutswatchusgrow@gmail.com. 

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