Dylan Horne, 10, is going to Morgan's Wonderland in San Antonio after winning a national contest.
Horne is a third grade student at Bryant Elementary. He and his twin brother are both autistic. While he is exposed to many different situations and activities, Horne's communication deficits and sensory needs make it impossible for the family to provide a safe experience at a regular amusement park.
According to Horne's teacher Jane Sago, his personality is infectious. He loves fun, craves love from everyone around him and returns the affection in many ways. "Dylan has wiggled his way into the hearts of all that have the pleasure of interacting with him," she says.
One hundred teachers nominated a student and his or her family for a chance to win the trip to Morgan's Wonderland. The nominations were posted to the WeAreTeachers online community and received more than 40,000 votes over a three-week period. After the voting period, the top 20 nominations with the most votes were sent to a selection committee. After several days of deliberation, the committee selected Horne as the winner of this year's contest, based on merit.
The grand prize includes a three-day, two-night trip for four, valued at $5,000.
As the nominating teacher of the grand-prize winner, Sago receives a $2,500 gift card for products from PCI Education, the premier provider of resources for students with specialized instructional needs.
Morgan's Wonderland is a 25-acre theme park designed specifically for children and adults with special needs, their families, caregivers and friends. The park is completely wheelchair-accessible and features more than 25 elements and attractions, including rides, playgrounds, gardens and an eight-acre catch-and-release fishing lake. Morgan's Wonderland is a unique oasis that allows people of all abilities to play, learn and share life-changing experiences together in a fun and safe environment.
Click here for more information about Morgan's Wonderland.