In chapel this morning, Mrs. Grimm was able to introduce two very special speakers, her mom and dad, Mr. and Mrs. Honderd. Her parents presented at chapel today to tell the story of their very special daughter, Kary. Today at school was a day to Celebrate All God's Children and to raise awareness of what it is like to live with a disability. After chapel, Mrs. Grimm's parents brought Kary to the classroom to meet the students. The students had a list of questions prepared for Mr. Honderd about what it is like to raise a daughter with special needs. They learned more about the gifts that Kary shares with her family and how she has taught them all about Jesus' love. It was a very special time in our classroom as the students celebrated Mrs. Grimm and her family!
After recess, the students participated in a variety of activities to help them experience what it is like to live with a disability. They traveled to each of the 3rd grade classrooms and worked with a variety of materials. They tried buttoning their shirt with socks on their hands, keeping their balance after spinning in circles, reading words and numbers that were backwards, and learning about Braille. At each station, they were reminded how difficult it is for some kids to learn and participate in school activities, and they were challenged to think about how they could help someone who struggles with learning.
After lunch recess, we went back to the gym to hear from Mrs. Wielard's dad who was in a bicycling accident 15 years ago and lost the use of his legs. Even though he uses a wheelchair to get around, we learned that he still leads a pretty normal life. He gets out of bed, eats breakfast, drives to work, helps around the house, and even participates in handcycling races. He has won many awards to prove it! Volunteers from each grade level tried out some wheelchairs and experienced how difficult it is to do every day tasks like moving from place to place or getting a book off a shelf while in a wheelchair. Yet, they learned how important it is to not give up but to keep trying and to always have a good attitude about life. Even though people with disabilities struggle at times, there are many areas in which they excel.
At the end of the day, the students had time to reflect on the day and to think about how wonderful God has created their bodies to be. Even though they might complain about all the laps they have to run in P.E., they should be thankful for legs that can run. Even though they might be annoyed by their whining sister, they should be thankful for ears to hear! Even though they might think the sun is too bright, they should be thankful for eyes to see. The students all wrote a little thank you note to God and taped it to their lockers as a reminder of how amazing God is to create our bodies to be able to walk and talk, to be able to see and move.
Today was a very special day, but each and every day is a special day. I am thankful for days like to today to remind us how blessed we are. "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!"