Connections between 101 Mobility® and the Local Disability Resource center put us in touch with Vanessa Bishop, the Lead Teacher for the Specially Designed Academics – Daily Living class at Codington Elementary.
We spent some time on the phone with Ms. Bishop earlier this week pre-planning, then today Joseph, Ben, Monique, and I went to the school and met with Ms. Bishop, all her students, the principal, and the school's manager of public relations.
Joseph carefully measured each child and their equipment while the teacher helped us discuss costume possibilities with several children in the class who are chair-bound. All of the kids are non-verbal, but are completely sentient and were able to understand who we were and why we were there. As we spoke to the kids their body language changed, some could smile (some of the biggest smiles you’ve ever seen) and others made shrieks of excitement.
It was a humbling and exciting experience – the kids became very attached to us very quickly. Monique made quite a few new friends, as did Joseph, Ben, and myself.
We’ve returned with specifics for the costume design and are acquiring the materials. On Wednesday, the marketing team and Joseph will head back to the school to set up each of the costumes. The school will then have Ms.Bishop’s class participate in a parade assisted by children from other classes. We’ll be on-site to watch and record the event. Mr.Dingwall, the school’s principal emphasized how important it is to bring awareness to just how courageous and smart the children of Ms.Bishop’s class are, so local news outlets are being invited to write stories.
We’ll have a Mario in a Mario Kart, a fireman in a fire truck, A DJ and his Turn Tables, A Cinderella in her carriage, and more.
This picture is of a little girl named Sierra. Sierra is going to be Cinderella. She couldn’t speak, but you can see on her face how she felt about the costume while we were talking to her about it.
Congratulations – This is the company you work for and the type of people you work with. I’m glowing with pride to be a part of something great with each of you. It’s clearer to me than ever that our opportunities together are so much larger than each of ourselves or our brand.