There is simply nothing more amazing, genuine and honest than the spirit of a child. They'll tell you exactly what's on their mind, no question is out of the question and all commentary is fair game. The students of the Walker Elementary School SAFE program were no different. They asked me if my legs were robotic and if my friend Jordan's (who is a survivor of a SCI) legs were "complete." A child's curisosity is just that, curiousness. It's about wanting to know about the unknown, so they just ask, and I love it! How else do you accomplish true awareness if you don't simply ask?
But, their spirit was even brighter. TAC's ASAP program was asked to come out to the Walker SAFE Program in honor of their, "There is no such thing as disABILITIES, only possibilities" week. When the program's leader, Joanne, called me and asked that we simply come out and do a wheelchair sports demonstration -- my immediate respone was; "how about we get the kids in chairs themselves?" Joanne was so excited! While a demonstration is fun, it's way cooler for the kids to get in a wheelchair and play for themselves. This experience not only open's their eyes, but breaks down the walls of the "unknown" for them, helping able-bodied students better understand their "disABLED" peers. So, not only did we bring out some chairs, but I brought out some of their peers; Travis (8) and Mark (15) -- the Walker kids got to see first hand what amazing athletes Travis and Mark are. This is what we do, we open eyes and break down barriers through inclusion -- Don't just watch, DO!
So where do the popsicles come in? Let me tell you. We do not charge for our ASAP program. When we're called, we come. But the Walker SAFE Program took it upon themselves to help their peers with disABILITIES by selling popsicles with the goal of raising $100. They knew $100 would purchase 1 square foot of The Ability Center. This is the bright spirit I spoke of. It was not required that they raise $100. I did not ask them to raise $100. They decided on their own that it was important to help their peers. 50 popsicles later, the students of Walker Elementary's SAFE Program are the newest "owners" of The Ability Center and the perfect example of how when a community comes together, dreams can come true.
Thank you Walker SAFE Students, we had a great time!
For more photos visit our ASAP Facebook Page.