Here are some pictures from the experience of our partnership with ThumbsUp International (scroll over them for captions). Talk about empowerment!
Kerry visited most classes twice during the season. During her first visit, we introduced her story and had children overcome their fear of working with her. Their questions about what happened and her physical appearance were both innocent and direct. We spent a lot of time speaking of why they shouldn't feel "sorry" for Kerry. How she does all sorts of things from scuba diving to triathlons. Integrating her to the class, and taking turns pushing her in the carrier helped change the perception of what Kerry can and can't do.
The second meeting consisted of children being assigned a disability, and having to complete a goal with that disability such as run to the other side of the field, back, and drink water. Those assigned with a disability understood they would not be able to accomplish their goals without the assistance of an able bodied friend. Those who assisted realized how great it felt to help someone. It was a powerful experience for both the children, as well as us grown-ups who stepped back and watched the children struggle but eventually reach their goal one way or another.