I left my house on foot this morning, and carried my bag of supplies and a basket of crayons up the hill to the school where we have begun our first Prelude program of the school year. Fittingly, I return to the teacher's classroom that started me out on my adventures with ETC Education – Ms. Cline's multi-handicapped class. If you aren't familiar with that story, you can read about it on this blog – the first entry in fact is dedicated to the extraordinary experience I had with her group 4 years ago when she taught at Schwab school. Since then, Schwab has closed and those dear boys have grown and moved on to other classes, schools, and towns, and today I met with an entirely new group of lovely kids.
To be sure, these kids come with their own challenges, as all children do, but they are also guileless and kind with expressive faces and brilliant ideas. I can't wait to get to know them better, make them laugh, see them blossom.
When asked what their favorite stories were, the answers ranged from "Spongebob Squarepants" to "Dinosaurs" to "Buffalos." We played Superheroes, and one girl said she wanted her power to be cutting. She wanted to be able to cut through anything. For a girl who struggles with mastering the fine motor skills necessary for using scissors, that would be a great power indeed.
So what is it that these children want to tell the world with their play? Right now, it is how to be friends and treat everyone well. That struck me as truly timely after having watched the Today Show this morning run segment after segment about the cruelty of people – the danger of genocide in Sudan, a boy who had been lit on fire by his so-called friends. Friendship and kindness are simple concepts that seem so difficult for the world to master.
Stay tuned for the stories to come!