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Voice is powerful
MEXICO- Students at Mountain Valley Middle School recently spent the day learning about various types of impairment and what therapies are available for the people who suffer. They had many special guests throughout the day, including therapy dogs, local author Bob McPhee, and the author of “Rules,” Cynthia Lord.
Amy Ryder, a teacher at the school enlisted the help of other staff members to bring the day to fruition. They had a full-day-schedule, rotating students to each of the presenters.
“It has been a great day,” noted Ryder. “We wanted to give our kids a real chance to benefit and understand what a disability can do to your life. We hoped they would come away with more compassion and a more powerful voice for those out there struggling.”
Among the various opportunities students had for the day, they observed what an occupational therapist does, learned sign language, were able to pet therapy dogs, they had some team building exercises and even had a class on “Knowing the right thing to say.”
“The eighth grade teachers were pretty nervous,” noted Ryder. “Their students decided that they were going to not talk for an entire day. They used cards as their form of communication. By the end of the day the students and teachers were realizing exactly how powerful voice really is.”
Ryder mentioned that she hopes to make the day an annual project, since they had such a positive outcome with the students.