|Johnson Elementary Kindergarten students are led in a discussion by a volunteer. FTM file.|
However, the schools do a really great job trying to combat that as best as possible with various programs, one of which is in need of volunteers. “Everybody Counts” is an annual program conducted in all three of the Elementary schools with the goal of, according to volunteer coordinator Heather Gorrigan, “mak(ing) our children more aware of the struggles and achievements of people with disabilities.”
Students participate in age-appropriate discussions regarding different disabilities. Each grade level learns about a specific disability and breaks out into small groups to discuss the possible struggles associated with living with such a disability daily. In addition, a speaker with that disability (or a related one) will come to speak to each grade to further the discussion and provider her/his own experiences/answer questions.
The program runs with help from volunteers, who are needed to coordinate these breakout discussions. Gorrigan said that it's important to remember that prior knowledge of the assigned disability is not needed. “After one year of volunteering for this wonderful program, many parents are eager to sign up again,” she said.
So, the Elementary students are counting on you to help them know how “Everybody Counts”.