More good news from Brooks Global and Emmanuel's Dream

Several weeks ago I wrote about a school in North Carolina, Brooks Global Studies, which had selected Emmanuel’s Dream as their all-school read and then had Emmanuel come visit them in person! (If you haven’t seen it yet, please go check out the video. It’s pretty amazing!)
Recently, I came across this additional piece of the story, which I hadn’t been aware of… In addition to the shared reading experience and the inspirational visit from Emmanuel, the Brooks Global Studies school community took things one step further by organizing a charity bike drive and were able to collect 210 donated bicycles! The bikes will be shipped to Ghana, refurbished by a repair shop operated by people with disabilities, and then put up for sale there.
What an inspiring, rewarding event for everyone involved. Way to go, Brooks Global Studies! Click here to read the full article, and be sure to scroll through the picture slideshow!

H. Scott Hoffmann/Greensboro News & Record

Emmanuel's Dream as an all-school read

Last year, Emmanuel’s Dream made its way to Cumberland Road Elementary in Fishers, Indiana, as their all-school read, a book selected to be incorporated across the curriculum in all grade levels. The school describes itself as “a school committed to inclusivity and global connectedness,” and they thought Emmanuel’s true story would be a good fit. Students and teachers read the book. I did virtual visits via Skype to answer the students’ questions and hopefully deepen the experience for them. And then everything came together in a serendipitous but impactful event for the entire school community! Here’s a photo from their event:

Emmanuel in front of a sign the children made
Yes, Emmanuel himself showed up, mid-way through his ride across the U.S.!

For the whole article, click here.
More recently, Brooks Global Studies in North Carolina also chose Emmanuel’s Dream as their all-school read! Their mission is to have their studies lead students to “understand how their actions as individuals impact the larger community of their classroom and the school, just as the actions of a single country affects the world.” Again, students and teachers read the book, and I called in via Skype to answer questions from students. And once again, students were in for an exciting surprise, when Emmanuel himself arrived, this time all the way from Ghana! It was a special treat for me, too, since I had a chance to talk to him during one of the Skype sessions.
Here’s a video they made of the inspiring event:
I love seeing how Emmanuel is connecting with kids and inspiring them to follow their dreams! Don’t you?

Celebrate Inclusive Schools Week!


Schools across the country are observing Inclusive Schools Week this week. According to the Inclusive Schools Network:

Inclusive Schools Week is an annual event sponsored by the Inclusive Schools Network (ISN) and Stetson & Associates, Inc., which is held each year during the first full week in December. Since its inception in 2001, Inclusive Schools Week has celebrated the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other factors. The Week also provides an important opportunity for educators, students and parents to discuss what else needs to be done in order to ensure that their schools continue to improve their ability to successfully educate all children.
This year, the Inclusive Schools Week’s theme focuses on the concept of being a hero. This is particularly fitting because the definition of a hero, a person noted for courageous acts of nobility of character, resonates with all of the students, parents, teachers, principals and community leaders who take courageous steps forward each day to promote acceptance for all. The path toward more inclusive educational services has been challenging, yet rewarding. This year, we will focus on the steps along this journey and consider the courage it requires.

Now that’s a mission I can get behind, and I think my book Emmanuel’s Dream, about one of my personal heroes, fits this theme perfectly! Emmanuel is not only a person with a disability, but he’s dedicated his life to creating an inclusive school for students with disabilities and without and his home country of Ghana.
Inclusive Schools Network has more great ideas and resources for celebrating Inclusive Schools Week here.
And Savanna Flakes has some other great suggestions for all ages here on MultiBriefs: Exclusive.
 

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