MBE-circle of friends
MBE Students Ralph Cook, Grace Hull, Ella Cobbs, Robert Reed, Sydney Porter and Jacob Fridy with Lakeshore Foundation athletes Katie Holloway and Bob Lujano.
Circle of Friends at Mountain Brook Elementary is a weeklong celebration that directs attention to the fact that each of our students possesses unique characteristics that make our learning community diverse.
Two special events were held during Circle of Friends Week. First, Hand in Paw volunteers brought three trained dogs, Kosmo, Sally and Simon, for a special presentation to students in preschool through second grade. Here students learned about the Hand in Paw handlers and how their animals help at numerous facilities to improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults. They serve those with physical, emotional, educational or psychological needs through interactions with the professionally trained Animal-Assisted Therapy Teams.
Later in the week, Lakeshore Foundation’s Wheelchair Athletes visited third through sixth grades to illustrate that despite having a disability, they adapted so they could continue to participate in and enjoy sport opportunities. Lakeshore Foundation promotes independence for persons with physically disabling conditions and provides opportunities to pursue active, healthy lifestyles. The facility offers a wide range of fitness, recreation, athletic and education programs to children and adults who experience diagnostic conditions including spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, amputation, and visual impairment.
Bob Lujano, a disabled athlete, brought several of his sport wheelchairs and showed the children how he continues to compete in such sports like wheelchair rugby and basketball. Katie Holloway, who has a prosthetic leg, spoke of her competition at the recent Bejiing Olympic games, wowing the audience with the silver medal she won for sitting volleyball. Several students were able to hold and wear her medal!
All week the MBE news team broadcasted messages on “Lights, Camera, Action,” and teachers read books to encourage class discussions about attending school with children who have special needs, whether they be physical or cognitive.
Additionally, the week honored the special education staff, which includes 20 teachers, therapists and assistants. Appreciation was shown through bringing snacks, providing a luncheon, and giving the staff gift baskets.