A Plus: Olmsted Falls Helping Hands

And thanks to the teachers at Olmsted Falls Intermediate for sharing this week's A Plus with us.

This week, the award goes to the school's 30 fifth-graders who are building understanding and appreciate for their classmates with disabilities. The students participate in a district-wide program called, "Helping Hands". The group works together to educate, empower, and embrace students with disabilities.

In January, the district held "Celebrating Differences Week." They recognized students with different disabilities, such as vision impairment, Autism, Down Syndrome, and the less visible ones like Dyslexia and anxiety.

They created a 2 day simulation event that allowed fourth and fifth graders, and their teachers, to participate in activities to help them see what it's like to experience school with a disability. One rotation was called, "Walking In Someone Else's Shoes."

We heard from Intervention Specialist Erin Des Forges, who is also the school's Helping Hands advisor, along with co-teacher Cindy Zahorchak. Ms. Des Forges tells us: "The event was new to our building this year "and a great success. "All the kids and teachers not only learned "but seemed to enjoy the simulations as well."

Well we're glad to see more schools celebrating differences in innovative ways. So here's an A Plus to the Helping Hands at Olmsted Falls Intermediate school.

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