Since October, first-graders at Plymouth Creek Elementary have been taking part in a program introducing students to the mission of local nonprofit Hammer of Wayzata, a group that provides services for adults and children with developmental disabilities.
The two-part curriculum, called Unexpected Friendships: Finding the Lands of Courage and Kindness, is progressive and engaging. In October, students read Be Good to Eddie Lee by Victoria Fleming, as well as other suggested books, and painted miniature statues of Ralph, Hammer’s logo mascot. They even met Stacey Rekstein, who’s own developmental disability has been treated at Hammer. The program continued through January with similar teaching material.
Teachers say the inaugural program met its goal of raising awareness for the lives and rights of people living with developmental disabilities, as well as creating a partnership between the schools and the community. Since the pilot program went well, there is hope to continue and improve upon it in years to come. For more information, contact Lynne Dablow at firstname.lastname@example.org.