Celebrate Differences Through Reading

Playhouse Ambassador, Cameron, and our Executive Director were honored to be asked to read at Covington Elementary’ s Read Across America event on March 2nd. For us, it’s an easy choice when it comes to reading a book. Our favorite go-to is Different – A Great Thing To Be by Heather Avis. The book not only has engaging imagery, but an amazing message about how being different is a great thing! The cherry on top is that the book features Avis’ daughter, Macy, who happens to rock an extra 21st chromosome.

Cameron chose to confidently read the book, using inflection, hand gestures, and was overall an engaging reader. After reading the story, and even during the story, students from the third-grade class asked several amazing questions about the imagery, Down syndrome, and GiGi’s Playhouse. We spent time celebrating one thing that everyone is good at and talked about how awesome the world is that we are all different but share some similarities. The way our new friends lit up to hear that individuals their age with Down syndrome have danced on The Nutcracker stage in Fort Wayne with the Fort Wayne Ballet, they cheered when Cameron stated that he has been working at his job for over a year, and the young learners celebrated each others’ unique gifts. What an incredibly supportive environment their teacher created.

Cameron was beaming with pride while leaving and called his mother on the way home to tell her about his incredible experience. Thank you to Covington Elementary for creating such an incredible environment where students are not afraid to ask questions, engage, and truly celebrate differences. What book(s) do you like to use when teaching young learners about different abilities?

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