Have you ever visited a children's museum? They are amazing facilities which stimulate creativity and encourage educational play sparking a child's imagination. Children are given the opportunities to learn about everything from automation, to agility, to the arts. A place where kids are actually encouraged to be whomever they want to be. (I so wish they had something like this when I was a kid!)
For our 'Making a Difference to a Child' spotlight this week, we'd like to draw attention to two such facilities we have had the honor of working with over the last year, The Building for Kids in Appleton, WI, and The Discovery Center in Rockford, IL. The Directors, Staff, and Volunteers who give of their time and talents for these organizations are to be commended.
If you have a children's museum in your area, let us know how they make a difference for your community. We would love to highlight them. We also hope to work with as many more as we can while spreading the message of 'A Different Little Doggy'. To those of you who volunteer or work with one of these organizations, THANK YOU for making a difference!
We all know teachers make a difference to children, so for July, we thought we'd highlight one special teacher making a difference in multiple ways. Meet Allison Schley.
Allison teaches language concepts to deaf and hard of hearing children, but it goes beyond the kids. She also teaches parents and regular ed staff about hearing loss and how to interact with those who experience hearing loss. Her teaching makes a positive impact on both children and their families.
Allison is also the author of 2 Forever Friends... a charming children's book about a boy and a dog who are both deaf, but become life long friends. Life in silence can be hard on both dogs and people. 2 Forever Friends helps teach children to be accepting of those who are different due to hearing loss. Her books help kids relate to characters who are different, so they can see we are all special.
When asked how she makes a difference for children, Allison stated "I teach them to embrace their hearing loss, not hide it. I show them to be proud of who they are."
Personally, I think the biggest way Allison makes a difference is by promoting acceptance. It's when we don't understand something that we fear it and may experience anxiety. Understanding, on the other hand, brings about acceptance. When we understand something, there's no reason to fear it.
Thank you Allison (and your own different little doggy) for all you do for children.
July is National Make A Difference To A Child Month... a time to focus on the many, many opportunities in our day that each of us can positively impact a child whether it be our own or the child of another. If you're short on ideas, here's a few to kick off the start of your month:
How many ways do you, friends, or family members make a difference for children every day? Please share your stories.
Who Are We:
A Different Little Doggy is primarily a children's picture book promoting self-esteem, acceptance, tolerance, and friendship to children ages 4-8.