Although I am no longer in the classroom, I continue to enjoy keeping up with Education and contributing to the knowledge of others through my books and presentations. Also, I am always on the lookout for stories of inspiration and inclusion!
I recently read an article about Shane's Inspiration Playgrounds, which are constructed to make the playground accessible for all children - "regular" kids, and those with disabilities. I am very impressed that 68 such playgrounds have been constructed so far, and even more playgrounds are in the planning stage. (this link provides some info about the playgrounds and a list of locations https://shanesinspiration.org/playgrounds/ )
Shane Alexander Williams, the namesake of the inclusive playgrounds, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease that left him paralyzed from his eye down, and he could breather only with the help of a respirator. After he passed away, his parents, Catherine and Scott Williams, looked for a way to honor their late son. They worked with corporations and other non profits, and within just two years, the first playground was constructed.
Although I am not a parent, I understand that losing a child has to be the very worst thing that can happen to a parent. The order of life is not natural, and the parents are left with a terrible void in their lives, as well as all of their unrealized dreams for their child. I think it takes a great deal of courage to devote so much time and energy to keeping the memory of the child alive while helping others. I find the Williams to be extraordinary people, doing extraordinary things for kids who have longed to be included in the simple things of life, like playing on a playground.
The website www.shaneinspiration.org offers insight into the process of having a playground built near you. Donations are also accepted at this site.
I love the idea of seeing ALL kids happy and participating at the playground!
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®
Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school. if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/
Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading. Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics.
I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired!
Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom. Check them out! http://www.fieldtripzoom.com/
Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book. I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl
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