Friday, September 24, 2021

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain



I live in Pittsburgh, Pa, which is a very big sports town.  Pittsburgh boasts three major league teams - The Pirates, The Penguins, and The Steelers. Most people, I would guess, know the names of at least half of the players on all three teams, and those players are revered.

A young man named JuJu Smith-Schuster has played for the Steelers organization since 2017.  A fan favorite, the entire city came together for him when his bicycle was stolen!  (He did not own a car at the time.)  JuJu has a great work ethic, a big smile, a bigger heart, and he has endeared himself to many Pittsburghers, just by being himself. He is my personal favorite. 

This past week, JuJu visited the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, and to say he was a hit is an understatement.  JuJu first met some students from the school a few years ago at a Dick's Sporting Goods event.  He wanted to visit the school sooner, but the pandemic prevented that from happening.  On this visit, he met with students in classrooms, and in an assembly, where students waved their Terrible Towels to welcome him.  Students taught him to sign some key words in football life - words like his name, "defense" and 'offense."   

The school's CEO had a message that he hopes JuJu can see that despite their deafness, the students were just as excited as any other kids to meet a Pittsburgh Steeler like JuJu.

I loved what JuJu had to say about this visit - that it is important to support and show love to the community, both on and off the field.  He gets it.  JuJu knows that he can make a real difference for others through his kindness, his presence, and his actions. Although he is still a young man, JuJu shows his care and concern for others through the visits he makes and the time he spends in the Pittsburgh community.  He is a fine athlete, and an even finer example of a man who understands the importance of helping others, and a great role model.  

Number 19, JuJu Smith-Schuster,  is number 1 with me. 

Here is a link to see JuJu at The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. 

Another great article about JuJu's visit:

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestionsRittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite GRADY GETS GLASSES (and me) into your school, in person, or on Zoom. Email us at

I do college and university presentations for student teachers with my practical "Dede's Three C's for Classroom Success: Confidence, Communication, and Creativity" in person or via Zoom. Please email me at

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with groups called Field Trip Zoom and Streamable learning . We will come into YOUR classroom via ZOOM. GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone. Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available 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! 

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  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
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