5 Easy Ways to Celebrate Exceptional Children's Week
The CEC initiated Exceptional Children's Week as a means to educate the public about children with exceptionalities and garner support for Special Education. Since its inception, this week has served to spotlight the capabilities of children and youth with exceptionalities and the programs that support them in their communities.
If your school or community needs help with coming up with activities to promote Exceptional Children's Week, I recommend the following:
1. Present awards to teachers, parents and local community individuals, such as outstanding educator, outstanding employer of persons with disabilities, or parent of the year. This is a good way to recognize outstanding contributions to students with exceptionalities.
2. Profile historical or famous people with disabilities. Each morning, principals or student leaders can read the profile of successful people with disabilities such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Whoopie Goldberg, Walt Disney, Stevie Wonder, etc.
3. Sponsor a Movie Night. Everyone likes a good movie and there are several films about people with disabilities who triumphed in life. To name a few, "Temple Grandin" is the story of one woman with autism who succeeds against the odds, or "The King's Speech" which is about King George VI who overcame a severe stammer with the help of a supportive speech therapist.
4. Invite local college students and professionals who have disabilities to speak to students. What a positive way to show all students that even with a disability, one can still be successful and lead a successful life.
5. Encourage all students to read books about individuals with exceptionalities in their classes. This is a great way to encourage reading and expose other students to people who may be different or like themselves.
No matter what you do, do something. Make sure you celebrate Exceptional Children's Week and help spread the word about Special Education and children and youth with disabilities.