Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cluster Kids = Angels



They call them Cluster Kids. The kids with special needs at the school. Why they call them that, I do not know. Regardless, they are the mentally disabled kids. Levi is one of them.

Every year, their teachers work hard helping the students practice and learn songs in sign language, stories, dances, etc. for a Christmas program for the rest of the school.

Yesterday, was the program. The Cluster Kids come in. They are excited. You can feel their excitement. They look around the room and giggle and laugh and if you are Levi, blow kisses at their mums and dads.

Over the PA system the principal announces that the Cluster Kids are ready and if those classes that want to, they can come down and see the program but that it isn't mandatory.

I have to say, when I heard that, I was shocked and crestfallen. If only you could have seen these children's faces. So bright. So happy. So exuberant to show what they'd been learning. They were going to put on a show for the school!

It was a fleeting moment of shock. I quickly reasoned that all of the teachers would bring their students to the gym despite being told they didn't have to. Why wouldn't they? They did for the Christmas choir concert and other programs by the rest of the students through out the year.....

And what kind of a message would that give and teach students I reasoned if the teachers didn't bring their classes. That these kids were some how less? Nawww! Surely none of the classes would miss out.

As the Cluster Kids performed their program, it wasn't perfect by any means, but as I sat and watched with a huge grin on my face...... no, their bodies and minds aren't perfect, but their spirits are. And that is what I saw. And I hope that the classes that did come, were able to see that too. And to those that didn't come....... well...... all I can say is....... you totally missed out!

14 comments:

  1. All I can say is the principal and teachers that did not participate did their kids a great disservice. After all, what is Christmas for if not to serve one another?

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  2. That is sad that others were unable to enjoy their concert. Hopefully those kids realize what they missed out on.

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  3. I hope Levi and the other kids enjoyed performing, no matter who was watching! And I hope the school powers-that-be get a clue and realize that the message they're sending to the other classes is NOT a good one. Here's to Christmases where everyone is included, and everyone is valued!

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  4. OH Rachel! It was so wonderful and sweet. Those teachers did an amazing job getting the children prepared.

    And, you're right...you WERE smiling from ear to ear. I wouldn't have missed it for anything. It was immediately following my own class program (held in my classroom) so most of my children went home with their parents. I still brought my five remaining students.

    It was awesome!

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  5. Sarah, And while we're on a rant. :D This is CHRISTmas, and didn't Jesus spend most of his time with the disabled? Spiritualy, physically....

    Chastina, It is sad. That is exactly what it is.

    Korrie, They had a great time. They are SO cute. I wish I could post videos of the program but not having permission from all of the students parents I don't feel comfortable putting it up. You'll just have to take my word for it. They did a great job, were so cute, and enjoyed themselves quite a goofy bit.

    Tami, YOU. ARE. AWESEOME! I could just hug you! Thank you for the Christmas gift. Thank you for being my friend!!!!

    It was wonderful and sweet and even more wonderful and sweet that you brought your five remaining students. Wow! You never cease to amaze me. You better get Mr. J next year!!!!

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  6. If it's any consolation, I know, having been in the theater for years and years, that when you are that jazzed to perform, it won't matter if those classes come in - just the remembering of lines and the singing in the big room - that's the exciting part. That's the experience. And Levi saw you there - and that will be enough to have made the whole thing perfect for him. That smiling face of yours would make it for ME.

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  7. Kristen, I know, but it is the principal of the matter...... I'm the Mum. I'm allowed to be over sensitive about stuff like this. :D And what of the teachers? And the hours that they put into getting these kids ready.....

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  8. Rachel- you are right! IMHO I think it should have been mandatory. It sends a terrible message. (Can you please send me the principal's phone number and name, please and thank you. :)) Okay, but really, I am so glad Levi did well and had fun. That is what really matters. And the amazing thing is these kids have the strength AND courage to understand compassion....and I am sure they would be the first to forgive. Aaaaa, again I learn from Levi. He is such an angel.

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  9. I think the principal's attitude was lousy! I used to teach a special ed class in L.A. My "kids" loved performing in the Christmas program. I hope Levi had a lovely, lovely time!!!!!

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  10. I have to agree with K that seeing you there and just performing the play would have been a highlight for Levi, good on him for getting up on stage, I know I would still have great hesitation at doing that!

    A big Boo for the principal for his attitude, imagine if that was the message sent for all of the school performances??? Why does he think your Levi's class is not worth attending? Shame on him :-(

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  11. Jody, I learn something new everyday from Levi. I think that is why God sent him to us. I've much to learn, and Levi is a great teacher. :D He really truly is an angel.

    Anaise, He did. He was beaming from ear to ear the entire time.

    Jen, He made my day. He kept smiling at me and blowing me kisses. Who's heart wouldn't melt?

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  12. I wasn't there because I was out of state, but my mother-in-law who was visiting from out of town said that they were all cheerful and full of Christmas spirit!

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  13. HI Rachel...I'm Emily and Lizzy's mom, Amy. They are in the same class as your daughter, and my son Alex is a froend of Matthew's. I'm sad to erad this. Sad that I didn't know about the program. I would have toted my 2 little babies over there in a minute. I grew up with a mentally handicapped sister and met my husband working with other sweet people at a local place called RAH. One of the things I have loved about this school is the assimilation of these darling people into the bigger classrooms. I don't know if it happens as much anymore, but as kindergarteners, my girls had both Rachel and Christian in their class. It made me so happy. I felt that it was the perfect way for them to learn and develop qualities that make them more like Christ. They learned to be patient, tolerant, kind. ALL the children at that school need experiences where they can learn these sort of things. I am so sorry that this program was not seen by the ENTIRE student body. Sorry I missed it. Every one would have benefitted. :)

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  14. Marseille, They really were!

    Amy, Hello and welcome! I know your kids. :) I've loved the assimilation as well. I think next year they are shipping all of the cluster kids over to the new school by 7 Peaks. I'm pretty bummed about that. I think it will be a great loss to our school.

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