Morning Announcements to Make a Mom Proud

Usually I am dashing for the door of the school in the morning, trying to get out to my car before the national anthem comes on the PA system (I’m not unpatriotic – just tired), but this morning I am glad that I hung around.  After we sang O Canada, the morning announcements began.  First up were Grace and her friend (we’ll call her Sarah) announcing the project that they have been working on.

When Sarah heard that the place that Maggie has gone to for speech therapy for 6 years was going bankrupt, she immediately wanted to have a fundraiser to help them re-open.  It was really sweet.  They named themselves Angels for Autism and set to work making posters and making plans.  They told me they were setting a meeting with the Vice Principal of the school, and next they invited themselves to present in front of the Make a Difference Committee, which is made up of teachers and older students.  They were unstoppable.
With the fundraising component taken care of by the committee, the girls are using this week to create autism awareness within their school.  Each morning they are going to read a different suggestion taken from Autism Ontario‘s Raise the Flag pamphlet about how to be inclusive and help out classmates with autism.  They are encouraging everyone to wear blue on World Autism Awareness Day, which is Wednesday (Autism Ontario has suggested red for their campaign, but we have already been doing blue for years, so it’s blue), and anyone who does will get an angel stamp on their hand.
I’m really impressed by these girls.  Maggie has moved into the Lifeskills class this month and Grace & Sarah have been a big help in transitioning her out of their class and into her new one.  I always knew how much they care for Maggie, but what has really blown me away is the confidence and initiative that they have shown in creating the fundraiser.  When they are told that they can’t do any part of it, they just tune that part out.  ‘No’ doesn’t seem to make it past their ears and into their brains.  I think I need to be more like that – I’m too easily discouraged, and I am glad to see that my daughter didn’t inherit that.
Maggie helping Grace make one of the Angels for Autism posters.
I recorded their announcement on my phone, and I could kick myself for turning it off after.  I didn’t realize that the next announcement was going to be about Molly.  Molly travelled with her dad and the rest of her team to compete in the provincial finals for Destination Imagination this weekend.  The team constructed a working volcano out of paper mache, designed gear that could be worn in this extreme environment and wrote a script for their presentation.  They placed third at the regional competition last month with a team of 7.  Only 4 of them were able to make it on Saturday, so they reworked the script.  The librarian announced that Molly really stepped up to take on 2 or 3 parts and wore many hats, and that the team did an excellent job.  She also encouraged people to stop and congratulate Molly in the halls.  Two teachers had already done just that on the way in – it was like escorting a celebrity around the halls!

Molly and her literal hat and Nerdguy’s lab coat.

The mighty volcano.
I’m really proud of Molly for sticking with the project after all the obstacles that she has faced in finding and forming a group, working through the many and varied behaviours of the group that she is in, and being brave enough to get up and do the presentation.  Although her team did not qualify for the World Finals in Tennessee, she came home with a big smile on her face, and declared it to be a great day.  She is a winner in everything that counts, and is already planning for next year.
What a great day today was for seeing my children shine, and also for more proof of what an encouraging and inclusive school we are part of.

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