Bar Harbor School Hosts “Special Needs Awareness Day” 

Elementary students in Bar Harbor lived life with some extra challenges Tuesday.The school hosted a “Special Needs Awareness Day” where students performed everyday tasks with a twist.”I definitely have a better understanding, it’s harder for them to move around and stuff,” said seventh grade student Haleigh Smith.The students of Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor performed different tasks in new and challenging ways as part of “Special Needs Awareness Day.””I think it definitely raises awareness in children, it teaches tolerance of others it shows that kids aren’t necessarily disabled,” said teacher Jeanne Gilpatrick.Stations were set up throughout the gym where students participated in different activities to learn about disabilities and their effects.At the Cerebral Palsy station, students were challenged to spread jelly on bread while someone tugs at their arms.The lesson was to teach students how a message from the body to the brain gets confused.”It was pretty hard because they’re yanking your arms and you’re trying to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” said Smith.The students then wrote their feelings on a board in the gym.Former student Brian Cummings spoke at the event. Cummings is a Freshman at Maine Maritime Academy who has a reading disability. He hopes the students will walk away with a better understanding and appreciation of others.”I definitely had my days when I was down, I didn’t think I would go to college but I had teachers that motivated me,” he said.