Trenton Students take part in Special Needs Awareness Day
Hope Paulos is a University of Maine graduate. ” I don’t see myself as any different than anyone else,” said Paulos. The only thing that is different about Hope, is that she’s legally blind. ” There are a lot of people that are worse off than I am,” said Paulos. She’s sharing her story with students at Trenton Elementary School as part of Special Needs Awareness Day. ” I can play bass guitar. I can do anything that a sighted person can do, except for drive,” explained Paulos. Students listened to Hope’s story and then got a chance to take part in activities designed to show them what it’s like to have disabilities. For some students, the lessons hit close to home. ” I live with a person with special needs, my cousin, and I like to see people who treat them equally,” said Mya Miller, a 7th grade student at Trenton Elementary School. For other students, they learned how technology is helping people overcome their disabilities. ” I think it’s pretty cool how we have braille computers and maybe something like a program on the iPad that can help blind people do it,” said Dane Vanzura, a 7th grade student at the school. Special Needs Awareness Day is an annual event at the school. It’s a way to make kids less nervous about interacting with people who might be a little different than they are. ” Some gratitude for what they have, some appreciation for the challenges other people have,” said Susan Whitby, a speech language therapist at Trenton Elementary School. For Hope, she loves sharing her story. ” Never ever give up because if you do give up, then you’re gonna be down even more. You’re gonna be at the bottom even more,” explained Paulos. She wants kids to know, no matter what hand you’ve been dealt, there’s always hope.