In 2004, I rebuilt the website for my local Christian grade school and saw that the second-grade class did a course on disability awareness. Talking with the guidance counselor, I learned the course was watching a 30-minute video by Joni Erickson Tada. I volunteered to be a live version of the video and my school visits have continued every year since.
With some of the COVID restrictions still in place, I wasn't sure how this year would work. When I scheduled visit dates in January, the teachers weren't certain about restrictions either, but school administers allowed me to come. My first visit was in a regular size classroom, but two classes of students all crowded into the room to hear me speak. I estimated about 40 kids were present with most of them sitting on the floor. I was frequently looking down toward my feet to make sure I didn't get too close to anyone as I moved around. A week later, I met with a class of 13 students in the school's gymnasium to allow further distancing.
Most of the questions asked were the same as other years, but not entirely. Two students at different schools both wondered how I deal with challenging times or if anything scares me. I might be speaking to seven- and eight-year-olds, but it seems apparent this era of lockdowns is scary to them as well. Presenting at Christian schools, I'm thankful I could point them to looking to God's Word for assurance and trusting Him in whatever may come.
After these school talks, I've felt a new sense of energy again. One school remains, but I don't visit until late May. I'm thankful God has allowed me to share the quad life I've been given and teach the next generation to use any abilities we have, even if a little different from others, to serve Him.