On Thursday, Junior Unit C students had a dress rehearsal with their friends from HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy as they prepare for their shows next week. TPS and HMS students will be performing an HMS-original musical called The Rainbow Sea, which is about a big fish that makes friends with littler fish who are outside of the big fish’s typical circle of friends and family.
JU-C students have been meeting, communicating, and practicing with friends from HMS since December, and their relationships with these new friends has developed over time. When first introduced, the kids played games and learned about each other before being assigned partners.
Luke talked about how their friendships have evolved, “When I first got there I was super nervous. But then after the second day together, I started getting to know my partner and it’s been fun hanging out with kids you don’t see very often, and kids who aren’t exactly like you.”
Many HMS students cannot communicate orally and rely on iPads or computers to share their thoughts and feelings. TPS students have come up with other ways to communicate with their friends as well, such as asking them to blink or smile to communicate “yes” or “no.”
“My partner has a hard time being in control of himself and doesn’t have a device, so he can’t say yes or no,” shared Melanie. “But I connect with him and involve him because I know that even if he can’t show it as well as I could if I was enjoying something, inside it’s making him happy, even if it’s harder for him to express. I try to understand the fact that not everyone is born with the same capabilities and that you have to respect that.”
The culmination of this meaningful partnership will take place next week, as HMS and TPS students perform The Rainbow Sea on Monday, March 18, at 10:30am, and Thursday, March 21, at 1:15pm at HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy, 4400 Baltimore Avenue.
Thank you to JU-C teachers David Stills and Dan Lutes for continuing this incredible partnership with HMS.