Arlene is on the SCENE

Posts Tagged ‘schools

tiche.1Forty-six schools, eight states, 6600 students. The third year of the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation’s School Outreach Program was our best yet! From our home state of Rhode Island, to our current homes in New York and Washington, DC, and on out to Chicago and Dallas, we met our goal of reaching more students, teachers and parents than ever.

Our school presentations deepen understanding of disability as difference, something that can be embraced rather than merely tolerated or accepted. With our sequel, Arlene, the Rebel Queen, we added the powerful message that every young person has the potential to change the world. In fact, perhaps the young are best suited to lead us to change! With the addition of our Team CMT Kids program, we provide the opportunity for students to join with us in our mission to one day cure Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT). Be sure to check out our new video of highlights from this year’s presentation.

Having presented at almost 100 schools since first writing Arlene on the Scene, educators are beginning to spread the word on the classroom potential for the Arlene series. We’ve received positive reviews from the School Library Journal, our Teacher’s Guide for Arlene On the Scene has been revised, and many schools have taken advantage of discounted class sets. Both books will also be assessed this summer for their reading levels.

We believe that awareness is an integral part of HNF’s mission to support those living with CMT. We have found that our children’s books and accompanying school presentations have resulted in increased understanding and support for our friends and family members living with CMT, as well as all of those we know who live with all kinds of disabilities and differences. That would include just about all of us!

We look forward to next year, increasing our reach even further. Don’t forget to contact us if you’re interested in a free school presentation in your area.

Thank you letters–

thanl-you-letter-(1)  thank-you-letter-(2)

Advertisements

I’m ready to edit!

I get this question at pretty much every school I visit: Will there be a sequel?

I LOVE this question, because it allows me to shout: Yes! Yes there will be!

I’m working on it now, as I said in the last post. Very hard work, this editing. But for me it’s fun. I get to let my imagination go wild!

The students at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Maryland have offered up their help with the storyline for the sequel. Throughout the year, I heard great ideas from students, especially my buds at Washington Oak in Rhode Island (yes, I still have those scraps of paper you wrote your ideas on). But my friends at JDS actually wrote the first few chapters as a writing assignment!

Oh, they’re great, really great! So many ideas–talk about imaginations going wild! And I love all the cool stuff you put into your writing. I saw metaphors, imagery, hyperbole, just like we talked about. Many of your wrote about camp or the beach, with great details, proving that when you write what you know, it comes out very vivid! Some of you included other characters from the book too. Carlos made several surprising appearances. Some of you had Arlene falling in love (hmm, little early for that maybe? :)), and many showed Arlene in a real way dealing with her leg braces. You all certainly seem to understand the message of the book–gotta live it, but not let it take over everything!

I will gather all your papers and sit down at my computer to finish the sequel this summer, I promise! Stay tuned right here for some sneak peaks early next fall.

To my friends at JDS–thanks for all your ideas and hard work! Keep my email and write me! Let me know how your summers go and what’s happening next year. I’d love to come back and see you!

This has been a powerful school year.  Arlene has proven herself to be a great discussion-starter!  By exploring the book’s themes we jump start conversations about disability, the concept of embracing who you are, and the idea of appreciating, not just accepting, the differences among us.  And of course, everyone we meet now knows what Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and why we need to join together to spread CMT awareness.

We’ve hit over twenty schools this year, from Maryland to Massachusetts, the big cities of New York and Philadelphia to the small towns of southern Rhode Island.  Our travels were chronicled most recently by New York Newsday!

We love seeing Arlene posing on bulletin boards everywhere.  If you have an interest in a free presentation at your school next year, contact us here or email: carol @ hnf-cure.org.

Arlene On the Scene a class favorite!

A fourth grade class in Philadelphia studies Arlene

Arlene on the Scene is a fun way to introduce kids to the idea of celebrating differences, whether those differences involve ability, personality, culture, religion, whatever!   Throughout much of the book, Arlene mistakenly refers to her classmates using labels based on visible characteristics.  At the same time, she struggles to erase her own visible difference.  By the end of the story, Arlene realizes the whole thing should be turned around.  She comes to understand that there is much more to her classmates than what she can see at a glance.  And she must trust that others will see beyond her disability as well.  Trying to “erase” her difference only leads Arlene to further misunderstandings with her peers and a lower self-confidence within.

Arlene on the Scene sends a clear message: it’s all about embracing everything that you are–strengths, weaknesses, differences, the whole package.  When you are comfortable with who you are, lots of other things fall into place!

From our own professional work in schools, we envision this book as an excellent way to spark discussion about disability, difference, self-concept, and a host of valuable ideas for students.  Consider introducing Arlene to your local school counselor, teacher, or principal.  We hope to do school visits as much as we can in our local areas.  Contact us for more information!


Free Teacher's Guide! REVISED for Common Core!

Teachers: Print script from "Rebel Queen" for classroom.

Download Extension Activity here

If you've heard of Bill and Pete, click here

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Arlene On the Scene is proudly sponsored by the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation.

Past entries

Follow Carol_B_Liu on twitter

Advertisements