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kids standing near playground
Marlize and Ava near the painted obstacles at the playground

By Melissa Colwell, BVI Itinerant Teacher

A cozy rural school warmed our hearts this fall with their kindness toward a new student. Moving to a new school can be scary and for Emma, this is her second new school this school year. Upon her arrival to Port Elgin Regional School, both staff and students welcomed Emma and her two sisters whole-heartedly. Emma has a visual impairment, which was making it difficult for her to locate obstacles on the playground. Administration at Port Elgin Regional immediately requested custodial staff to paint all the obstacles with bright highlighting paint that were blending in with the background. The job was completed immediately, which I noticed on my next visit to the school.

The principal was not excited though, he thought it needed a second, more detailed coat of paint, so he turned to two grade 7 students, Marlize and Ava.

The girls eagerly accepted this task and went through the playground carefully painting all the obstacles. When the girls were finished, administration offered them “mariner bucks” as a reward for their hard work and act of kindness toward a fellow student. They politely refused, indicating that it was for such an important cause, they did not wish to receive a reward. Therefore, Marlize and Ava, Emma would like to thank you for your kindness and hard work! You have made a huge difference to her experience at Port Elgin Regional School and have made her adjustment much easier.

Serving Children & Youth Who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing/Blind or Visually Impaired