looking for the kids

In the last few days, sometimes I’ve wondered where the kids have gone. It’s quiet in the school. I can hear people moving around and talking… but the sound levels are down, manageable, not the sounds of twenty-two kids moving around and doing things. I wander out of the office and around the school to look for them.

Some can be found learning to knit and making their own knitting needles with Melanie.

Others are struggling through weaving coil baskets with Elizabeth.

A bunch make paper houses and art for a piece of lint named Bad Bug.

Others use the laser cutter to make grabbing prosthetic hands.

And while sometimes there are occasional trips to Safeway…

…they always return laden with potatoes (or other things), ready to focus and explore.

Each time I wonder where the kids have gone, it turns out that all twenty-two kids are in the building. They’re just focused. Exploring.

putting limits on hands

To prepare for a visit from an expert in prosthetics and living with only one hand, the collaborators led a series of experiments this morning for the kids in working with a hand impairment of one form or another. They taped down their thumbs or all their fingers or restricted the movement of their digits.

They tried using scissors…

putting toys together…

hanging pieces of fabric with clothespins…

…and eating snack.

Keiron McCammon, our expert for the day, arrived in the late morning while we were gathered for snack. When he held up his prosthetic hand and showed everyone how it could turn 360 degrees, there were wide, shocked eyes and an immediate flurry of questions from our flock of curious kids.

The kids broke into bands and a few had to be dragged away from Keiron so that each band could have all the time they needed to ask questions and get the full story on Keiron’s experiences living with one hand, the prosthetics he uses for different activities (bike riding, exercising, the everyday), and how he gets by tying his shoes or brushing his teeth.

Meanwhile, the school filled up with the mouthwatering smells of Peter and Kristie’s expert activity: making homemade raviolis for lunch.

Josh helped some of the kids make their own pieces of rope to continue practicing with knots.

Chane presented a fashion challenge and a few of the kids created clothing for a brief fashion show at the end of the day.

And we finished the day with Art Lab, doing flash drawings of Audrey, Logan, and Norabelle.

Then Gever and the kids rigged a piece of glass so that they could try drawing and tracing directly from life.