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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

High Fives and a Big Heart

A friend of mine sent me a book called "High Fives and a Big Heart."

It is a book written and illustrated by Jeffrey (who has Down syndrome) and his 4th grade classmates and friends. The kids are spreading the message about having a friend with a disability, and encouraging friendships between kids with and without disabilities.

The book talks about Jeffrey - his likes, dislikes, hopes, personality, struggles, and accomplishments. They balance things he struggles with (Following directions, he just forgets. Needs help getting back on track.) and things he is good with (Whatever he is doing, he will not give up. Great artist. A fast runner. Arm wrestling. Expert on the monkey bars.)

They talk about the ways he is a great friend (Reaching for a cookie that a classmate couldn't reach, helpful at the end of the day if they forget something.)

It's a wonderful and inspiring book from kids' points of view of having Jeffrey in their lives.

This book is second in a series from McKayla's Voice. Mikayla’s Voice develops and supports inclusive programs that educateinspire and empower kids of all ages and abilities. They seek to:
  • Educate ~ kids about inclusion and it’s importance.
  • Inspire ~ kids to get involved and ensure everyone is included in all activities.
  • Empower ~ kids to make a difference.
Through generous grants and donations a copy of High Fives and a Big Heart will be sent to every elementary school in New Jersey (where Jeffrey and his classmates are from). Principles will be encouraged to share it with each classroom in their school before finding it's home in the library. Just as was done with the book Our Friend McKayla to elementary schools throughout Pennsylvania.

A couple of my favorite quotes from the book:

"... but it does not matter what you look like on the outside. It matters what you are on the inside and Jeffrey couldn't be any better than he already is."

and

"All kids are different ... so kids with disabilities are no different than us."

I'm looking forward to reading this to Kayla's classmates for World Down Syndrome Day. You can order a copy of the book here.

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4 comments:

Tee said...

Thankyou for sharing this book - its defo a must for my class!

lovemy3 said...

That is awesome. I think I need to get a few copies.

Becca said...

Wow, sounds like a great book!! Checking it out now...

Lex said...

I LOVE BOOKS! I can't wait to read this one.