Today was MPS Awareness Day (observed) at the kids' school. It was an incredible day that I will forever remember fondly.
I approached the principal and teachers months ago with a desire to do something school wide. We had always focused on the individual classrooms, but now that Waverly & Oliver are at the same school I wanted to tap into the entire community. Everyone was on board and thought that a simple wear purple campaign would be a great way to get kids interested and involved. The student council approved our request (yes, Wavey's teacher actually had to go before them and ask them to support the idea). Kids made posters reminding everyone about today and it has been mentioned on their morning school news all week.
I had to be at school for a volunteer appreciation luncheon, which was perfect timing. I was so excited to see how the school responded to our wear purple request. When I arrived, their was a gym class on the field running laps. The kids were older and I was so excited to see that well over half of them were wearing something purple. As I walked into the school and passed the playground, I was moved to tears. A bunch of kids were at recess and almost all of them were wearing purple. I was overwhelmed by such a simple act that spoke volumes.
I popped into Waverly's classroom and everyone was wearing purple. The teachers and aides who work with Waverly are INCREDIBLE!! We are so fortunate to attend such a great elementary school that values special education.
When I arrived at the lunch, even a bunch of the other moms were wearing purple!! I haven't really formed relationships with any of the parents. There are a few within the special needs classes that I know, but no one in the "main stream" classes. I ate with a few lovely moms, one of whom also has a first grader. Her daughter is in the class Waverly joins for music, art, PE, etc. She told me her daughter was super excited to wear purple today to support Waverly.
After the lunch, Waverly and her aide were going to be in the first grade classroom making bracelets for MPS Awareness Day. Miss Erin, Wavey's aide, got purple beads and letter beads that spelled Waverly & MPS. The kids each made a bracelet in celebration of the day. When I walked into the classroom, the tears started to flow again. I actually had to back out and compose myself. EVERY child was wearing purple. Waverly was sitting on a rug in the front of the classroom and no less than 10 kids were surrounding her. They were patting her head, rubbing her back, handing her a "Sammy the Seal" book. When I came in they were excited to tell me that they met Oliver, too. (They really loved him!) They showed me their purple shirts and bracelets. They asked me to spell Waverly's name for them as they strung their beads. They asked questions. The teacher told me that Waverly was the most popular first grader.
I stopped by Oliver classroom. His teacher had hung photos up of the class in the purple tee shirts they had made. They also made a really cool poster for MPS Awareness Day. Of course, the preschool staff was decked out in purple.
Here are a few photos from our day. (I don't want to put photos up of other people's children.) The first is Oliver with his teachers. The second is Waverly & Oliver under the purple ribbon Oliver's teachers made. And the third is Waverly with Miss Erin.
Today was so much more than I could have ever imagined. I was expecting a smattering of purple around the school. Instead, it was everywhere. Almost all of the kids and staff were wearing purple. Such a simple act, that may have seemed meaningless, However to this mom, it was an overwhelming show of support. It was an obvious reminder that kids who are different matter.
Awareness for MPS was most definitely achieved in Vienna today. And I think that the hearts and minds of the students at VES were positively impacted by the simple gesture of wearing purple to show support for their schoolmates.
Thank you VES teachers, staff and administration for making today such a success!!!