Making An Everyday Difference:
One day an old man went walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing? ”The young man paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean.“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled old man.To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”Upon hearing this, the old man commented, “But, young man, do you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”
-Adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley
First, the Starfish Thrower story really says most of ‘why. ’ At STARs, we want to make a difference to each child that comes through our doors, so that when they exit our doors they are forever changed. I love looking up and seeing the stars. Les Brown once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.” I see stars as something to reach for, a journey; whereas, starfish are accessible. You can hold them in your hand. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. At STARs, we aim high, we aim big, and we shoot for the stars; we get there through small, incremental, doable steps.
All I Really Need to Know, I Learned at Special Games
Adapted from Robert Fulghum
By: Kim Lephart, PT, DPT, MBA, PCS
Every year for the past eight years, I have attended Special Games. Special Games is a Tri-County (Culpeper, Madison, and Orange) Track and Field Event for students with dis-ABILITIES, run by Steve Kropp, APE Teacher. It is a day I look forward to all year; it is my favorite day! For those who have never experienced a Special Games, you are missing out on something truly wonderful! At Special Games, Life's little "pearls" occur everywhere. For those who have experienced a Special Games, you understand you will never be the same.
Here is what I have learned from the kids:
Work hard. Do your best. Many hands really do make light work. We are all good at something. You don't have to wait for someone to tell you to go! Cheer each other on! Running is fine, but skipping is way more fun! Along the way, don't forget to give high fives or to say hello or stop to smell the dandelions. It's okay to cry when you fall. It's good when someone comes to help you up; better when they encourage you; and best when they walk beside you to the finish line! Kindness goes a long way. Everybody looks good in sunglasses. Make time for simple things, like blowing bubbles. Music sounds better when you dance. Food tastes better after you exercise. Shared laughter is priceless. We are all different; and that is a be-YOU-tiful thing!