Dear 5th Graders,
Every person you come in contact with is amazing in their own way. Some may have a face filled with freckles. Others may be able to roll their tongue or cross their eyes. Did you know some people can’t wink? There are so many things inherent to our bodies and minds that make us who we are. We inherit these traits from our parents, but even siblings can be very different. From birthmarks to limb differences to asthma, everyone is unique.
Each and every one of you brings something special to the classroom. Josie is missing the very tip of her 18th chromosome and that’s what makes her spectacularly amazing. Just like curly red hair, a beautiful birthmark, or food allergies make you unique, Josie’s chromosomal differences are her superpower.
Josie may learn to do things slower and requires extra help, but she is exactly like you in every way. She enjoys YouTube and unboxing videos. She can’t wait to play Roblox after school. She loves to sing and perform. She takes ballet lessons and has a great time with her friends.
Always assume Josie is capable. Even when she is not talking, she is taking in everything you are saying. She has an amazing ability to retain everything she hears from facts to song lyrics. I have no doubt she’d give you a run for your money at any trivia game. Sometimes it takes Josie a little longer to respond, but she always gets there in her time.
Josie needs her circle of friends to support her both in good times and when things get difficult. You know how it feels to be faced with a task that seems insurmountable, it could be tying your shoelaces or solving a three digit multiplication problem. When your friends are around you, reminding you that you are an integral part of the group, challenges become manageable.
Everyone is unique in their own way. No matter how different someone seems, everyone wants to feel included. Invite someone new to join your game at recess, make sure no one is ever sitting alone at lunch, and reach out a hand if someone needs help.
You are more alike than different.