MS Means Must Succeed ~
Changing Attitudes Toward the Disabled
Overview MS Means Must Succeed is a five-month program that provides students with an opportunity to become sensitive to the needs and abilities of physically disabled adults. The project teaches the philosophy that people can excel despite their circumstances by demonstrating how science and technology enable disabled people to live useful lives. Students conduct bi-weekly visits to The Boston Home, a residential center serving adults with multiple sclerosis and related neurological diseases. They develop interview skills by talking with residents about their backgrounds and favorite celebrations. Improving writing and computer skills through weekly e-mail correspondence with their pals, students also learn about careers related to working with the disabled.
Assessment Students receive ongoing feedback during the process of writing letters, video reflections and video scripts. Assessment strategies include figurative language quiz, rubric for poems, peer assessment questions, teacher's written and oral comments, whole class discussions, and videotaped reflections.
Software or Materials Used For literature: The Acorn People by Ron Jones 1996: Laurelleaf; Taking Cerebral Palsy to School by Mary Anderson 2000: JayJo Books; Christopher Reeve Triumph Over Tragedy by Judy Alter 2000: Franklin Watts, Inc. & other disabilities-related literature; for T-shirts: cotton T-shirts, Adobe PageMaker 6.5, disposable cameras, inkjet t-shirts iron-on transfers; for videotaping: VHS-C video cassette tape, Avid Cinema - for editing video production; for word processing: Microsoft Office.
Web Sites The
Boston Home; The National
Multiple Sclerosis Society; National
Library Services Sources Circular of Audiovisual Materials on Disabilities;
Disability Employment Partnership; NOBLE
Library Exchange Guide to the World Wide Web for Children; The
Boston Marathon; All
Keywords Service Learning, School to Career, Multiple Sclerosis, Disabled Adults, Physically Challenged, Boston Marathon, Pen Pals, E-pals
Final Words M.S. Means Must Succeed helps students understand that people can live useful lives despite physical disabilities. Students become effective communicators through the use of e-mail correspondence and personal visits. They appreciate friendships formed through these visits.
Teacher Tip Reading literature about disabled children and adults is vital to creating student empathy. Scheduling bi-weekly visits allows momentum to be maintained. Transportation issues must be addressed
Teacher Bio Hazel Sparrow is a seventh grade LD/SAR teacher at the Solomon Lewenberg Middle School, a School to Career school. She has been a middle school teacher in the Boston Public School system for eleven years working with special needs and regular education students. Hazel is a Boston Public Schools Lead Teacher and Mentor. She is also certified as a Rigby Professional Development Facilitator (Life/Supporting Literacy) and works with the Boston Writing Project at UMass Boston. Her students have been published in the "Fun Pages" of the Boston Sunday Globe. Her educational philosophy is to help students excel despite their circumstances and to recognize that what happens outside of school influences, but does not determine success in school. Her goal is to give students the intellectual tools to communicate effectively, whether verbally or in writing.
Subject Areas Language Arts, Social Studies, Technology
Grade Levels 6 - 12
Students Regular & Special Needs