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Helping kids be a STAR

One of the challenges that people with disabilities often face is a lack of knowledge in the people around them. Michigan District Aktion Club Administrator Gordon Schleicher is using video to inspire and inform their peers—and to start a valuable discussion. 

With help from a Kiwanis International Foundation grant, Schleicher has produced four short videos to help elmentary school children recognize the talents of peers who have disabilities. Each “Be a STAR” video features an elementary school student who has a disability describing what he or she likes and excels in. Each is less than three minutes and has closed captioning.

Gordon's videos respectively feature a child on the Autism spectrum, a child with hearing loss, a child with Down syndrome and another with cerebral
palsy. Gordon says the videos were inspired by the life of Richard Prangley, a friend who has a developmental disability and has overcome many challenges—such as being placed in an institution for 16 years—to become an advocate. In fact, Prangley speaks to Kiwanis clubs and other groups.

So far, more than five thousand people have used the videos. If you or your club would like to do so, they're easily available on YouTube
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