Anything Is Possible When You’re Unstoppable #WATWB

The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit. 

The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by six co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are:
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Sylvia McGrath,
Peter Nena,
Shilpa Garg,
Inderpreet Uppal,
and Belinda Witzenhausen.


To learn more about #WATWB or to join us click here! here! here!
When “My Get-Up-and-Go” is just not there or I have a few aches and pains, just reading inspirational articles like the one below inspires me to get moving again.

Anything Is Possible When You’re Unstoppable

Tracy Schmitt.-

Put Tracy Schmitt in front of an audience and watch her go. She has a million tales to tell—there’s her stint as captain of a 100-foot tall ship in the Eastern Atlantic, the day she won the Rick Hansen Award for her work as an inclusive teacher in Africa, Jamaica, and Mexico, her cameo in Robocop. And that’s just for starters—Tracy has a dozen more stories, each one demonstrating her resilience and hardheaded determination, each one more amazing than the last. If she’s not off on an adventure, she’s working as an advocate and consultant for people living with disabilities. It’s easy to forget that she’s four-way amputee. Tracy may have been born without lower limbs, but she’s always been Unstoppable. On her first day of school, Tracy missed recess because she was helping her new friends put on their shoes. When she was 19, she helped March of Dimes plan a trip, for four people with physical disabilities to Nepal and went along to climb mountains in the Himalayas without her prosthetic legs. Tracy has even won a bronze medal in downhill skiing! Tracy strongly believes that activities organized by March of Dimes are a key part of her success. “Everybody needs to take risks to grow,” Tracy told us in June. “Recreation is that place where you figure it out so you can move your life forward, where you can get out, get your strength up, get social circles started, so you can be independent in daily living.”
And Unstoppable Tracy is always ready to move forward. Though she learned to drive at 16, like most Canadians, she couldn’t afford the $60,000 that she was told it would cost to modify a vehicle for her unique needs. But when she was old enough, March of Dimes Canada helped her through its Home and vehicle Modification Program. “When other people say no, March of Dimes has always had a creative solution.” At March of Dimes Canada, Tracy is one of our own because Tracy not only benefited from some of our programs, she also worked with us. As an employee, Tracy was Director of the Summer Holiday Program, supervising 65 staff members. She was also staff in our Recreation Department, helping to plan accessible excursions and vacations.
Clearly, Tracy has experienced the impact of MODC from both sides, and she’s made an impact of her own in the process. Very few people have such a personal understanding of how donated funds change lives every day. Thanks to your generosity, our programs helped Tracy build a foundation for her inspiring work. And Tracy is truly an inspiration. “Doing these activities with March of Dimes gave me skills and confidence to go on into the employment world and be a valuable contributor to society. And now I’m giving back by working with people with disabilities. Because MODC had my back, now I’ve gone on to have everyone else’s back.” Congratulations, Tracy—we can’t wait to see what’s next for you!
For more information or to join our #WATWB please click here!


Professor Owls Book Corner~March 2019~Special Parent’s Edition


Welcome to the March 2019 Issue of  Professor Owl’s Book Corner Newsletter where in addition to supporting those with special needs and learning challenges, we are also committed to being more focused on YA/New Adult reading and literacy.  We will be featuring tips from a certified literacy tutor to help make your reading experience the best it can be.

We will also be encouraging young writers and artists with tips, writing exercises and will still be updating our Community News Boards with the latest news from Variety Village and The March of Dimes.

With March break upon us Professor Owl’s Book Corner hopes you enjoy this month’s parental edition! Please feel free to give us your feedback on our new issue, also send us any ideas you may have to help Professor Owl’s Book Corner be all that it can be.  We look forward to hearing from you and to bring you a new, more interesting newsletter.

Creativity for Children 

March Break Boredom?  Try these ideas! Journaling



It’s March break again, the time of year that strikes fear into the hearts of many parents.  What can you do to occupy and inspire your child during the week? 

  Are you going on a long drive or flight and are worried about how to keep your child occupied other than movies and gadgets?  Create an age-appropriate travel kit for your child.  Pack an inexpensive tote with journals, markers, coloured pencils, stickers, glue sticks, watercolours and drawing tablets.  Along the way encourage your child to keep a travel journal. At every stop have them pick up inexpensive postcards and incorporate them into their journal, writing about each stop.  This will not only keep your child occupied but also enable them to have a lasting memory of their travels.    

 Not traveling? No Problem!  If feasible, plan day trips to museums, theatres and your local zoo.  Have your child pick up postcards, ticket stubs and programs to add to their travel journal.  Is your child a budding artist? Have them take a sketchbook along as well.  Want to get out of the house?  Create an “around town” scavenger hunt.  By using a relatively inexpensive disposable camera give your child a list of items to photograph right in your own backyard.  Make it a “Signs of Spring” list i.e. bird, flower bud, chipmunk, etc. Another option does your child love cars?  Take them to a car show or around the neighbourhood looking for different cars, for example, the oldest car, the biggest car, a red car, etc.  Once all of the pictures have been taken have them developed and have fun with your child creating a special collage. 

 Local craft stores, libraries, and community centers may offer classes on everything from pottery to bead making helping your child to create a lasting treasure.  For inexpensive creative ideas often you don’t have to look any further than your local dollar or craft store. 

 Not only do creative pursuits help pass the time they also give your child tools to live a creative life.  Creating helps give your child a sense of accomplishment and boosts their self-confidence.  Learning how to tap into their creativity helps them find solutions to problems by teaching them how to think “outside the box”.  Another benefit of being creative is that your child also learns how to express themselves, learn new skills and discover their unique attributes.  

“Creativity is really the structuring of magic.” ~ Ann Kent Rush 

 Creative challenge for March Break:  Choose at least three creative activities to enjoy with your child this week. 

 This week’s affirmation:  I teach my child to discover their creative potential. 


In this video, the teacher leads her students through activities that begin with a previous homework assignment and lead up to reading an authentic science article. The teacher uses a series of scaffolded steps to develop students’ critical thinking and to prepare them to understand and discuss the technical article they read together in class. At the end of the class, the teacher explains her rationale for how she structured the lesson and reflects on what went well and what she changed or adapted as the lesson progressed


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