On Wednesday, March 14th, The Summit School celebrated Learning Differences Awareness Day, a 20 year tradition for the school. Each year, The Summit School reserves a day in March to come together as a school to celebrate learning differences and build awareness that all children have gifts to share. The morning began with Summit parents participating in a learning difference simulation lead by Founding Executive Director, Dr. Jane R. Snider and Director of Clinical Education, Dr. Michael Castleberry. In order to show parents how it feels to struggle in school, parents were placed in the role of children who are embarrassed because they cannot read or write successfully. The students spent their morning grouped into multi-grade teams for a variety of hands-on activities created to encourage compassion and insight when learning is frustrating.
Problem-solving, athleticism, creativity and observation played a key role in the design of this year’s activities. The faculty developed activities that fostered team building and cooperation, not competition. The overall theme centered on the popular Percy Jackson book series, by Rick Riordan. The main character was inspired by Riordan’s real life son who has Dyslexia and ADHD. In the series, Percy Jackson overcomes his learning differences by using them to his advantage to give him his strength and uniqueness.
A variety of activities were scheduled to highlight the students’ strengths in creative thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork. Teams completed a photo scavenger hunt that encouraged the students to observe the campus in a unique way, through the lens of a camera. Problem-solving was tackled through an egg drop competition where teams were challenged to build protective coverings for an egg to survive a 10 foot drop. Students also formed teams to play capture the flag, while their creativity was showcased when they decorated shields and lightning bolts inspired by their unique visual perception.
PHOTO: Marcus Wade of Cheltenham shows off the egg drop container he built along with, from left to right, Jake Bauer of Bel Air, Jimmy McCaffrey of Davidson, Rachel DeVore of Beltsville and Matthew Johnson of Huntingtown. (Courtesy Photo)