Friday, November 16, 2012
International Tolerance Day
We are forever changed by a monster cloud system that covered one eighth of our earth called Super Storm Sandy, ravaging from the Caribbean to Canada, blistering through 17 states in the US; exploding floods, fire, famine, fights over fuel, while fusing family and friends. As of this date, many folk remain evacuated by this awe filled phenomenon. The storm’s ferocity was exacerbated by the rising tides of a full moon. We must face the fact that because weather patterns have changed, we must rethink rebuilding in some areas and we must consider that some people will never be able to return home again.
Today is International Tolerance Day. Sandy proved that there are many things that we cannot control, but we can control ourselves. Instead of tolerating one another, we would be better served to embrace and nurture each other. To that end, HICAP 2012 – 2013 has coordinated with Emily Miller of Pencil.org, an organization that aligns business professionals with a New York City Public School principal. Ms. Miller partnered me with Principal Ramona Pizarro of Home Instruction Schools. Because Principal Pizarro’s schools are located in all five boroughs, many were displaced; therefore, some of her instructors are now reassigned. My position in this partnership is to assist in providing the proven technological support and hardware necessary for success and graduation through 2013.
On November 14, 2012, Ms. Miller and I met with Principal Pizarro at the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center to observe instructors with some of our most severely disable students. Instructors do not call the children disable; they are called, 'Specialty'. It takes a special human being to do this work. These teachers are a gift to the students and to their families. While there, we witnessed a physical breakthrough of a paraplegic student excited by the iPad and its applications, using his fine motor skills to make a selection. That day I, also, attended a memorial service at the health care facility's chapel for a much beloved student who passed away. Upon hearing how the caregivers and instructors were indelibly affected by this warm soul, by the end of the service; I, too, felt that knew that student.
The iPad has proven to be most beneficial to this population of students. Home Instruction Schools need approximately 200 more iPads for the 275 teachers who are charged with educating approximately 5,000 students throughout this school year. At this point, I am seeking assistance from everyone on earth. We must make sure that these children have the same opportuntiy for success that other individuals take for granted.