Fun for all

T.J. Hanlon of Bernardsville, NJ, competed in a manual wheelchair race.

“I got to see how disabled people have fun just like us. They do the same things we do, just differently.” That comment by Grace Lurker of Peapack, NJ, a fourth grader at the Far Hills County Day School in Far Hills, NJ, pretty much summarized the reactions of her entire phys ed class to a recent visit by students and staff from Matheny.

The Matheny students demonstrated how they engage in adapted sports, and the FHCDS students tried their skills in such activities as wheelchair races and adapted bowling. The visit had several goals: to let the Far Hills students learn how children with disabilities can enjoy many of the same activities they do; to reduce anxiety about how to relate to people with disabilities; and to replace that anxiety with a sense of friendship and understanding as the two groups competed as peers.

Emily Samaro of Chester, NJ, tested her skill in adaptive bowling as Grace Lurker and Matheny teaching assistant Rita Della Valle looked on.