Easter Seals Visit Opens Eyes


Sophomores Jack Malcolm and John Floersheimer with their Easter seal partner.

Jack Malcolm, Staff Writer

“What will we talk with them about?”

“Do you have questions prepared?”

“I hope my buddy isn’t too quiet or shy.”

These were all worries of Sophomores, who would soon be having their first meeting with their Easter Seals buddies. As we filed into the Student Center, nerves were high. Both my partner and I were unprepared for the occasion, like many of our classmates. But as other students began to get paired up with their Easter Seals partners, I could see the tension slowly seeping from everyone’s faces.

When we finally went to go sit down and talk with our partners, I was struck by how much we had in common with them. My partner likes to dance, watch football, and likes cats.

As the visit went on, I could look around and see many smiles. My group was playing Hangman and another group next to us was making secret handshakes.

Clearly, the visit was having a positive effect on everyone.

Once the visit was over, my class had a discussion about everyone’s experiences. When I asked other students about how their first visit went, I found a common theme. The experience was eye-opening.

“It was both eye-opening and touching to interact with students who have so many different experiences and challenges than us,” says, Sophomore, John Floersheimer.

“It was an experience I will remember,” commented Sophomore, Ethan Ball.

These thoughts that these visits are eye-opening to many students is not a coincidence, nor is it an accident. Ms. Giraud brought this project to ODA because she hopes to engage students in understanding that although people within a community may seem different, they still have commonalities, and we need to learn about one another to discover them.

“The project comes purely from the belief that if we take time to get to know those who seem the most different from ourselves, we will discover that we have more in common than not. What I like best about the project is how quickly students connect with their Easter Seals partners. There’s something really natural in this forced connection between the groups. Somehow it always just seems to work, to come together,” explains Ms. Giraud.

After meeting my Easter Seals partner for the first time and speaking with her, I understand why this project is so important to Ms. Giraud and important to both ODA students and Easter Seals students.

I am very enthusiastic for the next meeting with my Easter Seals buddy, and most of my classmates are also excited for their next meetings too. We’ll meet two more times and finish a shared project in the spring.

Can’t wait.