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Program Description
Important lessons will be discussed:
1. Having a disability does not have to hold you back.
2. When you get "Stuck" you must keep looking for ways to overcome.
3. It is OK to do things differently.

Students will have a greater understanding of disability and differences. They will understand their own differences as well as build a better tolerance for others with differences. Students with disabilities will be inspired to reach their full potential.

The program has two parts:
1. A 15 minute slide show and reading of the book, New Opportunities, explaining along the way different ways the main character has to do things because of her new limitations.
2. A 15 minute question and answer session about the book, author and illustrator. This is our favorite part. We will get the group started if necessary, but the kids are usually bursting with questions.

Michelle White, has a BS in elementary education from Lebanon Valley College and an M.Ed in special education from Shippensburg University. She currently teaches learning support at Ebenezer Elementary. Her injury took place in September 2001. Upon return to the classroom, there was a need to find a way to share her experiences with the children. As a result, Spiney, the main character in the book, was born.

Dorothy Thompson Perez, has a B.F.A. degree in communication/design from Kutztown University. She met Spiney (Michelle) through her son Aaron, who cherished Spiney as a teacher and was inspired by her spirit both before and after the accident. Dorothy has also worked on several books under the publishers, Morehouse and Our Sunday Visitor.

Book Orders and Signing:
Order forms will be available for distribution following the program. Once orders are collected, books will be personalized and delivered to your organization. Material s to prepare students for the program are available for teachers. Following the presentation, a coloring sheet with the book's website is distributed to teachers. Student can participate in a contest to win "Spiney" prizes as well as become a member of the Spiney fan club.

Book Summary: Spiney the Porcupine experiences an accident resulting in a spinal cord injury. The injury limits her in many ways. She must learn how to use a wheelchair to get around. Since her fingers are paralyzed, Spiney learns new ways to write, brush her teeth and even dial the phone. Even though many things are difficult at first, she doesn't let them hold her back. She finds new opportunities awaiting her. Spiney writes a book to help explain her injury to people around her. Who knows what else she will do? The story is a true account of the author's real life confrontation with disability.

Group Sizes: We are flexible, however we found that grouping by grade level allows us to make the presentation more age appropriate.

Sample Schedule 9:00 - 9:30 5th grade 9:45 - 10:15 2nd grade 10:25 0 10:55 Kindergarten 11:00 - 11:30 3rd grade Lunch break 12:30 - 1:00 1st grade 1:15 - 2:00 4th grade

What others are saying...
"Thank you for visiting N. S. Elementary School; we really enjoyed having you share your story with us! I especially liked the theme of the story. Presenting a problem and then solving it, step by step, shows our students how to be proactive and responsible in response to a difficult situation. Thanks again! What a powerful message!" - Amanda Edelman, Grade 4 teacher, North Side Elementary School

"Shelly is amazing! Her assembly program has influenced our students in a very positive way. Spiney brings a new meaning to our monthly character traits, especially perseverance." - Cindy Geesey, Principle, Ebenezer Elementary School Contact Spiney by e-mail for more information or to book an assembly.

Last updated 1-1-09