FALL RIVER: The 1st Canal Brownies had a chance to learn first-hand about empathy without even knowing it.
The brownies group held their Nov. 15 meeting upstairs at St. John’s United Church where they were treated to a variety of activities from special guests with Special Olympics Nova Scotia. The five stations had different activities for the girls to do, giving them a bit of an idea of how hard things they take for granted and do easily can be difficult for those with disabilities.
Lily Rose Castle found it really cool that the representatives came to their weekly meeting.
“I was surprised at how I could catch with an oven mitt on, and it was neat how I could walk with three legs with two of my friends,” said Lily Rose.
She thought the walking with the three legs with two buddies was the best—although she had yet to try the final two activities when The Laker spoke to her.
“I’m glad they came to show us this,” she said.
Natalie Hawley—or known to the Brownies as Sparkle Owl—said the night was one of learning for the kids.
“I’m glad they can see it as fun activities without knowing they’re learning about empathy and working with other kids that might have disabilities,” Hawley said. “It’ll give them a good understanding.”
She said why a night like this is so important.
“There are a lot of kids in our community that could use a friend, and that will give these girls that opportunity to provide that for them,” she said.
Sloan Nicholson summed up the night perfectly—and probably made the group’s leaders really proud with her answer.
“I really like to experience how these difficulties affect other children so I can figure out how to help them,” said Sloan.
She said her favourite part was the walking game where her and another brownie had two of their legs taped together and they had to try to walk.
“I found it really fun and helps me see how other kids who have trouble walking do it,” she said.
Tom Fahie, Youth Development Coordinator with Special Olympics N.S., said the purpose of the night was to show the brownies what it’s like to have a disability. He was assisted by SONS volunteer Christine Jamieson.
“With mobility issues, we taped some of their ankles together and they tried to walk,” he said. “If it was a fine motor skill, we got them to cut out a circle with their non-dominant hand.
“Hopefully by the time they go home and tell their parents about tonight, they will realize why their fellow schoolmates may have difficulty at school.”