Written by Daniela Marks-Koffler, Teacher
We were so blessed to be part of the CAF program. Our students got to visit the CAF Headquarters, meet athletes who benefited from the program and learn the benefits of being active. The program became very personal for them when they were introduced to Paralympic Gold Medalist Megan Blunk, who came to our school to tell her story.
The students were very engaged as Megan spoke about her disability and how important it is to make positive choices. Megan also attended the SDJA jog-a-thon and cheered the students on as they ran around the track. She event joined them in a lap.
Together, the SDJA students raised $20,000! That was enough to grant a racing wheelchair to a little boy; the students were able to present it to him after the jog-a-thon. It was a very special day.
I cannot stress enough how helpful and kind all of the people who worked at CAF were to our students. Sport is such an important aspect of our students lives, so when they saw they could assist others to get active, it was tremendously meaningful for them.
Reflections from our students
“Today I learned that our differences are important, anything is possible, and that you should never lose hope in yourself.” – Nadav
“Today I learned that if something bad happens you can get angry, but you can’t go back and change it. You can only go forward and learn from it, and live your life the way it is.” – Ella
“Today I learned that you need to face your fears. I also learned that when something bad happens you need to make the most of it. We need to see the glass half full, just like Megan.” – Max
“What I took away from Megan’s story was that even though times can be rough, just believing in yourself and trying your best can take you very far in life.” – Joelle
“Dear Megan, I loved trying all of those things. I also loved seeing you. I wish I could have given you a hug and remember always embrace your differences. Love, Lev” – Lev
“The main idea of this program was to put ourselves in the shoes of people with physical disabilities. These activities let us feel what they feel everyday.
We were very lucky to get to meet 2016 gold medal paralympics athlete, Megan Blunk. The Challenged Athletes Foundation helped Megan Blunk follow her dream of being an athlete and thanks to them, she is a gold medal athlete, doing what a typical person can do, but in a wheelchair.
Today we got to do activities that made me feel like I was in the people with physical disabilities situation. Some activities were about people who can’t use their arms or legs, and others were about people who can’t hear that well, see that well, or speak that well.
I enjoyed my time doing the activities. Doing them taught me 3 things:
1 – if you are someone who when you stub your toe or fall on your knee and you think it’s the end of the world, you should think about things from a different perspective, because some people have to live with no toes or legs or any of the things that a typical person has.
2 – regret is one of the worst feelings that you can have and that if you have a chance to do something that you love, then you should do it.
3 – if you are different from everyone else, then you should own it.” – Shira
Want to learn how your school can get involved with CAF?