Swallow School Visit in Hartland Wisconsin

December 9, 2023 — Leave a comment

“Amazing! Ryan had the attention of 450 kids of all different ages! He knew how to speak his message to different age groups and leave a lasting impact on all of them! We had children come home from school raving about their speaker and all the amazing things he taught them! Would highly recommend for any school assembly!” – Colleen, Swallow Parent and SEF Vice President

“My favorite part was Ryan showing kids that even though he has a physical challenge, he can do anything he wants to do through perseverance and by using his imagination. I also enjoyed how positive Ryan was throughout the program.” – Brian, Swallow Teacher

Last week I drove a little over an hour from home to bring the “Different Is Awesome!” Experience to Swallow School in Hartland, WI and we had such a great time! All 450+ students from grades K-8 attended three separate assemblies and every group was fantastic. We started early with middle schoolers and they were great. We went over a full hour and they asked thoughtful questions while Cade and Max helped me demonstrate how I catch a football and a baseball.

After a delicious lunch at Pink Mocha, we finished the day with back-to-back assemblies for grades K-2 and 3-5. They were so much fun! They were engaged and excited and ended our time together with some great questions. One of my favorite parts of leading these assemblies all these years is seeing their little faces thinking and connecting with what’s going on. When they realize that not only am I different, but we’re all different in some way and that those differences are awesome… it makes kindness and acceptance and inclusion so much more accessible!

So grateful for the opportunity to spend the day with the kids and to start those very important conversations that will hopefully be ongoing at Swallow. Huge thank you to Mr. Shircel, Dr. Ries, Stephanie Christiano and Colleen Berkowitz (President and Vice President of SEF, who funded the visit). In fact, Colleen and I have been online friends for years and FINALLY got to meet in-person for the first time! Made me so happy! So grateful for her friendship and persistence over the years to make this visit a reality!

Oh! And SEF also got 12 signed copies of my book, “Different Is Awesome!” to be the first one available in their brand new BOOK VENDING MACHINE! C’mon. That’s awesome.

What a great last school visit for 2023. Can’t wait for 2024 and already have some visits scheduled in the Spring, so if you’d like to schedule one for your school, just submit your request and we’ll get the conversation started! Looking forward to it!


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