PJ Library and the Jewish Special Education International Consortium partnered to create an educational project for young children in support of Jewish Disability Awareness Month 2014 held in February.
As proud members of the Consortium, Gateways collaborated to create a lesson plan for Jewish Disability Awareness Month around the book Cakes and Miracles by Barbara Diamond Goldin. The book is about Hershel, a boy who is blind and dreams of making cookies for Purim. The lesson features discussion questions and a series of activities for introducing the topic of disability awareness to young children. “Because of the number of options provided in the lesson, it is appropriate for use in pre-K – 2nd grade classrooms, at community events and for use at home with families,” says Shelly Christensen, founder of Jewish Disability Awareness Month and a member of the Consortium.
“This is the second year that we are featuring a children’s book as part of Jewish Disability Awareness Month,” continues Christensen, “and we hope that Jewish communities across the country will embrace the opportunity to include the youngest members of our community in disability awareness.”
The lesson plan is currently available on PJ Library’s website. In order to help communities use the lesson plan, PJ Library will host a free, live webinar on January 30th from 1:00 – 2:00pm EST. “The webinar will feature the disability experts who collaborated on the lesson plan,” explains Judi Wisch, Director of Community Engagement at PJ Library. “They will give background on Jewish Disability Awareness Month, tips for teaching young children about disabilities, and pointers on community outreach for the program.” The webinar will feature state-of-the-art technology and will enable participants to type in questions and comments in real-time.