Puppets helps students learn about differences | RecordCourier.com

Puppets helps students learn about differences

by Joyce Hollister

Kids on the Block is a program that helps children understand, empathize and learn to appreciate other children who are “different.”

In the Douglas County School District, it’s drama students at Douglas High School who are taking on the program and making it work.

Drama coach Rod Hearn said DHS students performed a few of the puppet skits at Pinon Hills Elementary School on Thursday.

Among the topics in the Kids on the Block program at Douglas are youngsters coping with cerebral palsy, diabetes, emotional disturbances, epilepsy, learning disabilities, mental retardation, severe burns, sibling of a child with a disability and visual impairment.

“Children need guidance toward healthy attitudes about differences and toward responsible decision-making as young adults,” says the director of the national program. There are 42 topics available, and Kids on the Block programs exist in 50 states.

A few years ago, adult volunteers started Kids on the Block in the county and helped to purchase the puppets, which come with puppets, props, scripts, audio cassettes, followup materials, resource suggestions and the support of the national company, Kids on the Block Inc., based in Maryland.