Monday, August 27, 2012

In which I'm reminded just how lucky I am to be married to Dean

So, long time no see.  This isn't actually a catch-up post but I just wanted everyone out there to know how amazing Dean is.  Beginning last year he developed and implemented a special needs week for the phoenix zoo's annual summer camp.  Each week of camp is as inclusive as possible, but some kiddos with mobility or sensory impairments need specialized adaptations.  So, even though the Zoo had never done a camp like this before Dean took the initiative to put one together.  It was very successful last year and they were able to put it on again this year.  One really cool part is that Dean helped write a grant for the camp so that campers who attended during this week didn't have to pay the regular camp fee of $275.  In fact, they were able to attend for free!  Dean put in a lot of extra time and effort to make this camp happen.  Some of the campers this year had never been to the Zoo before.  A family trip to the Zoo can be difficult for children with special needs-it's expensive for families to get into the Zoo, especially when families may only stay for a short time as a result of their child's schedule/needs.  Additionally, getting around the Zoo can be difficult and seeing exhibits in a large crowd can be challenging (or impossible in the case of visually impaired or blind children).  Dean made a conscious effort to change those "norms" and to afford children who are sometimes socially isolated a chance to attend a summer camp just like thousands of more typical kids do every year.  I am so proud of him.  Here's a link to a brief blog post about this year's camp, written by the mother of a camper named Cicily.  Check it out!


Carson said...

That is so wonderful!!! What a cool legacy and I am sure an amazing experience. We miss you guys! Let's hang out soon!! :D

Josh and Michelle said...

Ok, this is why I think you both are awesome! You both do so much for others and go above and beyond. Can you please slow down so the rest of the world doesn't look so bad?! ;) That is very cool. I can only imagine how much time and effort was put into a program like that and especially writing a grant. I always thought I would do something like that when I was teaching, but due to the time it took I always was a slacker and didn't pull through. So, like I said, can you please not make the rest of us (ok, me) look lame? Way to go Dean and Taylor, I know you gave a lot of support through all if that so way to go to you too! :) Miss you guys!

Kate said...

What a good man. We miss being around you great people.