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BRADFORD-TIOGA HEAD START, INC. SUPPORTS DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AWARENESS MONTH

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. This came about in 1987, when then President Ronald Reagan made a public proclamation that the month of March should be recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to “increase public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with developmental disabilities.”

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. (BTHS) strongly believes in the importance of creating awareness about developmental disabilities and  teaching the importance of inclusion in every aspect of life. “We need to teach our children that those with disabilities have abilities that can contribute to society,” said Disabilities Coordinator, Kim Tomlinson.  “BTHS, along with early childhood teachers and parents have the opportunity to immunize children against stereotypes before they take hold of their young minds.”

It has been said that Jim Henson created the Muppets to show the differences among people.  His belief was to celebrate differences, not similarities.  He felt that society would have a wonderful life doing this.  The world would be a happier place.  Jim was quoted as saying, "I believe in taking a positive attitude toward the world.  My hope still is to leave the world a little bit better than when I got here".

To help, Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc.is providing parents and caregivers with a finger puppet  and an informational card to help families talk with their children about differences.  And to hopefully,  look beyond someone’s disability and see them as a person and not just a person with a disability.

Photo Caption:  Miricle, a child, enrolled in the Canton 2 classroom of Bradford-Tioga Head Start, and her grandmother display two of the finger puppets that will be given to each children and their family along with an informational card. The card is designed to help families talk with their children about differences.