Wendy on Wheels Visits St. Ambrose

January 31st, 2017

I woke up around 3:30 this morning. I’m an early riser normally. Typically not that early, but I couldn’t get back to sleep. Sometimes, my mind just runs everywhere, as if it is training for a marathon. It was mostly positive. I was excitedly thinking of new material for my visit to St. Ambrose School in Godfrey.

After an hour of meditation, I knew I needed caffeine to make it through the day. I took a quick walk to Starbucks in Cheshire Hotel for a venti Cascara Latte.

Coffee before makeup

Coffee before makeup

I started my first presentation around 9 to the preschool through 3rd grade students. One thing I stressed to them was the importance of, taking a stand, if you see something happening that you know isn’t right, DO SOMETHING! SAY SOMETHING!

Fired up!

Fired up!

The next group was the 3rd through 5th graders. We had a wonderful discussion about creating inner space, finding positive solutions to problems and bullying. It was amazing! That had such insightful ideas and good questions for me.

I enjoyed St. Ambrose very much today! I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to share Wendy on Wheels with such a wonderful group of students and teachers!

 

 

 

The Influenced by Jason Hwang

November 11th, 2013

October 30th, I was the Keynote Speaker for Ursuline Academy’s High School Diversity Conference.   I spoke for about an hour about diversity, ability awareness, ability sensitivity and the creation and evolution of Wendy on Wheels.  After I finished speaking, I stuck around for a little while.  A young man introduced himself.  Then he told me he was a poet and my speech had inspired him to write a new poem.  He showed me his hand where he had scribbled it down. I felt so excited that my speech had inspired him.  Here’s the poem.  Please read.

 

The influenced
By Jason Hwang
There is a kid.
sitting admist all the crowd,
listening to a woman.
At first, he doesnt care.
just a speech, extra credit
grades, thats where his mind went
The boy just listens with no thoughts candid.
but do we control our thoughts?
when we see a black person with a hood on in a dark alley
don’t we instinctively think of danger?
don’t we protect our body as its the natural behavior?
This, the words from that woman, became a cause of an instinct.
He thought, of group of superheros.
May be it is the avengers,
may be the xmen and its comrades.
but what xmen has the power to move a whole community into a realization?
what avenger has the power to influence the young minds about the dark side of the alley?
what superhero actually give others an image of the pessimistic side of the Galaxy?
None, the hero continues on its journey undefeated.
But this superhero, wendy on wheels, is different.
as though she is undefeated, she has been defeated.
she has been had the worst disadvantage.
but gift is a curse, and it works vice versa
curse, when given to the right person, is the strongest gift the world will ever give
Just like rosa parks and her dark pigment
Just like Einstein and his madness
Just like Steven Hawking and his disability
Wendy on wheels was and will be given with the biggest super power.
This thought crashed into the boy.
didn’t write for a while, now he looks down at the keyboard with no sense of coy
and express all he has for this one superhero.
Who was created from another super hero.
who was inspired by the most gifted yet most cursed.
who is inspiring the boy sitting in the backseat listening.
And the boy’s final thought is this.
To be influenced, is to listen to someone who was influenced.
and this effect, will ripple towards all the earth.
and in the end, achieve its perfect influence of diversity.

School Visits and Book Writing

October 3rd, 2012

It’s been 3 months since my last post.  After the Abilities Expos, I took some time off to focus on being a mom.  Now it’s October, National Disabilities Month as well as Spina Bifida Awareness Month.  I’m ready to visit some schools again.  It’s time for me to get back to what I do best, which is teaching children acceptance, ability awareness and to end bullying.

School visits can be set up by emailing me directly at Angela@wendyonwheels.com.

The self-cath book I worked on for 180 Medical’s Kids Club  had a very successful launch at the Spina Bifida Conference in the summer.  Here are a few pictures.  The second picture is my sister, Wendy on Wheels’ inspiration, Amanda with the purple bag.

    

 

There were two versions of the book, “Ethan Can Cath!” for boys.  “Emma Can Cath!” is for girls.  Both books show instructional pages to help little ones learn to catheterize themselves.  From what I heard, Ethan and Emma were a huge hit.  If you have a child with Spina Bifida who needs to learn to self-cath, I recommend contacting 180 Medical and joining their kids club.

Chicago Abilities Expo

July 6th, 2012

Last weekend, I had a blast at the Abilities Expo in Chicago!  Auti, from the Sundance Channel’s new show the Push Girls, had a dance workshop every day.  People of all ages joined the dance circle to show off their favorite moves.  It was so great to see.  Auti is so nice!! 

This little girl, Anna came by my booth.  What a cutie!

Saturday was my workshop where I introduced Wendy on Wheels and read Wendy on Wheels Takes a Stand.  I started off talking about my inspiration for Wendy on Wheels.  There’s my sister, Amanda, up on the screen.  After I read Wendy on Wheels Takes a Stand, I asked the discussion questions.  The little ones in the audience were shy about answering my questions.

Here I am talking about pages eighteen and nineteen.  One the left (page 18) Wendy is frustrated and angry about the events of the day.  She sits on her bed with her arms folded.  She asks herself, “What else could I have done?”  Page nineteen, Wendy’s mindset shifts.  She puts her idea to paper.  Now, she can make a positive impact.

A lot of times in our lives, things bother us and make us mad.  We feel like something must be done.  When we feel furious and upset, we are closed off from anything good that may happen.  In order to make change, we have to shift our mindset.  This is why I created Wendy on Wheels in the first place.

I’ve been following Cure for Chloe on facebook for a couple years now.  I remember when Chloe was a cowgirl on a horse for Halloween and got her new wheelchair.  At the expo, I finally got to meet her.  It made my whole weekend!!  I was so excited!!!

I enjoyed meeting everyone in Chicago.  What a wonderful expo!  This was my last expo of this year.  I am currently booking school visits for National Disabilities Month in October.  Please contact me if you are interested.

 

Hagedorn Little Village School

May 29th, 2012

While in New York last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Hagedorn Little Village School.  I love Hagedorn Little Village!  I got to meet a huge fan of Wendy on Wheels, Dina.  She was kind of shy, but seemed to enjoy meeting me.  I read to a lot of classes in the 2 hours I was there.

One little girl got to choose the book for her class.  She chose Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo, then signed “please.”  After I finished she signed “more.”  Luckily, we had time to read, Wendy on Wheels Saves the Day.  She signed “more” after that one too.

One little boy clapped very loudly and yelled out, “THAT WAS AWESOME!!  You are the best reader ever!!!”

My favorite schools to visit are special schools.  Children with different abilities are the reason I created Wendy on Wheels in the first place.  Hopefully, I will get some pictures soon to post.

By the way, I will at the Abilities Expo in Chicago at the end of the month.  My workshop is at 3:45 on Saturday.  Come see me!!!

 

 

Lunada Bay Elementary and Day 1 of the Abilities Expo LA

March 31st, 2012

Thursday, I had the pleasure of introducing Wendy on Wheels to a kindergarten class at Lunada Bay Elementary School.  It was my first school visit in California.  What a wonderful group of little ones!  I started with Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo.  The group did great with the discussion questions, although they were more interested in having me read more books.  I read two more of my books.  I got a bunch of hugs when it was time for me to go.  How sweet!   I LOVE IT!!!

On my way out, I saw some excellent anti-bully signs the second graders made.

I love this catchphase, “Bullies are a pain in the brain!”

I used to draw hearts on everything when I was a kid.

Yesterday, was the first day of the Abilities Expo in LA.  It was great.  There was very little traffic on the way to downtown LA, so we got our booth set up right on time.   That’s always a good start.  I met a lot of great people.  Here’s a picture of my son and me.

One particular conversation that stands out in my mind was with a gentleman, named Andrew.  He said at the time he started kindergarten around 1977, they had just started mainstreaming children with different abilities.  He was the first ever  child with a wheelchair to attend at the school.  The school was not prepared, mentally or physically.  Not only did he have to go all the way outside to get to other parts of the school but he had 300 kids asking him all sorts of questions.  “What’s wrong with you?” “How do you go to the bathroom?”  “Why are your feet so small?”  I can imagine it made things very difficult.  I hope to change this with Wendy on Wheels.

There are two more days of the Abilities Expo in LA.  I read my newest book, Wendy on Wheels Takes a Stand today in my workshop.  I can’t wait!

St. Catherine Laboure’s Ability Awareness Day

March 17th, 2012

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of presenting Wendy on Wheels to the kindergarteners and first graders at St. Catherine Laboure School.

 The first group of kindergarteners had already heard Wendy on Wheels Goes to the Zoo, my favorite book for Ability Awareness Days.  One kid yelled out, “I know what’s going to happen,” before I even started.  During the story, some were saying parts of the story with me.  It was awesome!!

Then I read Wendy on Wheels Takes a Stand.  Since it is new, no one had heard it yet.  They loved it!  The students chanted along, “NO BULLY NO!!”  They loved the signs.

Speaking of signs, they had decorated the halls with signs for Abilities Awareness Days.

     A possibilist.  I like that!

This one is my favorite.

 The signs were great!

While I was reading to the second kindergarten group, one little boy said the boy next to him, “We’re not talking about Star Wars!”  That made me laugh.

In one of the first grade groups, I started out talking about my sister and how I was inspired to write Wendy on Wheels.  One boy raised his hand and said, “Are you going to read the books?”  Ha.  I guess he didn’t care what I had to say.  He just wanted to hear Wendy on Wheels.  That’s good.  I prefer it that way.  It was a great day!  What a wonderful group of children!

 I present at the Abilities Expo in Los Angeles in two weeks.  I can’t wait!!