The Kids on the Block, originated in 1977 in direct response to Public Law 94-142, which required that children with disabilities be educated in the least restrictive environment. Over 2,500 third graders enjoy these shows each year.
Our puppet shows deal with social issues that children face every day; the titles we perform are: Divorce/Separation, Bullies, School Safety, and Cerebral Palsy; each skit takes about ten minutes to perform, and at the end of each, the children ask the puppet characters questions and make comments. The children relate to the puppets, and seem not to notice the puppeteersdressed in black.
Sally Cain, a ‘crew member’ claps as the audience sings: “Kids are Different” along with Eddy and Clare puppets.
One youngster told Mark, our Cerebral Palsy puppet, “I have C.P. too, and someday I’ll be in a wheelchair.” The child met with Puppet Mark after the skit and they talked for a few minutes about all the things the child could still do in a wheelchair. The puppeteer, dressed in black, had a child with cerebral palsy so “Mark’s” conversation with the student was filled with real facts and hope.
Melody meets Mark and learns about Cerebral Palsy and all the things Mark can do, like swim, ride a horse, and take a bath.