Ellerton Primary Special Unit celebrates 20th anniversary
Everyone is incapable of something; it is simply that for some it is more visible than others, but special needs children reflect the love of God.
This was the message Father John Rogers of the St. Luke’s Anglican Church brought to students, education officials and parents at the Ellerton Wesleyan Holiness this morning as the Ellerton Primary School’s Special Unit celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Even though the children might be incapable of some tasks, Rogers told the congregation that some of the talents he had observed in their singing and dancing, reflected an abundance of special gifts in other areas.
He called to attention St. John 9, where Jesus’ disciples on seeing a man with infirmity, asked whether the man or his parents had sinned to create such a child. He noted that Jesus’ remarked that none of them had sinned, but the man was born as such so God’s glory might be revealed.
“The background to that particular text is a society that viewed persons who did not have certain capabilities as less than. Society then believed that persons who did not have certain capabilities should be pushed to the fringes of society and therefore here was this man who was born blind who was considered even by Jesus’ disciples as less than….
“The story is not about the restoration of the sight of the man, it is about the transformation of the status quo, and that the status quo that had pushed persons to the fringes; a status quo that had considered people not full human beings, but here was Jesus reaching out to this man and in reaching out to him he transformed not only the man but the community,” said the Reverend.
Likewise, Rogers remarked that in taking children with special needs and incorporating them into the community of Ellerton, the school and its teachers were by extension transforming the area around them.
Noting it was a long 20 year journey to this point, Education Officer, Cheryl Sargeant-Speede told the teachers of Ellerton that they could take comfort in knowing that success was not measured by what was accomplished but by the opposition encountered and the courage with which they had maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.
Principal Donna Allman too saluted the past and present teachers of the Special Unit for their sacrifice and contribution over the last 20 years. She told them she had three symbolic gifts – china, as a symbol of their dedication and love; platinum for their love of the community and diamonds as tokens of the recognition they deserved for their hard work. (LB)