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Paralympian Visits Sands Montessori!

It may be March, but for the students at Sands Montessori School playing wheelchair basketball, it’s anything but mad!

Wheelchair Basketball Paralympian Jacob Counts is a three-time collegiate National Champion. He also played for Team USA in the Beijing Paralympic Games and professionally in Europe.

Sands students in grades four through six were treated to an assembly led by Counts, created through the school’s partnership with Skool-Aid and its founder, Ian Smith.

Counts first shared a lecture and Q&A session about his life and what it’s like to live with a disability. Some select student ambassadors were then coached in a game of wheelchair basketball.

“Since March is National Disability Awareness Month and we are all currently participating in CPS Moves March Madness, I thought this would be a great opportunity to tie in both awareness initiatives,” Jennifer Toebbe, Sands Montessori physical education teacher, said.

Toebbe connected with Skool-Aid during a district professional development opportunity and knew the program would be a perfect fit for her students.

“I think it’s tremendously important for someone like Jacob to come to our school and start the conversation about disabilities with our students,” Toebbe said. “Our students are going to come out of this experience with a positive attitude and a newfound respect for those with disabilities.”

Toebbe says her students also learn about cognitive disabilities.

The experience was a big hit with students and is expected to return for more students in the future.