This week I have been spending my time at Day Star which is a daycare for medically fragile children. They are New York State’s first and only Pediatric Day-Respite Center for children starting at 6 months up to 6 years old. I have had the opportunity to spend time in both the infant (6-18 months) and toddler (18 months- 2.5 years) rooms. Working with these children has been a blessing for me, and I am so glad that I got this opportunity to serve.
Coming into the week, I was very nervous because I have never really been around young children who have severe medical needs. Walking into Day Star, my nerves were calmed as Aimee B. and I met all of the people who help make Day Star what it is. We learned all about what Day Star is, how it works, and what makes it such a unique center. My love for kids is what made this experience unforgettable. Seeing children who may not be able to walk or talk but who are still as much a part of the class as the other children warmed my heart. Day Star does an amazing job of making sure each classroom looks like a normal classroom. They have toys, tables, and decorations just like any other daycare/preschool around the world. The fact that these kids are treated like any other kids is very unique, and gives me hope for the future on how people with any sort of disability are treated.
While in the toddler room, I was introduced to a little boy named Ryan. He is an adorable little boy who was so excited to have more people in his classroom. He was also very fascinated by the fact that my name is Megan and that there is another Megan that works in his classroom. All he could say was, “Megan and Megan. Two Megan’s!”. Seeing his face light up when I told him my name was Megan and that there were two of us is something I will never forget.
Another thing that I have reflected on this week is seeing the love and work of God through all of the volunteers and all of the teachers who work at Day Star. As I work toward becoming a teacher, I am reminded of how much love it takes to make your students feel important and special. Although many of the students may not be able to verbally communicate with the teachers, they are filled with joy any time their teachers come up and talk to them. Seeing the love that the teachers have for these children is something that I hope to have in my classroom. Through this week I have learned and experience much more than I thought I would. I am very blessed to have come on this trip and to have had the opportunity to work with these kids. I am very excited to see what Friday has in store for me as I help in the Preschool room.