Landing Students Learn to Embrace Difference in Others

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Fourth graders in Ms. Courtney McCord’s class at Landing School participated in a class lesson that integrated science and character development on Sept. 20. The class recently completed a mystery science lesson, “What Blind People See,” and read the book, “All Are Welcome,” which speaks to embracing differences in others. 

Ms. McCord, wanting to reinforce the students’ learning, invited Glen Cove resident Jimmy Merkel to visit the class. Mr. Merkel has been blind since birth and has accomplished a lot in his life. The students listened carefully to Mr. Merkel’s story about riding a bus to New York City to go to a blind school, learning to read and write braille, riding a bicycle with his six brothers and sisters, counting change with only his sense of touch and the struggles that come without having vision. Perhaps the most meaningful lesson for students was witnessing Jimmy’s positive attitude and acceptance. This attitude combined with a strong support system is clearly what has helped him succeed in life.