Kids on the Block
The Kids on the Block are large educational puppets designed to teach children about impairments and differences.
Being different is a universal condition and the aim of the Kids on the Block is not merely to heighten understanding and awareness of impairment issues, but also to help everyone accept differences in others and themselves the important thing is to realize that impairments are not defects, but rather examples of life's natural diversity that enriches us all.
Jackson County's Kids on the Block Puppeteers have been performing in various Jackson County fourth grade classrooms since 1979. The Kids have received favorable evaluations from both teachers and students throughout all of Jackson, Michigan.
To schedule a performance:
The New Kids on the Block Program
The "Kids" are a troupe of nearly-life-sized puppets, some with disabilities, some able-bodied, who dress and act like real children. The "Kids" use vivid, frank, and often humorous interactions with the audience members to help them understand a specific disability, and to accept the differences between them.
During a performance, two different impairments or differences will be introduced in two separate skits. The puppet characters will answer audience questions at the end of each skit, and the puppeteers conduct follow-up activities after the performance. The total presentation takes approximately one hour.
Each classroom teacher will be given a packet of follow-up activities to use with students to further enhance the program. We encourage teachers to prepare students for The Kids on the Block performance to enhance receptiveness and understanding. We appreciate each teachers attentiveness and interest during the performance.
Our Kids on the Block program includes the following eight puppets:
|Renaldo||A boy with a visual impairment|
|Ellen Jane||A girl with a cognitive impairment|
|Mark||A boy with cerebral palsy|
|Jennifer||A girl with a learning disability|
|David||A boy with autism|
|Mandy||A girl with a hearing impairment|
The following are friends and peers of the puppets who represent the hearts and minds of the children in the audience.