Instructions for Melody's Travel Journal

Before Melody's visit with you ends, fill out the Travel Log Form, and upload a photo of her visit. You will need the unique code on the back of your Melody to complete this form. Your travel log entry will create a blog post on Melody’s Travel Journal, so be sure you only include information you wish others to view publicly. Use this opportunity to connect with other participants on the blog by adding your twitter handle, or blog/website URL to your travel journal post. You may also want to link to any historical sites Melody visited to help others learn about your area. You can fill out this form more than once.

March 28, 2014

Melody in Star City, Canada

Star City Falcons
Star City
Star City
(Melody #037B0114)
While Melody was with us, we included her in our classroom in many ways. We took her to a Brain Walk where we learned how different parts of the brain work. Then discussed how Melody's brain works. We had a disability day where every student took on a disability for the day so Melody would not be the only one, and the students learned how their daily life would change if they had a disability. Every day she was taken outside in the snow and cold weather to play on the equipment. We also made a poster for Melody about what we like about her to boost her confidence.
We learned that Melody has to do things differently than us but can still do a lot of the same things. From our disability day we learned that having a disability makes everyday things hard to do. We realized that Melody is very dependent on others being there to help her. We really thought about how things would have to change if we had someone with a disability in our classroom, and also how careful we had to be sometimes to make sure everyone could be included.

March 27, 2014

Melody in Nassau, Bahamas

St. Anne's Grade 5P & 5S
St. Anne's
(Melody #032B0114)
Hello to everyone who is involved in this project. We were most fortunate to first be involved in the Global Read Aloud project last year. We were even more fortunate to meet Melody and be touched by her and her story of bravery and courage. We just couldn't wait for this project to begin, so that we could have her visit us. We have taken a look at ourselves, and realized that many of us are no way near as brave as she is. She taught us to be caring, and in particular; take a second look at those who are differently abled. We have learned that a person's disability does not prevent them from having other abilities. Our school is an old school built in the 1950s. We have stairs everywhere. It would not be wise for someone like Melody to attend our school, because the infrastructure is not in place to service a physically disabled student. We see that there is a need for ramps or elevators to be placed in our school to make it convenient for disabled persons to mobilize easily around our compound. While Melody was at our school, she needed to be lifted up the stairs, as our classes are on the second floor. The bathroom is close to our class, and has a large enough stall for her to use. She was able to fit right into our classrooms, as they are big enough for her to move around easily. While in The Bahamas, Melody had a wonderful time. She visited the homes of the students, and she was warmly welcomed by all the families. We just had to take her to the church that started our school, which right across the street. Our primary school's vice principal was elated to see her, and made sure she felt like a "Bluewave" (that's what we are known as here in The Bahamas). She visited many of our pristine beaches here in Nassau. Her smarts was valued in our classes. She helped with presentations and Math. She met many of the children around our school, who were fascinated to learn about her. Melody was just in time to witness many of the athletes in Grade 5 receive their medals, at the medal award ceremony held on Thursday. It was an absolute joy having Melody with us, and we wish her safe travels as she takes her world tour. Many of us are so envious of her opportunity.
Please view our website dedicated to this project at:

Melody in Fargo, North Dakota

Mrs. Young's 5th Grade
Centennial Elementary
United States
Fargo, North Dakota
(Melody #011A1113)
A fun time! Melody attended school in Fargo for a week. She attended all classes including gym, music, art, library, lunch and recess. She went out to eat, she went on a nature walk, she got to go home with students overnight and she even got to go on spring break to DISNEY WORLD!
We learned that our school is pretty wheelchair accessible. Some things throughout the day would be a challenge and Melody would need help, however we also learned that it was enjoyable to have her in our class!

March 25, 2014

Melody in Adamstown, Maryland

Mrs. Green's 4th Grade
Carroll Manor Elementary School
United States
Adamstown, Maryland
(Melody #006A1113)
Melody got to go to the Nations Capital to see the White House.

Our class learned that Melody would be able to learn at our school. It is handicapped accessible and on one floor. Our school has a few classrooms that are for students with communication disabilities or Autism. Also, we have multiple types of technology that she could use to communicate with us such as ipads and picture software that some students use.

Melody in Delaware, Ohio

Mrs. Zakrajsek's 5th Grade
Buckeye Valley Middle School
United States
Delaware, Ohio
(Melody #036B0114)
Melody has had wonderful experiences. She has gone home with the students. She has been out to eat, to dance and gymnastics, read many good books, been to the library, and had lots of adventures with pets.
From Melody's visit, we learned to think about differences in people and how that adds to life. We have also enjoyed being able to help her travel around and truly share the light that she is in this world. The connections to the book and life that the students have made have also been a lot of fun.

March 24, 2014

Melody in Salem, Massachusetts

Phoenix kids
The Phoenix School
United States
Salem, Massachusetts
(Melody #027B0114)
We are a one story schoolhouse so she could get around easily. We also have wide doors. Our room is set up kind of like a library because we have books and materials everywhere and tables for working. It is not like a regular classroom with desks. We have grades PK-8th in one big classroom so Melody visited with our whole school of 24 kids. We got a wheelchair from North Shore Medical Center and we got to ride in it with Melody. That allowed us to know how it is if you are someone like Melody. We could feel like we were Melody. We took her to the YMCA where we have yoga, sports, and swimming. She could do laps in the Fitness Center. Mayan met a man in a wheelchair there and he gave her some hints on how to go fast around the track. She could get into the pool in a special chair. She could not get into the gym because the chair lift was no longer there. When walking to the Y and pushing Melody in her wheelchair, we found out it was hard because of the bumps--there was a lot of vibrations. Salem has made sidewalk ramps at each corner. We watched them build the one in front of our school. Most of the time there were curb cuts, but sometimes we could only go on one side of the street. We took her to the park and she experienced what she could do. She could go around the track when we did laps. We thought she might have played basketball in her wheelchair. She got to sit at our lunch tables with us. It was hard to get the wheelchair and her legs under the table, but she could talk with everyone while eating her lunch. She could use our bathrooms. The door was wide enough for her wheelchair -- the teachers' bathroom has bars. Melody also watched us try to build wheelchairs out of different materials. We also make a doll Melody to fit in our wheelchairs once we figured out how to make the wheels turn so that we don't tip out backwards or forwards. It was hard to do, but most of us did it. The loaner wheelchair helped us see how it was constructed.

March 23, 2014

Melody in Semarang, Indonesia

Bali Class
Semarang International School
(Melody #026B0114)
She experienced making traditional Indonesian art called Batik and she went on a weekend trip to Singapore where she visited Universal Studios and went on some rides.
How to cater to better cater for students with special needs. Treat everyone with respect.

March 21, 2014

Melody in Nassau, Bahamas

St. Anne's Grade 5P & 5S
St. Anne's School
(Melody #032B0114)
Melody arrived to a warm welcome and excited children. Stay tuned for more on her visit with us.
So far we realized that our school does not have the necessary ramps or elevators to transport Melody to our second floor classes.

March 20, 2014

Melody in Windsor, Canada

Mr. Burkhart's Class
Prince Edward P.S.
(Melody #011A1113)
Melody had the pleasure to visit many attractions while she was visiting us at Prince Edward. She was taken home with students after each day and spent time getting to know as many students as possible on a personal level. While it was difficult for Melody to travel and navigate around our building she always had a great attitude that rubbed off on the students.
We learned that our school is not very accessible to those that have a physical disability. We tried to make our class as comfortable and accessible as possible for the duration of her visit. It was very eye opening for the students and myself, as our classroom is on the second floor and we do not have any elevators or ramps to get to get around the school. We discussed different improvements we could make to the physical school environment to make it more accessible to all.

March 19, 2014

Melody in Lyndeborough and Manchester, New Hampshire

J Lowton
United States
Lyndeborough and Manchester, New Hampshire
(Melody #007A1113)
Melody came to stay with me and my family in the southwestern mountains of NH. My name is Lilly and I'm five years old and live in a country home in a snowy and very small New Hampshire town. My mom is a Technology Specialist and works with different schools across NH. She works the most with schools in the city of Manchester. She brought Melody to visit two of the elementary schools in Manchester named Gossler Park and Parker Varney.
While Melody visited with me, we discovered how so many things could be difficult living in a snowy hilly country town without sidewalks or smooth spaces. We started to notice towns that had smooth paths and sidewalks to travel via wheelchair, places that only had stairs in the entry and activities that allowed for people with physical disabilities to participate. At the schools where Mommy works with technology, she said the students had discussions on what activities Melody could/ could not participate in and what parts of the schools she could not access. Mom said she thinks Melody was pleased at Gossler Park that the building was all on one story and there wasn't a single location that couldn't be accessed via wheelchair. She watched some students working on a Google Docs poem project but didn't visit any classes while there. Mom then took her to visit a 4th grade class at another school called Parker Varney. She was nervous at the second story while visiting Miss Jobel' 4th grade class but saw there was an elevator right by the classroom and the door to the outside playground that was smoothly paved. A great discussion happened in Miss Jobel's classroom (I call her Miss Kelly) on how their daily activities would be different if they had disabilities like Melody and what they could do to include her in things. At home, mom and I had looked at ways Melody could get around in snowy places. Because we live near the snowmobiling trails, we showed Melody how some families here have special enclosed carts attached to the back of their snowmobiles that children and others can ride in safely strapped inside. We took her everywhere and realized how many things could be difficult for her and were very happy when places made things accessible for her. I liked having Melody visit me and hope she has fun on her next stop when she leaves. Thank you for including us in your travels, Melody! Lillyanna and Jennifer (Mom) Lowton and Miss Jobel's 4th grade class from Parker Varney Elementary!

Melody in Ladoga, Indiana

Mrs. C's 5th Grade
Ladoga Elementary
United States
Ladoga, Indiana
(Melody #016B0114)
Melody was with us during our week of State testing so it was a very quiet week. She did travel the building with us and found that every place was accessible. PE and Music were great for Melody; art was fun but required a lot of help.
Melody's visit was a great reminder of how we felt when Claire and Molly weren't at their best. Melody reminded us of our class pledge to treat everyone with care and respect.

March 16, 2014

Melody in Middlebury, Indiana

Miss Dickey's Class
Heritage Intermediate School
United States
Middlebury, Indiana
(Melody #015A1113)
Melody had a great time with our class this week! She arrived just in time to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday with us and she enjoyed some delicious green eggs and ham. She met students from a variety of backgrounds including Amish and Hispanic children.
We learned a lot about how we would need to change the arrangement of our classroom to accommodate Melody's wheelchair. We also learned that it is important to get to know someone before judging them.

March 14, 2014

Melody in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin

Mrs. DiPietro's 4th Grade
Johnson Creek Elementary
United States
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
(Melody #036B0114)
Melody had the chance to "go home" with all of our students for the night. She experienced many things with my students including trips to the grocery store, archery class, reading together, pets, and other things that were fun!
We learned that environmental accommodations would need to be made in all of our homes in order for Melody to be comfortable there. We all agreed that there would be no need to treat her differently as a friend or family member. Melody's visit opened our eyes to the many things we take for granted everyday.

March 13, 2014

Melody in Weiser, Idaho

Mrs. Dickerson
Park Intermediate
United States
Weiser, Idaho
(Melody #013A1113)
Melody is reading our class book, Walk Two Moons, with us. She has also been reviewing synonyms and antonyms. She got to play synonym Bingo, which was a lot of fun.
We learned that it is harder than we thought to have someone in a wheelchair in our classroom. Not only would we have to try extra hard to include and communicate with Melody in our everyday activities, but also make accommodations, such as raising her desk for her wheelchair to fit and making sure we keep our desks nice and straight so her wheelchair could fit through the pathways.

March 11, 2014

Melody in Mooresville, North Carolina

7th Grade - ESL
Mooresville Middle School
United States
Mooresville, North Carolina
(Melody #035B0114)
She is visiting with the 7th Grade ESL students. We meet in small groups in 45 minute sessions. She has been given a tour of the school and we have had some interesting discussions.
Students reflected on their own prejudices and stereotypes regarding special needs students as well as racial and ethnic groups.

March 10, 2014

Melody in Neenah, Wisconsin

Mrs. Burmeister's Class
Tullar Elementary School
United States
Neenah, Wisconsin
(Melody #033B0114)
She has gone to all classes with us. She has to ride the elevator to eat lunch and attend art class. She went outside for recess but could not play on the snow hills due to her wheelchair.
We learned that Melody would fit right in attending Tullar. She would have many friends to talk and play with during the day.

March 9, 2014

Melody in Zurich, Switzerland

5th grade
Inter Community School Zurich
(Melody #024B0114)
Unfortunately our school, and especially our classroom, is not wheelchair accessible. So in reality someone in a wheel chair would not be able to join us in class. However, Melody joined us for our lessons, spent recess outside with the class and spent the night at students' houses. She was lucky that there were some clear days and she got to see the beautiful mountains of Switzerland, Zurich Lake and a Fasnacht parade. We shared our lunches with her and Ollie.
At times we found it challenging to interact with her and it took effort to find ways to include her and to remember to bring her places. Sometimes we were frustrated when other people thought it was silly we were treating her like a person as they thought she was just a piece of paper. This included some teachers. We had to explain who she was and why she was with us. We also learned that it is a lot of work to take care of someone with disabilities like Melody's.

March 6, 2014

Melody in Cobourg, Canada

Ms McGrimmon's Grade 6 Class
Terry Fox P.S.
(Melody #021B0114)
It has been a short visit with Melody as we are about to head into March Break and I wanted to keep her journey going.
Having Melody visit was a time to reflect on the novel. We were reminded about her strength and the importance of accepting others for who they are.

March 5, 2014

Melody in Virden, Manitoba, Canada

Grade 4GH
Mary Montgomery School
Virden, Manitoba
(Melody #007A1113)
During her last few days with us, Melody was able to participate in "Read With a Friend". She had fun listening to all the students read to their special friend. Today is Melody's last day with us and it was a day filled with excitement. The whole school had breakfast together in the school gym. Some members Virden Oil Capitals hockey team helped cook and serve breakfast We also welcomed back Rudi and Paige. The just came back from Russia where they represented Canada in Pairs Figure Skating. The were able to share their Olympic experience with us and we were so happy to have them back home.
Have a safe trip Melody and we hope the weather is better when you visit New Hampshire next. We look forward to reading all about your adventures.

March 4, 2014

Melody in Rome, Italy

Mrs. P' s 4th Grade
American Overseas School of Rome
(Melody #028B0114)
Melody is learning about the wonder and beauty of Rome and experiencing firsthand what it feels like to be part of such a multi-cultured classroom.
We learned that our school is not really equipped for students in wheelchairs but......we have so many caring and loving students and staff members who were always interested in helping out when getting Melody from one class to the next....

Melody in Virden, Manitoba, Canada

Grade 4GH
Mary Montgomery
Virden, Manitoba
(Melody #007A1113)
On Thursday, we took Melody to visit our friends at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.
Here we learned about aboriginal culture.We saw how tipis are put up, how the people used nature for tools and medicine and enjoyed the traditional native dancers.

Melody in Grosse Pointe, Michigan

Caya Craig
United States
Grosse Pointe, Michigan
(Melody #023B0114)
At the art fair at my school, Grosse Pointe Academy in Michigan, USA
She has traveled a lot!!

Melody in Virden, Canada

Grade 4GH
Mary Montgomery
(Melody #007A113)
Here is Melody with the Men's Gold Medal hockey team.
We think she is enjoying the photo op.

Melody in Virden, Canada

Grade 4GH
Mary Montgomery
(Melody #007A113)
Melody arrived in Virden, Manitoba Canada on a very cold day. It has been -45 C here and the class has been staying in at recess. She arrived the day after Canada's men won the gold medal in hockey at the Olympics.
We learned to be kind to others and always include everybody in our activities. We also learned that sometimes it is hard for Melody and other people with disabilities to get around.

March 3, 2014

Melody in Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Renaissance College, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
(Melody #025B0114)
Melody has been to Chinese classes, she has tried Chinese food and she has helped us think about Peace and Conflict- especially what it means to have empathy.
That it takes time to get around in a wheelchair and sometimes your journey cannot go straight from A to B. You need to avoid stairs and steps and use the school lift.

March 2, 2014

Melody in Bonavista, Canada

Mrs. Hewitt"s Great Grade 5s
Matthew Elementary, Bonavista, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
(Melody #006A1113)
We included Melody in our daily routine as an honorary classmate! She listened to the Read Aloud (winter poetry), used her computer to write about snow (using figurative language like the teacher explained), watched a cool Science demonstration involving rusted objects and rotting apples, learned about the Middle Ages in a small group discussion, worked on a fractions activity gluing small coloured marshmallows in rows, and went to gym and Music!
Having Melody really here made us think about how we would treat her. We know from the book "Out of my Mind" how some students acted when she came into a regular class. Our school works to include all students as much as possible so we knew she would feel welcome here! Our school has an elevator from the first to the second floor where elementary grades are. That's what Melody used to come to our classroom! And the washroom in the main hall has lots of space for Melody. All our rooms are accessible to people who use a wheelchair. We realized that with so many desks in our main room Melody would be sort of stuck on the side near the door but we thought she wouldn't mind as we would all get turns to move around and work with her. In our other classroom there are large tables and more space to push her chair around. She would be able to look out the window and see the Atlantic Ocean, like everyone else! You have to plan how to really make your school open for all students.

Melody in Bonavista, Canada

Emma's House
Bonavista, Canada
(Melody #006A113)
Melody spent several days and nights with Emma, a grade 5 student here in Bonavista. Winter means lots of snow where we live! We had a blizzard and school was cancelled for two days! So unfortunately some of the sightseeing planned didn't occur. The girls had a great sleepover! Emma's mom helped them make soft chocolate chip cookies! Melody really liked the bracelets Emma makes and picked out a pink and green one to wear to school! Melody was able to attend a Minor Hockey game practice at our local stadium which is wheelchair accessible. She was so excited watching the kids skate after the puck!
When you are in a wheelchair, getting around is very difficult. Most of our tourist attractions, buildings over 100 years old, are not easily accessible or are impossible to get inside to see. Even getting around in a house would not be easy unless you moved furniture and had wide hallways.

Melody in Fergus, Canada

Mrs. Crawford's Grade 3/4 Class
J. D. Hogarth Public School
(Melody #013A1113)
Melody has been with us in our Grade 3/4 Classroom at J. D. Hogarth Public School for a little more than a week. During her time in our classroom, Melody has been blogging her responses to our read-aloud book “Wonder”; working on problem solving with money in math; learning French with our grade 4 students; and learning about habitats in Science with our afternoon teacher, Mr. Johnston. Our school has two floors, though our classroom is on the first floor. We talked about how Melody would be able to use the elevator if she needed to go upstairs. We also have a wheel-chair accessible washroom that is suitable for Melody. Students in our class are very good friends and advocates for Melody because we have been learning a lot about people with special needs and differences this year by reading “Out of My Mind” and the book “Wonder”. We did realize that it might be difficult for Melody to go outside in her wheel chair right now because we have so much snow in Fergus! It would also be tough for Melody to get on all of her outdoor clothing, and she would need the assistance of an E.A. (Educational Assistant). Melody was able to sleep over at a few students’ houses. Melody had fun at William’s house. At Maddy’s house, Melody got to go to a Fusion Hockey game and to her grandma’s house for lunch. She also played Groovy Girls with Maddy’s sister. At Ella’s house, Melody went to watch Ella figure skate, and she had a sleep over with Taryn, Ella’s Maplelea doll. We really enjoyed having Melody join our class, and wish her well on the rest of her journey!
We learned a little bit more about some of the locations that Melody will be visiting.