Promoted by Rosi – This is a little outside our usual subject matter. It’s not directly about politics in the way most of our diaries are. But damn it, I love this diary. I’ve read it 5 times, and this kid is amazing – and so are the teachers and kids surrounding him. And his parents. Good diary for a chilly Sunday night.
My son Adam is a member of the Manchester Regional High School Falcons, Freshman Basketball Team. He is officially listed as manager/alternate as he is developmentally disabled and although extremely passionate about basketball, he does not possess the ability to reach the skill level required to be a regular member of the team.
Regardless of that, Coach Forestieri and Coach Sponzilli, have made Adam’s dreams come true. In all but one game, Coach Forestieri and the other coaches have put Adam in to actual play towards the end of the game. Adam’s teammates have given up opportunities to win, in order to allow Adam time in the game. Adam has a career of 4 pts now!!
I am writing this today because their “record” is horrible so no one is paying attention to, what I know has to be, the team with the best sportsmanship and humanity in the league.
Today, Manchester has a home game against Elmwood Park and the “Make a Difference Club” a club for the Bergen County Special Services Program housed at Manchester (Adam’s program) will be there to support Adam and the Falcons. Not only has the athletic department at Manchester Regional High School gone above and beyond to help my son but in doing so, they are teaching important life lessons beyond the scope of a traditional basketball program. They deserve to be recognized as the outstanding leaders they are.
Also, Adam’s teammates deserve recognition for patiently providing Adam with support and guidance and never letting him feel that he is anything but equal to them as a player and member of the team. (Let me remind you these are freshman boys behaving so humanely, so beautifully)
As a side note: “The Make a Difference Club” is a club formed for special needs students to participate in afterschool activities. After initial announcements went out asking for the support of the mainstream student community to join this club, the response was overwhelming. This was Sandi Cortazzo’s dream when we approached her about possible after school activities for Adam and it has been tremendously successful.
My husband, Michael, and I felt that today is so special because these two groups are coming together today and what a special gift we have as Adam’s parents to be able to part of it. Adam, a member of the “club” as well as a “basketball player”, is fulfilling his dreams in ways few people can understand.
I think of him as Pinocchio because all we wants so desperately is to be “a real normal boy” and Manchester Regional High School along with Bergen County Special Services, together, are his “blue fairy” and have made his dreams come true.