VERONA, MISS. (WCBI) – A local teacher gets a huge boost for an idea she had several years to help wheelchair bound students feel more accepted and involved during Halloween. As WCBI’s Allie Martin reports, the teacher recently won an award from a popular radio morning show and now is focusing on starting a non profit to help even more kids.
For two years now, Cat Hardy has helped teach special needs students at Verona Elementary. Every Halloween, students paraded around school in costumes and Hardy decided to make costumes out of cardboard, fabric and duct tape for wheelchair bound kids.
“We had an army tank, a pirate ship, we had a horse, cause we had a cowboy, Cinderella, we had Herbie, the race car, Buzz Lightyear,” Hardy said.
Hardy and another teacher paid for the materials themselves. That first year they spent around 300 dollars and recently, she heard about a contest called “I Have A Dream” on the popular Kidd Kraddick radio show.
“I thought, I can only do so much with these costumes, I thought maybe if we get extra help, extra sponsors maybe we can get better materials.” she said.
This week, she was a guest on the show and found out her dream would become a reality.
Kidd Kraddick staffers will help Hardy establish a non profit called Erase the Space. The name was suggested by Jorden Daniel, one of her former students. As Jorden explains, the costumes hide the wheelchair and break down barriers between him and other kids or erasing the space.
“They think I’m just regular,” Jorden said.
Part of the prize includes $1,000. Seed money for Erase the Space.
“I know for these kids, all the money they will give us and all the attention they give us it will get more materials for the kids, and will be able to help more people,” Hardy said.
Winning the “I have a dream” contest has already helped raise awareness of Erase the Space and its mission. In fact, Girl Scouts have already offered to help create the next round of wheelchair costumes.