[NYPT Summer 2018]

By Melissa Cancro, Programs Coordinator

If you check out my DVR, you will find an abundance of superhero shows:The Flash, D.C. Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow and Agents of Shield. I could say that these are my kids’ shows. But late at night, I’m on the couch watching my favorite superheros defeating evil.

Why the secret confession? I really love this year’s Reflections theme. The theme is “Heroes Around Me.”

Who would not want to have the speed of The Flash to clean the house? Or strength of Superman to unpack the car in one load from a week long vacation? Or a utility belt that has everything you need to get through life like Batman?

I think this theme really makes us stop and look around. Who are the Heroes in our lives? They may not have the traditional superpowers but every day we meet some extraordinary people.

I have a few. My son, Wesley, is one of them. Wesley just graduated from high school in June. When he was 2½ years old, he was diagnosed with autism. We watched him struggle to speak, interact with peers, and keep his frustration level under control. We didn’t know if he would be able to graduate. Wesley is my hero because he never gives up. He keeps trying. He’s always cheerful and kind even in the darkest times. He has taught me what it means to be resilient.

My daughter, Samantha, is another hero. She always questions things. When she was a toddler, one of the most frequent things she said was “Why not?” She is an out-of-the-box thinker, very independent and a force of nature. If there was a superpower of strong will, she would wield it against any foe. I ask myself “Why not?” more often now with the courage to step outside the box.

I have friends with chronic illness. They are in pain every day. Every day they get up and make a difference. You would never know this because they are always there when you need them with a smile on their faces. They never let their circumstances stop them. They soldier on making the world around them a better place. Every hero digs deep to overcome obstacles but at the end of the day it’s their heart for the people they are protecting that defeats any foe. Heart is what my heroes have in spades.

In a world that can seem as dark as Gotham City, there are heroes living among us. They are quietly making a difference one day at a time.

Who are your heroes? We would love to hear your stories! Please e-mail me at programs@nyspta.org so we could feature them in social media posts and articles in the future.
I can’t wait to see how the kids express their view of this new theme! National Arts in Education Week is right around the corner on September 10-14. This is a great time to kick-off your Reflections program!