In the United States, public transportation isn’t all that great. It’s even worse for many people who have disabilities. Fortunately, the kindness of some people may have just solved a problem—at least for one boy.
He goes out every weekday to wait for the bus when he has school. After his parents have taken him outside, the bus arrives at the bottom of the sidewalk and transports him to Dunn’s Corners Elementary School. All of this is complicated by Ryder’s inability to walk.
Because the house is about 75 feet from the bottom of the driveway, Ryder had to go outside before the bus arrived.
His parents came up with the solution of simply being extra early. Most kids would be able to wait inside until they saw the bus approaching and then run out, but that clearly isn’t an option for Ryder.
As a result, Ryder is always outside at the bottom of the driveway, regardless of the weather.
Ryder is outside in the rain or snow! His parents did everything they could to make him feel at ease, even putting out a patio umbrella to keep the rain off. Still, it wasn’t a perfect solution, and even the slightest breeze was enough to blow the umbrella away.
Ryder’s parents put out a call for help on Facebook, hoping to find a better solution.
“So we decided to reach out to the community, and we actually wrote a post on Facebook looking for friends who might have a new one that they weren’t using.” – WJAR10
It didn’t gain traction until it was picked up by an unlikely group-the Construction Technology class at Westerly High School. Dan McKenna, the class’s teacher, saw the post and realized it was a fantastic opportunity for the students to be kind while also practicing their skills.
McKenna accepted right away and got his class to work on creating their very own “bus hut” for Ryder!
“I think my first email was, ‘Absolutely, we’re in,'” McKenna explained. “We’ve worked on other projects in the past.” I believe it is critical for my students to learn not only about construction but also about being involved in the community and dealing with people outside of the school environment.
Home Depot donated about $300 in wood, and the Kilam family purchased the rest. After purchasing the necessary materials, it was time to start building! Thanks to Ryder’s older brother in the class, the finished structure was ADA-compliant and perfect for the coming weather!
Ryder was so taken with the hut that he spent EXTRA time in it!
“He loves it. He actually makes us stay out here and hang out after school now that it’s his new fort so he can get home,” Kilam said.
It wasn’t just a task for the students; it was a way for them to show their love and kindness to a little boy in need. You can bet Ryder will look up to those “cool high schoolers” for the rest of his life!