On Friday, March 28, twenty-six children earned their way to Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America by obtaining 95% or higher attendance from September 2007 through January 2008. The day began with Simpson staff and volunteers picking up children throughout Hennepin County to come together for one full day of fun.
Wide-eyed and anxious the kids patiently wait as we organize them into groups, explain the rules, and hand out their unlimited ride wristbands. Each child is presented with an individualized medal which they wear throughout the day to show off their tremendous achievement.
Which ride first? How fast does it go? Is that going to scare me? Will you ride that with me? Numerous questions fill the air as staff and volunteers make sure each one of them is to be answered. A few rides later, courage and confidence seem to take over. The children begin to encourage each other, leaders start to emerge and each child feels as though they are a part of something. Today is their day to be the stars.
After countless thrills and heightened bursts of energy, it becomes that time to choose one last ride. The day is coming to a close. The groups unite, grab a snack, and find the staff that will take them home.
It is a day full of screaming, hand holding, and eyes closing. It’s a time for encouragement, laughter, and building confidence. It’s a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, and greatness. It’s a reminder that each child deserves to be celebrated each and every day…
-Rachel K., Simpson Education Support Advocate